Fully Funded Masters in Big Data Management and Analytics

Big data and computers have changed the humans lives completely specifically in the past decade.  The smart phones and generation of large of amount data requires strategic tools and management programs that can help to process the information for running lives. It is expected that the market depended on big data will grow to 111 billion dollars by 2020.

The program is jointly renowned by renowned Universities of European Union-  Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in Belgium, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) in Spain, Technische Universität Berlin (TUB) in Germany, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (TU/e) in the Netherlands and CentraleSupélec (CS) in France.

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There are limited number of scholarships that are being offered to international candidates who does not belong to European union. The scholarship will cover the tuition fees, living expenses and relocation cost according to your present location.

And these scholarships are quite competitive as students from around the world can apply for this scholarship. For further details regarding application, check the following link- https://bdma.ulb.ac.be/bdma/

The deadline of the application is around 1st or 2nd week of January,2019

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Students- It`s time for you to make your Science or Business Blog

My fellow researchers and explorers, I am trying to bring your attention towards the biggest platform in front of you- INTERNET. It`s going to be bigger than the journals and your publications in non-reputed journals. I am not saying that it will beat the big journals, but it will help you to build your scientific profile for future scholarship competitions or apply for grants.

It is complete wastage of time and money to publish papers in non-reputed journals that publishes your paper in just 3 days with some money. Does it really make sense? Do you think that these publications will make your profile better than other candidates? I have never met any PhD candidate in Europe or around the world who has publications in these journals. Even if they have, they have improvised with time and learned to publish papers in good journals which take time and real work. But these non-reputed journals who publish paper just in 3 days with little money makes you believe that you have a publication which will just give you false sense of satisfaction. I made the same mistake when I was in 1st and 2nd year of my undergraduate school.

But I learned slowly and gradually by working in different laboratories and what do scientists look in there future PhD students. Surely, they give proper recognition to your experience and published work. But the most important thing they look at is POTENTIAL. How are you going to show this potential? It is confusing for anyone to note the potential in just 30 minutes of skype interview which is competitive as other candidates are also prepared and optimistic for the PhD competition. Isn`t? Even if you have worked really hard and preparing yourself for 3-4 years to compete PhD scholarships. How will you make sure that you are maximizing your impact in that 30 minutes of interview?

If you are taking shortcuts by publishing papers in non-reputed journals, these publications are not helping your profile even 1% in winning the competitive PhD scholarships. Do you think that you are the only one with publication in non-reputed journal? Do you think that the other candidates are not working hard or collaborating with other students to publish paper in better journals?

Looking at the today`s scenario of the PhD world, it has become a market place which needs to be understood properly by aspiring PhD students. As most of the institute as working in collaboration with industries to pursue the industrial interest. So, how can you make our profile interesting for the both industries and academics?

The one of the best way to show your potential and real interest is building up something from the scratch using digital platforms. There will be many students who do not have the equal opportunities to work in well-established laboratories and cannot produce good research publications. But this should not stop you from doing and creating your own online journal. Does this make sense? Scientist and institutes who are hiring or selecting candidates will go through profile carefully and will not miss anything that you have mentioned in your CV. So, if you have produced an online journal conducting your own research, review and discussion from the scratch. It will clearly present the candidate as the potential researcher. But this process is long and requires real determination which will only bring fruitful results if you put in your time and work.

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Moreover, it will also help you to figure out your research interest in detail if you are really interested in the subject which you can always update, link and connect your research ideas, hypothesis with other researchers around the world. The best time to build you digital profile or science blog is in early undergraduate years or even at high school.

Why? Because, you have no idea about what you really like and what are you going to create. Initially, it wont look like the way you think. It won`t be your best craft but guys you can not understand the consumer behavior by writing just 20 blogs. But with time, you will be able to figure it out and craft it the way you want and that is the real research – your research. Just be brave and share your craziest thought process in words, videos and pictures through digital platforms. There are 4 billion people on internet who are ready to give you there attention. And in todays world, it`s really hard to find attention guys.

There is strong chance of you thinking that if you are putting up the ideas online, there is a chance that anyone can steal it. Everyone has ideas but the main key is the execution. And to convert the idea into an product requires consistent efforts of years not months.

