From UT to Utah (part three)

Hi again, guys! Three months have already gone by, time is flying here in the States. I think that is a very good sign!

Let’s start with science. I am very happy to tell you that I finally have got results, really good results if I have to be honest. So together with my supervisors here in Utah and in Twente, we have decided to run for a publication. Our manuscript is going to be oriented towards the analysis of the nucleation rates of oxygen nanobubbles at nanoelectrodes.

As far as the figures are concerned: I’m sorry to disappoint you, but you will need to wait until I prepare a formal presentation or until I’m finished publishing. You know, we need to avoid plagiarism or somebody taking our ideas! But I promise you it is going to be super interesting. The science we are doing is very beautiful, the figures for the manuscript are almost ready and the main text is being written right now. I don’t think the final version is going to be ready before I leave, because it takes some time to get everybody to an agreement – especially when physics and chemistry are combined in the same paper. As you know, physicists and chemists speak different languages in the way the express and show results: chemists would worry more about the combination of different elements to achieve a final product accounting for the energy and thermodynamics, while physicist would try to explain with formulas and equations the effects of the reactions and their consequences. Anyway, we understand things differently, but working together for a final common goal is more that achievable!

Zion National Park

My personal life is going great as well, even though I haven’t got around as much as before to visiting new places because of the heat. Summer has really begun here and it is becoming really warm, warmer than 40˚C. Not having a car is kind of a drawback, because the distances in this country are huge. Moving around can be quite difficult. However, I managed to join a group of guys from the university to go on a trip to Zion at the beginning of the month, one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. We went rappelling, an amazing experience for me. And then we went into the Narrows (see picture above), an incredible trail in a river in a canyon: the walls are so high that you feel totally a dwarf compared to them.

Luckily for me, I got the opportunity to enjoy two important dates here: Independence Day (4th of July) and Pioneer Day (24th of July). On Independence Day, Americans celebrate their independence from the British Empire. All the streets are packed with American flags and in the night, there are fireworks everywhere! I went up to one of the mountains surrounding the city and you could see fireworks all along the valley. It was beautiful.

On Pioneer Day, they celebrate the day in which the Mormon pioneers coming from the East entered the Valley and founded Salt Lake City, the sacred city for Mormons. There are many celebrations around this date, but the main event is a huge parade where people – sometimes in carriages and all – wear the same clothes the pioneers used to wear when they came into the valley. In the evening, there are again fireworks all along the valley.

Pioneer Day is actually the most celebrated day in Utah. Both Mormons and non-Mormons celebrate it, but the non-Mormons call it Pie-and Beer Day, which I find a really funny way of renaming a Mormon celebration. Non-Mormons then meet together to eat pie for dinner and drink a bunch of cheap beer while watching the fireworks. You need to be careful however, Mormons do not like that others rename their celebration in that way, especially because alcohol is forbidden. The people drink alcohol in those very big red plastic glasses, hiding the alcohol… if somebody asks, they claim it is juice; a fact that I find hilarious.

Pioneer Day in Utah

Only one month left here. My expectations: get the manuscript as good as ready. And for sure, fully enjoy my last days in Utah! I have gained quite a lot of knowledge about the way of living here, so now it is your time to ask me any curiosities that you may have. Do you want to know more about my daily life? Do you want to know how Americans have fun in the States? How Mormons have fun? Just ask!

See you!