26/08/2018

I have a very healthy interest in astronomy. I love to read about the planets, the stars, the galaxies, super nova’s, black holes and the universe. It feeds my imagination and triggers my will to learn new things. And the more I learn about this the more I realize we know nothing yet.

But when here on Lesvos my interest in astronomy suddenly gets stronger again and I know why…


It is really simple: Wait until it is dark in the evening and look up to the sky…

When home in The Netherlands I will see just a few stars.

But here on Lesvos, and especially when I move to a spot with no artificial lighting, the sky is covered with stars. Hundreds, no even thousands and more of them. The sky is literally covered with stars. An amazing sight to see!

The reason for the difference is also very simple: light pollution!

Sure, when in a Greek city one will also not able to see all the stars. But there is a difference, The Netherlands is so densely populated that there is literally no place in the country where you can see the real sky with stars, even not in the middle of areas where no one lives.
When I look from my home in the direction of Amsterdam, I see a thick layer of light.

Is light pollution a problem? Apart from the sorry fact that we only can see a fragment of the beautiful stars, yes it is. Light pollution has a negative influence on the balance between day and night. Specially plants and night animals are suffering from this.

Anyway, back to the stars at the Greek sky *SMILE* .

When I see a bright star here, I start to ask myself right away questions. What is the name of that star? How many light-years is it away from here? Is it part of a constellation and do I know that constellation? Is there anything special to know about that star?

Luckily I have two great apps on my iPad that gives me the answers on this questions I might have: “Solar Walk 2” and “Star Walk 2” (luckily it was my iPhone that was stolen this holiday and not my iPad even when the iPad is WiFi only). These two apps are great for any astronomy enthusiast.

So quite often when the others are already sleeping, I sit on the balcony of our hotel room or make a small walk to study the skies, looking at the stars and constellations, looking up all there is to know about them. Great fun.

At home, I use apps also every now and then, but there they tend to make me a bit sad because these apps show very clearly what I should be able to see but cannot see because of the light pollution…

Rob

 

 

 

The pictures in this article are screenshots from Star Walk 2 and Solar Walk 2.


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The small wonders of Lesvos

by Miranda on

That Lesvos is an island that has so many faces to show may be known by now. I mean from the olive and pine trees to the emptiness of the west.

It is so nice that you can wander around, make a turn and see something completely unexpected. And that is what happened today again.

We were wandering west of Agios Isidoros, a lovely small town near Plomari. The small road led us through beautiful views of mountains and olive tree orchards.

So we were enjoying our surroundings while I was having an interesting talk with Richard. We followed the road in a curve around a rock formation and then we saw this…

Stairs

Everyone of us had a “WOW” experience. This is what I call using the surroundings of your house. The stairs up to the house really embedded in the rocks of the mountain. So wonderful!

As I already said, I truly love how this was built, but I don’t want to think about carrying groceries or any alike up those stairs.

Later, back at the hotel I saw the same people laying in the full sun that were there already when we some hours earlier left for our walk. And they were there the days before too.
They will be missing all these wonderful things (and I even don’t want to think about what this amount of direct sunlight is doing to their skin).

Miranda
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The Weather we soon will see….

by Marissa on

The weather we will have next week…

Weather 1

And it looks like it is going to stay that way…

Weather 2

I think just as the last time, the first two days we will have it extremely warm. After two days we are used to it. And as long you keep drinking and protect your head, there is no real problem.

Marissa
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Acting on instinct

by Rob on

Well, here the final proof that in the morning I act by instinct and that I am not using my brains yet…

Schoenen

To prevent this from happening again, I will make sure there is only one set of shoes near my bed…

Guess almost none of my colleagues did notice it… or were too polite to mention it… *WHISTLE*

ps. This is also an invitation to “the authors” not only to publish complete articles, which are very welcome of course, but also fun things like this. Let’s loosen up :-).

Rob
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Most people will know by now that I am trying to lose weight and with a good result so far. On that later a bit more.

A few days ago I was in Haarlem and I decided also to buy some new jeans.

At a shop I found I went directly to the XL, XXL and XXXL section as I used was over the last years. I got a bit frustrated as I could find nothing that fitted well.

A lady working at the shop must have noticed my frustration, she came toward to me and asked me if she could help. I explained that I had problems to find fitting jeans.
She took two steps backwards and looked at me. Then she told me that I should not be looking here at the larger sizes, but should go to the section with the common sizes.
I literally felt a warm glow… back to the “normal” sizes. What an achievement!

The kind lady showed me the part of the store where I should be according her.
I asked her if she could advise me on the size of jeans I should look for.
She looked at me again and said 38/32. I really could not believe this. But there I was a few minutes later, wearing jeans of size 38/32! Completely unbelievable for me!

Why this was a huge surprise for me? Some pants I bought some months ago was of the size 58/32. Yes, you read well… 58… and now 38!

I am so happy with this complete out of the world result.

So yes, I have been trying to lose weight and as it shows with good result. People all around me told me that it showed so very well. There was even one person who carefully informed if I was ill.

In the around two months I am working on this I lost around the 18kg. An average of 2 kilo per week, which is good because losing too much too fast is really not good (and often leads to gaining weight later on again). And I went from “seriously overweight” to “overweight”, but my goal will be of course “normal weight”.
My last concern is my belly. But I know this will be the hardest to get back to normal and it will take time. But I will go for it.

Some folks asked me what my secret was. Well, there is no secret. Move more (10.000 steps at least per day, which sounds a challenge but isn’t) and eat healthy (look at calories, stay away from pre-prepared things, no sauces and alike from the supermarket, focus on vegetables and fruit… but choose wisely :P). My fear was that I only could eat things that weren’t really tasty. What a mistake! I can eat salmon and other fishes, all kinds of beef, poultry, many kinds of vegetables and much more.

What really helps a lot is the support and advices from the people around me. Specially when people react very enthusiastic on the result I have, that really gives a damn good feeling.

Rob
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