A Toast
to the
7th International Phycological Congress
Thessaloniki, Greece
August, 2001

views, sounds, and thoughts
R. Malcolm Brown, Jr.

    Welcome to my webpage which catalogues some of the sights and sounds of our fantastic trip to Greece, focusing on the events of the 7th International Phycological Congress. If you have reached this site from my email mass mailing, I am pleased. Ioannes sent me the list and I spent the better part of one day on the weekend preparing the names for mailing. The main purpose of this non-public website is to allow you to experience once again the thrills and visits that all of us will surely treasure. I am thinking about the pre-congress events (The 5 day Classical Greek Tour for Ann and me); arrival in Thessaloniki, registration (thanks to Despina Tzanetaki, Doucas, and the entire crew for such magnificent arrangements);

getting settled in our hotel; the opening ceremony; the excellent music which I recorded for your listening pleasure; the symposia, oral presentations; posters; daily lunches in the court yard; learning how to use the Greek pay phone with a phone card; ah, those taxi drivers!;the mid congress tours (we went to Athos); reception at the mayors home; the beach party (wow, did I get some excellent video, and  the sound from this is truly excellent and in stereo); the closing ceremony; and finally, preparation to leave (for Ann and me, we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary on the island of Hydra after the Congress).

(Our 40th wedding anniversary was on August 26, 2001, in Greece!)

    What else can one say about this Congress?

Obviously, the scientific merit of the posters and oral presentations stand on their own, but what about the intangibles, such as meeting new colleagues and meeting old ones known only from the literature (for instance, I had known Richard Pienaar for 40 years but this was the first time I met him in person!).

Richard Pienaar

I think that each of us will remember a "story" or event for the rest of our lives. Certainly for me, there were many highlights, but the banquet at the beach with the dancing and music, food, and fireworks, until 2AM in the morning was one of these highlights. For me, I truly enjoyed the classical music concert, and the audio recordings of the complete concert turned out remarkably well.

    We certainly have come a long way from Aristotle to Aristotle University! Can one just imagine what Aristotle would have thought if he could have been here at the Congress or return to Athens. He would be shocked but certainly impressed with the brilliance and dynamics of the city and countryside, the indomitable spirit of the Greek people, and I think Aristotle would be most impressed that throughout the millennia, people realized that his actions, and his writings as well as the beauty and the architecture of his times all have been remarkably preserved for future generations to see and study. For me, this was an eye opener! I could not have imagined how the huge stones for the temple at Delphi were brought into place, or gazing into the eyes of the Charioteer, so perfectly preserved,

478 BC

or walking on the fields of the games held in Olympia thousands of years ago, or imagining how the monks at Meteora could have erected the monasteries on those vertical rocks!

Greece is a country that is so vibrant. Of course we know that it is the cradle of civilization and science. Just to imagine at Mycenae  how the Lion Gate could have been so perfectly assembled and the golden masks and the tomb, all of this impressed me tremendously;

Mycenae (1700-1100BC)

Grave Circle for the royal family

The Lion Gate (this is the real cradle of Greek civilization!)

Mycenaean death mask of gold found at Mycenae

however, nothing impressed me more than the generosity and friendliness of the Greek people.

A visit with Ioannes Tsekos and his family

Our tourguide for Meteora

A very nice family we met at Meteora

Ann and Peter on top of Lykavittos Hill

Chris, our bus driver, and John, our tour guide for the 5 day "Classical Greek Tour" (Chat Tours, excelent!)
Both were always friendly, courteous, and helpful. We learned so much!

I shall always treasure these memories, and yes, I do plan to return to Greece, Ioannes! (I will need a good excuse to do some freeze etching of Valonia, but I will find an excuse, believe me!)
August 31, 2001

THIS WEB SITE will give you two things:

(a) digital images which you can download and keep for your pleasure. These are only a few of the some 1200 images I made while in Greece. These pertain directly to the Congress. Visit my personal website if you would like to see more photos that I took of Greece. By the way, I use an Olympus c-2000z digital camera. I like it very much. The newer models such as the Olympus c-3040z are even better, and I just noticed a price on the Internet of only US$595 for this camera last week. The original price was US$ 1200.
While I am at it, I would like to recommend that you use Thumbs+ software to manage your photos. I created the photos and thumbnails using this software. The demo version is free and you have 1 month to test it.

