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The social side of SLAS2012
January 2012
by Jeffrey Bouley  |  Email the author

(To return to the main SLAS2012 pre- show stories, click here)
It's not all work and no play  
Several networking and social opportunities can be found at SLAS2012. Here are a few of them, as SLAS encourages attendees to not only learn but also celebrate and form friendly connections as well as purely professional ones:  
Sunday through Wednesday, Feb. 5-8
Discounts & Drink Specials at Jolt'n Joe's
After hours at SLAS2012, the event organizers encourage you to "kick back and relax, or see and be seen, at Jolt'n Joe's Restaurant, a legendary and lively anchor of the Gaslamp Quarter that's just a short walk from the convention center and Marriott and Hilton hotels." Jolt'n Joe's is being billed as the SLAS2012 "corner bar" where attendees, exhibitors and others can enjoy exclusive discounts and specials all week long. The venue features pool, ping-pong, plasma televisions and dancing in a 15,000 square-foot historic brick warehouse that features an outdoor patio bar and not only lunch and dinner fare, but also late-night pub food such as burgers, tacos, salads and steaks, until 1:30 a.m.  
Sunday, Feb. 5, 8 p.m.
Super Bowl Sunday After-Party
Sponsored by the San Diego and Bay Area chapters of the Laboratory Robotics Interest Group (LRIG), this celebratory Super Bowl Sunday after-party takes place at Jolt'n Joe's and is open to all SLAS2012 participants. You can register to attend at the Bay Area LRIG website at Participants have a chance to win a Kindle Fire or various gift cards.  
Monday, Feb. 6, 8 p.m.
Monday Night Diamond Groove- a-Thon
SLAS2012 Diamond Sponsor PerkinElmer's rock band, Molecular Groove, will be, as SLAS says, "live and loud" at Jolt 'n Joe's on Monday night and is being billed as the "hardest working band in science."  
Tuesday, Feb. 7, 7 p.m.-10 p.m.
Gaslamp Block Party Bash
Hosted by SLAS2012 Premier Sponsor Agilent Technologies in the Gaslamp Quarter in the heart of downtown San Diego, participants can enjoy American English, which has been voted "Best Tribute Band" for four years running, according to SLAS, offering an evening of Beatles tunes as attendees enjoy the outdoor buffets and open bars, play ping-pong and foosball in the fresh air or simply sit and enjoy the comfortable lounge seating lining the streets.  

Find your animal magnetism during the annual meeting  
SAN DIEGO—If you need some nature to balance all your time in the convention center and other SLAS2012 venues, here are a few of the most popular attractions in the city:  
San Diego Zoo
One of the premier zoos in the United States, this facility is a sanctuary for thousands of animals and rare plants. Exhibits include a 7.5-acre multispecies habitat featuring elephants, California condors, jaguars and more that helps teach visitors about the zoo's conservation efforts. Animal enclosures are designed to be as realistic as possible to promote the natural behavior of the animals, so that guests can get a better sense of how the animals live in the wild, whether they are polar bears in the Arctic tundra, okapis in the Ituri Forest or bonobos in the jungles of the Congo. 
The zoo offers a guided bus tour of the grounds, as well as the Skyfari aerial tram that provides visitors a bird's-eye view of the 100-acre facility. At the Wegeforth Bowl and Hunte Amphitheatre, guests can watch animals such as sea lions and wolves that can't be seen anywhere else in the zoo show off some of their natural behaviors. The zoo also features restaurants ranging from the gourmet to the casual.
Wild Animal Park
If you didn't get enough animals at the San Diego Zoo itself, or weren't satisfied that the enclosures were realistic enough, try a visit to the zoo's 213-acre Wild Animal Park, a separate location featuring huge open enclosures that allow herds of African and Asian animals to roam and interact with each other. Visitors can get up close to these wild and endangered animals thanks to the Journey into Africa tour, which emulates safari tours in Africa but with vehicles that run on biodiesel for a more eco-friendly vibe. The experience brings visitors to eye level with animals such as white rhinoceroses, giraffes, Cape buffalo, Roosevelt's gazelles, African crowned cranes and more.  
Other animal exhibits can be found at the park as well, in a more zoo-like fashion, allowing guests to see a cheetah, alligator, owl or boa constrictor—and the park features two different animal shows daily as well.
Certainly, Shamu the killer whale is the most famous denizen of this aquatic animal park, but there is also the Shark Encounter, which allows visitors to walk through a submerged tube while sharks swim around them; the Wild Arctic and Penguin Encounter exhibits; a California tide pool exhibit; a freshwater aquarium and the World of the Sea aquarium; Wonders of the River; and the Sesame Street Bay of Play.   
Beach life 
Southern California is known for beaches, and San Diego is no exception. The best of the bunch includes San Onofre State Beach, Oceanside City Beach, Carlsbad State Beach, Solana Beach, the Cardiff Beaches, the Del Mar Beaches, Torrey Pines State Beach and Park, the La Jolla Beaches and the La Jolla Reefs, Pacific Beach, Mission Bay and Mission Beach, Ocean Beach, the Point Loma Beaches, Coronado Municipal Beach, Silver Strand State Beach and Imperial Beach.

The San Diego Museum of Art in the urban cultural area known as Balboa Park is
reportedly the region's oldest and largest art museum, known for its selection of
European old masters, 19th- and 20th-century American art, Asian collection and
growing collections of contemporary and Latin American art.
An example of plaza art at the
San Diego Convention Center.
The historic Gaslamp Quarter comprises more 16 blocks around Fourth and Fifth Avenues, and features more than 100 of San Diego's best restaurants, more than 30 pubs and nightclubs and 100 retails shops, as well as theaters and art galleries.

Westfield Horton Plaza is a five-level outdoor shopping mall occupying more than six city
blocks in downtown San Diego, adjacent to the city's Gaslamp Quarter, and is known for
its bright colors and unique architectural styles.

(To view the main SLAS2012 pre-show stories, click here)



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