Digital media and research based content creation is the key for future PhD students to become independent or freelance researchers and directly form network with industries or academics

Shock the Culture

The standard definition of Culture Shock is the disorientation in your regular life or weird emotions that you feel in a different culture or while visiting a new country. I see a lot of students struggling while travelling or studying abroad which is pretty common. I can understand the sudden change in culture,music, food and smell of air is indeed a big change. There will be lot of blogs telling you about the stages of culture shock, how to deal culture shock bla bla bla…

Reading them and thinking about it will make you more nervous. I did not  felt the culture shock at all while i was travelling, doing my administrative stuff in Spain, Portugal, France while coping up with 3 different languages.  Moreover, I was located in small villages or towns most of the time.  And ofcourse, it won`t be easy but I am going to make it simple for you. All you have to do is tell these things to yourself? I am not going to let the culture shock me instead I am going to shock the culture by being open and adaptable . Remember to mingle around and speak the language of the country which is not easy but its the start to meet and greet people. The simple strategy is to learn 3-4 words daily and use google translator to talk with the random people in the bars, parties or common events. Just give it a shot and say hello to one random human being everyday in your journey. The problems with food habits is your problem, so change it and adapt to the culture as culture and whole country is not going to change for you. And Within few weeks,  I am sure you will enjoy the gastronomy of the country without any problems.

 

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Thonon les Bains- France

Thonon is one of the most interesting town I have visited in France. Its location is spectacular and also has an interesting and complex history. Can you tell which one is the Swiss and which one is Savoi Flag!

A friend of mine shared a story that whenever the Swiss hikers reached the mountain top and put there flags on the top, the Savoy hikers goes to the top and extend the white cross until the borders to make it look like a Savoy flag.  I just wanted to tell you that if you are travelling around the Savoy region, there is a possibility that you might get confused by Savoy flag which looks like a swiss one and other way around too.

Now, Do you know about the bla bla car service?  I used it for the first time in Thonon les Bains and Its really an incredible and cheap service for the solo travellers. Apart from that I also got to meet different people from different age groups, culture and background which is really fantastic and a learning journey. I went around 5 places that were in and around of Thonon les bains. Thonon is located by the lake which is known as lake leman by the French side and lake geneva by the swiss side as it connects both the countries.

Solo travelers, Rememer to use the BLA-BLA Car service. Its really cheap and incredible service which gives to an oppotunity to meet people and get exclusive local information which you might not find on internet or travel books. I met so many people who had many stories to share. “While travelling from Thonon to Annecy, I met a French guy who told old me that Thonon is a nice place for the sports lover as you can enjoy skiing in the winters and kayaking in the summers. The other person i met while travelling to Laussane told me that its the best part of France to eat Fondue, drink wine and enjoy the spledid nature. Its all about the perspective…

 

You can do many things in Thonon—

Visit Lake Leman or Lake Geneva- The lake located in Rhone alpes region which is shared It is located by the side of Lake leman or Lake Geneva. This lake is so huge and is stretched until Laussane and Montreux. You can walk by the harbor, enjoy the French cuisine and have a relaxing time. There are many things you can do in and around the lake ranging from water sports and visiting small towns using boats. Usually, the boats are more frequently used in summers.

Visit Laussane and Geneva- You can take the boat to visit laussane from thonon but it is little cheap and will cost you aroud 50 Euros to go and come back .

Visit Yviore- It just 15 mins by bus to reach the really beautiful  700 year old medieval village. You can take the Line number 152. In past,the village had a strategic position in terms of defense for a long period of time in 15th century. But now its just a village of farmers and fisherman.

Visit Annecy- Annecy is the wonderland with lots of color which makes you feel like walking in the cartoonik world. Take a walk by the lake and enjoy the cheese. Talking about the cheese in France. It really hard to remember the names of the cheese but I would advice you to try abondance and tomme chees along with selected wine advised by the local people.

I also enjoyed the THURSDAY MARKET in the city center of thonon which offers you lots of local cheese and food to try.

