Wildfires “burn” the future

Hey everyone,

Today is the 3rd of August and I cannot literally understand when the Summer of ’18 is almost gone. Since my last blog, lot of enjoyable but also disappointing thinks happened and I want to share them with you.

First of all, on the 20th of June I presented my progress in front of the FoodSmartphone supervisory board. You may already know many details about this day from the previous blogs, but for me it was an honor to discuss for my research with such an audience (people that I was studying their papers and now I am actively collaborating with them). Honestly, I look forward to the next time that will present some results — hopefully to an international conference — because I believe that if the outcome of a study is not communicated then it doesn’t have any scientific impact. Even though knowledge is individually gained, presenting your effort to others helps to think out of the box and find new alternatives.

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Presenting my first year progress in the 2nd FoodSmartphone Summer School

Afterwards, I was very lucky to enjoy my summer holidays in Greece. Personally, I cannot imagine a better summer destination rather than my country. Prove me wrong  — Jordi claims that Greece is the most beautiful European country — but the combination of sea, food & lifestyle makes this place special. Considering that I spent my holiday with my family, girlfriend and friends, I would never ask for something more. Vacations are absolutely part of a productive year as you can relax, do extraordinary things and clearing your head from obligations.

I was mostly in Athens but also visited Spetses island for a few days. Spetses, one of the Saronic Islands located three hours from the capital, is a place that I have visited multiple times as a childhood friend accommodates me. We did have a pleasant stay and maybe more than enough drinks 😛

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Sunrise in Spetses
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Sunset in Spetses

My daily routine has already begun and I am working hard to publish our work. At this moment, we are drafting the BEST database paper with the Belfast crew. We are very close to finish and I am really happy that an ambitious dialogue with Jordi at a tram stop in Prague during RAFA 2017 will have this outcome. Moreover, after lot of meetings with my supervisor Jana  we prepared the contents for our first common experimental paper. I need to do some more experiments, validate the assay etc but I am closer than ever to start writing. Fingers crossed !

Unfortunately, life has also downsides and I am ending up my blog with this because I want to leave a bitter taste. I am not pessimistic but fully disappointed from what happened with fires in Greece. Forest fires were noticed also in  in Sweden and the USA. Some people think that what happened was because of the climate change. Partly, this is true considering the extremely high temperatures in Portugal and Spain today, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-45044079. In my point of view, it’s also about human stupidity because people don’t respect nature. In Greece, wildfires happen every year and many times are intentionally lighted up. Thinking that people are systematically motivated to burn forests in order to build cottages or make any kind of business makes me sick. It’s high time to realize how important is nature for us… The apocalypse scenario that was played in Athens fire must stop now globally! Otherwise the next generations will leave in a habitat completely unfriendly for humans…

And some numbers from the Greek catastrophe in order to understand the magnitude of the disaster, https://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2018/jul/25/how-the-fires-in-mati-greece-spread-a-visual-guide :

  • More than 80 people have been killed
  •  1,500 homes had been damaged, with many destroyed
  • Almost 200 people are estimated to have been injured
  •  hundreds more were forced to flee to beaches and into the sea as the blaze consumed houses and cars

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I hope that my final paragraph wasn’t too dark for you but we all need to realize the reality and change right away…

Thank you for reading my blog and see you in 11 weeks!

Greetings,

Aris

 

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