(b) audio files (mp3) of such events as the classical music concert, music on the boat to Athos, music at the beach party, including the fireworks, and finally comments from the closing ceremony.

I hope these sound files (rather large) will give you an excellent memory. All  sound files were captured from my old Sony video camera onto a Sony Minidisc Walkman MD Model MZ-R50. Then I made wave files of each song using my Creative Soundblaster Wave Studio, then converted them to mp3 files using CDex software which is very excellent. Enjoy!

    By the way, during the classical tour, the waiter poured a half liter of water on my Sony video camera, and due to some fast work by one of our tour members, the water did not get into the critical parts. Whew! I am really lucky! ....and we got the tapes through the airport security without damage to the magnetic media. So what you will hear from the mp3 files is truly remarkable. By the way, you can find some good software to convert the mp3 files to wave files, then if you have a cd burner, you can make an audio CD. For listening to the mp3 files, I like to use Winamp.

    We owe a great deal of gratitude to Ioannes Tsekos and his colleagues for a beautiful job well done, Ioannes!

Ioannes Tsekos

    I thank all of you for my pleasant memories of my first trip to Greece. A little story is in order. When we arrived about one week before the Congress in Athens, we were driving from the Airport to the Amalia hotel in the center of town, and our taxi driver seemed nice, so I took a chance. I asked Peter if he would drop us off at the hotel, then meet us in 2 hours and show us around Athens. Well, Peter met us right on time, took us to the Acropolis, purchased the tickets for us, took us to the top of Lykavittos Hill where Socrates once visited. There he bounded up an almond tree and fetched a delicious almond for us. Then we had a nice coffee in the outdoor cafe and watched the sun set over Athens. Then we toured the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Plateia Syntigmatos, followed by a visit to the Metro where new archeological digs discovered many wonderful artifacts, including a skeleton of a 450 BC citizen. After we concluded the tour, I asked Peter how much I owed him. He said "nothing"! Well, of course, I did pay him but the spirit of such a man, and his generosity to two fledgling tourists, gave us a marvelous introduction to Greece. Yes, we shall return!

Peter, our taxi driver in Athens

Does anyone remember this from the Congress? Write to me and let me know!

    Page on down through several composite photos all of which were digitized from my video, then click on any of these to view a larger image. I have gone to great pains to make each page download fast and easy. Certainly this first page must load quickly. The larger images will take more downloading time, naturally, but the time will be worth it.

In addition to the composite photos, there are TWO icons at the bottom of this page which will direct you to the "MUSIC AND SOUNDS" page or the "PHOTOS" page. These first contains mp3 files (some very large but excellent sound!). On this page, just click on the icon to download the mp3 file or play it on your computer. From the "PHOTOS" page, simply click on the thumbnail and you will have the enlarged image.

As another reminder, the thumbnails page was created automatically and rapidly using Thumbs+ which is free for 30 days. It has, in my opinion, the best image processing software anywhere. To get this software, visit http://www.cerious.com

All of my digital images were made with my Olympus c-2000z camera (no, I do not get a commision for pushing this camera!). It is a truly remarkable camera. If you want to see some of the unusual images that I have captured (for instance, Mars) visit my website at: Malcolm Brown Home Page

Images captured and digitized directly from my video tape (that is why the quality is not as good but nevertheless interesting!)

Athos Cruise (click on photo for larger image)

Athos Cruise (click on photo for larger image)

Our Beach Party- The Band Members- They were Excellent!
(click on photo for larger image)

A truly memorable evening, dancing, fireworks, great music!
(click on photo for larger image)

More exciting stuff from our wonderful beach party!
(click on photo for larger image)

Here are some beautiful sights and memories from our party!
(click on photo for larger image)

Now enter the Audio and Sounds or Images pages by clicking on one of the
two icons below

Click on ME to enter the IMAGES page!
(Malcolm at Meteora)


Click on this welcoming face to listen so some of the best original music you have heard!

Webpage created by R. Malcolm Brown, Jr.
August 31, 2001
Questions? Contact rmbrown@mail.utexas.edu
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