 

 

 

Real Passion for Wildlife and Conservation

For now, I have been taking interviews of the people I have already met and known for a long time. Today, I am going to introduce you to the Monica Fatogun. I met her in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh in 2013 while working for a NGO EduCARE-India. She was working to protect forests in a small and beautiful village called Naddi. All I can say that it’s not an easy job and requires lot of physical and mental strength to be in the field. Also, we also used to share a flat along with two more friends Hanh and Albert. It was one hell of a crazy house. Annnnd the most important thing is that she introduced me to “GAME OF THRONES” and kept asking continuously if I reached a certain episode called the “Red Wedding”. Now I know why she was excited about this awesome series….

Can you please introduce yourself to the readers?

Loved the intro Nikunj, I introduced you to the Game of Thrones and taught you how to cook (a bit anyway)!!

This is Monica Fatogun aka Momo (Shout out to my EduCare squad), Mon, Moh, Monique

Hahah . That`s true.  All i was eating Boiled chicken….

I have tried to explain your work in EduCARE but I am sure you can tell us more and better.

So I worked as the project manager for 2 projects, the Community and Social Forestry project and the Organic farming project. The Community Forestry project involved us reforesting some erosion prone areas around the community. There was a lot of field work involved if you remember, fencing the area, site preparation and all that.

I remembered you had left before we started the mass plantations….

I also worked with the Naddi Community children to plant and adopt fruit trees in their backyard. There were initial resistances to work but I think they came around later. Then we also had community-cleaning drives.

The second project was an organic farming project where we started a herbal garden in the community, growing medicinal plants and all. That required us to go for a 2-3 day workshop at the Himachal Pradesh Agriculture University in Palampur along with some of the children, teaching us the basics of farming and creating compost with worms. I remember it being a very fun experience.

I was at EduCare for 6 memorable months and met some awe-inspiring, friendly peeps that I still keep in touch with till now, I’m sure you do too.

That`s incredible. The things you have done are incredible and requires a lot of patience. We need people like you. Yes, Definitely, I have tried my best to stay in touch with most of the people. 

Can you tell us a bit more about your career and the projects you have been involved in?

Well right from when I was 6, I always knew I liked animals, just didn’t know how I’d get to study it. I did not even know what that career path was called. My parents were open that way and gave me the freedom to choose my career. Anyway, I knew I had to go into the sciences, and then did my bachelors in Environmental Science .It was then I knew the career name before zoning my masters in Wildlife Conservation and Management. After I graduated in 2012 as a wildlife conservationist, I have been working in different aspects of conservation ever since.

I first worked as a camper and a wildlife guide in Shillong, Meghalaya where I took students and tourists to the outskirts of Shillong for camping, taking part in outdoor activities such as mountain biking, rafting, swimming, strawberry picking etc. In the morning, I would take them out to bird watch and see some cool snakes. The camping life inspired me to get all sorts of gear.

I went to Mauritius and worked as a field biologist for the Pink Pigeon Recovery Project for the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation (MWF). That involved me staying in the field (Black River Gorges National Park) 5 times a day continuously for 5 months where we were collecting data on the pink pigeons population, their supplementary feeding breeding, their mortality rate and breeding timelines. I also worked as an animal handler at the foundation’s aviary, feeding and handling some of the injured endemic species like the Pink Pigeon, Mauritian Kestrels, Echo parakeets and Mauritian bats. I also worked in other projects studying some Mauritian reptiles such as the Gunther’s Gecko, the Wolf Snake and Ornate Day Gecko.

Then I was in EduCare with you in those 2 projects before I went to Mumbai to work on a captive breeding project of the Rusty Spotted Cats (RSC) in Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivalli. The RSCs are endemic to just Sri Lanka and India and the Indian RSC population are not fully known, so based on the few that were rescued, there were efforts to increase their numbers by understanding their biology closely. That involved daily observation of the Rusty Spotted Cats in via CCTV cameras installed in their cages. I had responsibility over their maintenance and the addition of environment and food enrichments to their enclosures.

I worked there for a year before returning to Nigeria, my fatherland to work. I presently work as the Programmes Coordinator at the Lekki Urban Forest and Animal Sanctuary Initiative (LUFASI). This is a 20ha urban forest, which is one of the remaining green belts in Lagos state (Which is just like how Mumbai is with all the traffic and being a commercial capital of the country). Compared to India, a lot of work has to be done on raising awareness about environmental issues and biodiversity conservation here and that is what LUFASI strives towards. LUFASI has an active programmes department that protects the forest, nurtures an Animal Sanctuary and has an active Environmental Education unit that strives to create awareness on the phenomenon of climate change to the visitors of the park. People that want more info on this can check the website written below, at the end of the interview

Would like to continue to work in the same area? 

I am presently working in Nigeria and everyone here delves into his or her second passion, or a back up job to make ends meet. Everyone!

Till now I shudder to think of doing something else. Being a wildlife conservationist is all I know! So yes I see myself being in this line of work 10 years from now.

Do you have any hobbies? Do you get enough time to pursue them?

Well I do like to listen to music, attend plays, and watch a live band. I participated in sports but sucked at all except for swimming. I honestly indulge in some when I can but this job can be really demanding, which I love and dislike at times.

What kind of activities you do to stay fit both mentally and physically?

With the amount of walking around, I have to do, that, keeps me fit.

Others are swimming and good music.

How many countries have you traveled? Which is your favorite country and why?

I have been to just 6: Russia, India, Nigeria, Kenya, Scotland and Mauritius. I don’t have a favourite but I will say I felt at home in Mauritius, the island life, good food, warm people and the economy of the country.

Any weird, surprising experience you would like to share….

I won’t say weird but I got a thrilling/adrenaline- pumping experience when I got chased by a huge Rhino once. We went into Kaziranga National Park, Assam because we (at Wildlife Trust of India) got a call that some poachers had injured a male Rhino on the leg. So while we were treating, it jumped up and began chasing us. Mind you, it was tranquilised. The forest guards all ran and pushed me and it was just me and the rhino. Thank God, it stopped running.I found it funny that we hired them to watch over us but they were the first to run.

This sounds really serious. Thank God

You are still alive and saving the planet. I am going to say again that we need people like you in the field….

I slept outside under the moonlight at the foot of a Gurudwara temple when I was in EduCare (Ask Amanpreet!). Can think of these 2 right now

I had no idea about this, but sleeping under the moonlight is not bad yeah… 

What advice will you give to the sophomores or high school students who are planning to pursue their career in wild life research?

Um if you are thinking of coming to Wildlife Conservation for money, do not because everything here is fuelled by passion. You can’t think of wildlife conservation as your last choice just because you did not get through medical exams. So make sure you are mentally ready for that. It also helps to do some volunteer work, you gain confidence and your CV builds up. You should also attend Environmental/Wildlife conservation type conferences. It will be good if you join the YETI Mail list so you can get news of upcoming Workshops or volunteer/work opportunities.

Lastly, what do you want the readers to understand on the importance of wildlife, the reason you are in this?

I want people to understand that we are all a part of nature and each insect or each bird has an ecological function to play. The moment you decide to go on a rampage and kill off an entire species, you leave a void in the intricate web of life and that mostly has an indirect negative impact on us. I will give you an example, India in 2015 lost many vultures because they were feeding on cows treated with Diclofenac. The loss of Vultures led to many diseased carcasses lying around and that brought in carriers such as flies, dogs and rats. These led to an increase in feral dogs and an expenditure of over 1.5 million dollars in hospital bills for children infected with diseases that the vultures would have gotten rid of. Most of the times, the animal’s function go unnoticed until they are very few or extinct. That is what Wildlife Conservationists worldwide are striving to make people understand and it can get difficult in a country (like Nigeria) where any animal in the forest is seen as a delicacy. So we have to know that whatever we do, the way we develop, the change in weather patterns, our ignorance, dependence on non-renewables, all play a role in the survival of our animals and without them, we can be facing a scary future.

I read this spoken word by Prince Ea : Dear Future Generations and there is a line that just touches me , it says

And to betray nature is to betray us,
to save nature, is to save us.
Because whatever you’re fighting for:
Racism, Poverty, Feminism, Gay Rights,
or any type of Equality.
It won’t matter in the least,
because if we don’t all work together to save the environment,
we will be equally extinct.”

What’s the point of talking about the interior decor of the house when the ground it rests on is falling apart?

Thanks.

momo

Check out LUFASI at www.lufasi.org

Lufasipark on instagram and Fb.

Monica can be reached on : monica_fatogun@yahoo.co.uk

Instagram: Mon_thewildling

Interview With “Little Scientist”

Here is the interview with Little scientist “Nishtha”. I met her couple of times during my undergraduate studies and if i am not wrong we met during our college festival. She is an incredible person with lots of courage to do things differently and taking the lead. She is smart, fit, loves adventure and travelling.  I am sure reading her interview will give you a pump to follow your dreams.

Can you please introduce yourself  to the readers?

I am writing this from Australia as I am pursuing a doctorate degree here. I am an Engineer with an M.tech degree in Nanotechnology. Science, Food, Travel and Dance are 4 keywords to best describe me.

So, you are doing Doctorate studies. What motivated you to pursue Doctorate studies?

I have always been a mad lover of science. Since Grade 4, I had Discovery channel on my TV from 8 am to 11 am. This continued till my teenage. Watching the magic of science unfold on TV made me curious to experience it in person. Thats when I went to pursue B.tech and M.tech in Nanotechnology. Where there is will there is way! I got accepted for an intenrship in University of South Australia. My supervisor was impressed with my work and offered me a PhD position. After my internship, I thought to pursue my love for music and dance and go to mumbai! Funnt I know! But that was necessary, I reckon, becaue I realised how badly I miss my laboratories and working for science. Thats when I decided to accept the PhD offer and here I am!

I believe that you are working in the area of plasma science and reactive species. Can you tell us about it in general?

Many people confuse plasma as blood plasma. I, on the other hand, work with the physics plasma- some people may call it plasma gas. You may have heard of plasma TV, for instance. Plasma gas is basically the fourth state of matter (solid, liquid and gas being the other three). Simply speaking when you break solid atoms, liquid state is generated. Breakdown of liquid atoms leads to gaseous state. Now imagine breaking the atoms of gas- that is plasma. We get a cocktail of charged particles, ions, reactive species, UV, etc. in form of a plasma gas. In my PhD, I plan to use the “reactive oxygen and nitrogen species” present in plasma for medical purposes such as wound healing, wound decontamination, cancer therapeutics, etc.

What are you doing different in this area that is increasing the overall impact? Can you share some simple experiment? May be a Reader could get interested to pursue research in the similar area?

Plasma medicine is very novice. Although quite a few plasma devices are available in market for surface decontamination and cosmetics, we have a long way to go to use the devices on human body for therapeutics. Little is known about the mechanism of plasma delivered reactive species into the tissues and tissue fluid. Here we are talking about a cocktail of reactive species including H2O2, NO2, NO3, NO, HOCl, superoxide and hydroxyl radicals. So basic questions we need to address is- which reactive specie is being delivered into the skin, how much concentration is being delivered, are there reactive spcies washed away by the constant blood circulation, can we use the same device to kill cancer cells and proliferate cells for wound healing, what doses to be given?

Not an experiment, I would like to share the idea which led to the excitement and faith for this topic in me. Since ages people have credited reactive species/oxidants as the cause of all the diseases in humans. Free radical theory of Aging in 1993 adhered to the concept of “oxidants are bad”. This led to development of “anti-oxidants are good for you!” products in market. But how is it possible when Reactive species play a key role in human evolution and functioning of cellular pathways necessary for human body. Curiosity led scientists to test  whether the reactive species/oxidants are cause of disease or just an effect from the disease. And intesntigly the results were positive. A small dose of reactive specie can be helpful for the biological processes. If you are more ambitious and want a noble prize, how about prove that “reactive species doses can enhance innate immuntiy”? Imagine it like a vaccine, an enough dose of reactive species to trigger the defence system of humans!

Can you tell us about your process of finding the research interests or forming basic structure of your research project?

The secret lies in “reading”. And especially when the field is very new and your contribution will also matter. I read the good research papers and figure out what gaps in our knowldge exist. Then formulate an experimental plan and sit with supervisor! Also, when you read, your scientific writing skills improve. This is essential to publush papers!

Would like to continue to work in the same area?

Yes! It is a simple and honest yes.

I think we had talk enough about the work and science.

Do you have any hobbies? Do you get enough time to pursue them?

I love to paint, dance and sing. I also like to learn new skills if time permits- be it a new language or rock climbing. Always eager to learn new things! As a PhD researcher in my final year, I don`t get a lot of time unlike 1st and 2nd year. Therefore, I try to do activities which can be included easily in the routine.

What kind of acitivities you do to stay fit both mentally and physically?

I think good food and good company are prerequisites to feel good. I cook with my friends every now and then. For physical being, I have tried various things- aerial yoga, yoga, pole fitness, rock climbing, hiking, etc. I am lover of forests and greens , so hiking or bush walking is my favourite activity.

How many countries have you travelled? Which is your favorite country and why?Any weird, surprising experience you would like to share?

I have been lucky to visit 9 countries in past 1.5 years- all credits to my research collaborations expanded all over the world! I don`t have a favorite country because they are unique and special in their own. But one monument which stole my heart was Eiffel Tower. I spent 5 hrs on a stretch just staring it! Speaking of weird, Japan is a country of surprises and inspiration. There are developing countries, developed countries and Japan. Too advanced to be true! A balance between technology and nature, modernity and customs. Make it your mission to travel Japan once!

What advice will you give to the sophomores or high school students who are Planning to pursue there career in science?

If you find science difficult to understand and painful to pursue, there is something wrong with the teachers or resources you are referring! Try to watch animations videos or youtube channels like ASAP science to see the real beauty of it!

If you have more questions, you can contact her through Instagram and the google scholar profile.

My Instagram page is nishtha.gaur or  ‘Lit Scientist’.

 

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My Google scholar profile is https://scholar.google.com.au/citations?user=nYfIHTMAAAAJ&hl=en

 

Crazy Basque

 

Basques are the only people who live or have land in two countries i.e. northern spain and southwest france. I was in Bilbao for a week living with the people of Bilbao/Basque and getting to know as much as i could in a week. I think the best way to know about a culture is getting to know the people themselves. The location is truly spectacular with ridges, coast, bay and mountain ranges.  The Basque language is one of the oldest European language with no written record until 19th century, also known as Euskara. Surprisingly, it is totally unrelated to Spanish language and have no common language family. Bilbao is the main city of Basque and walking through this small city of around a million people and over 6000 bars and cafes made me feel like walking in a dream or perhaps drunk wonderland. I think it would be right to call Basque a crazy, amazing region. Just imagine for a moment that they were the first ones to start commercial Whale and Cod hunting back in 11th century in the bay of basque and were out in the Atlantic by 16th century with boats made out of Wood.

There are 3 main languages in Spain; Catalan spoken in Catalnoia Province, Euskara in Basque and Spanish in rest of Spain. I am not sure if there are other languages as well. For now, here are words to say goodbye in 3 languages

Adios (Spanish); Adeo (Catalan); Agur (Euskara);

Few things about Basque apart from lots of parties.

ANGULAS O GULAS- Angulas the most expensive Basque cuisine mostly or only found in the bay of Basque. They are baby eels that cost around 1000 Euros per kg. The word Angulas was invented by the fine businessmen of Basque region and surprisingly it took the other Spanish regions around a century discover this incredible cuisine. And yes, I am sure most of the travellers wont spend 1000 euros to eat a particular type of sea food. So for them there is an alternative or rather a duplicate of this fish known as Gulas that are pretty cheap to buy and you can get them for 3-4 Euros per 150 grams. But most of the people describe the taste being almost similar.

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BILBAO TILE – There is also unique thing about the sidewalk pattern of Bilbao which was invented in Bilbao to meet the needs of rainy days in Bilbao. Its now been exported in all over the world and is the representative image and the symbol of bilbao.

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Basque Tattoo- I also saw a similar tattoo on the hands of a few old people that I came across which I think may have many meanings. But one man told me that four dots describe the four walls and center dot describes a man stuck in between these walls during the hard times in Basque. Usually, it was symbol for all the people who went to jail for a political issue between Basque people and rest of Spain.

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But i am gonna bring more interesting details about BASQUE in late 2017. So wait for it!DSC_6440

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