Littlethings4all's Blog

A blog for people who love life

Curiosities: Who invented the fire extinguisher?

By Eddy Montilla.

EXTINGHISHER

A fire extinguisher, a small portable device with chemicals inside for putting out small fires, has saved many houses from collapsing and many people from dying. But who invented it?

     Ctesibius (or Ktesibios) Of Alexandria, a Greek physicist and inventor who lived most probably between years 285 and 222 BC, had already invented a force pump for water more than 2,000 years ago. This hand pump could discharge water to a fire. However, there seems to be a consensus that British Captain George William Manby (1765-1864) invented the first modern fire extinguisher in 1813. He is credited with the invention of a copper cylinder which held three gallons of a fire-extinguishing solution (pearl ash/potassium carbonate) under pressure. The compressed solution was forced out through a tube onto the fire. He worked on his project when he witnessed a fire and saw the firefighters’ difficulties to reach upper areas of burning buildings. George William Manby also worked on a mechanism for catching people who jumped from blazing buildings safely.

Copyright 2015 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights reserved.

May 6, 2015 Posted by | Articles, Blogging, Curiosities, Education, general knowledge, Journalism, natural science(s), science | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Curiosities: Where is the world’s largest salt flat?

By Eddy Montilla.

Salar de Uyuni

Salar de Uyuni, with its more than 10,580 square kilometers, is the world’s largest salt flat and it is located in Potosi, in southwest Bolivia. No one knows for sure how much salt makes up Salar de Uyuni, but it is estimated at 10 billion tonnes of salt.

     Salar de Uyuni is one of the most incredible natural wonder in the world. It is the flattest place on Earth to a point that scientist use it to calibrate satellite sensors. One of the most surreal landscapes can be seen there, especially during the raining season (from December to March) when water turns Salar de Uyuni into a shallow salt lake (a couple of inches) that perfectly mirrors the sky. This enormous salt flat becomes what must be the world’s biggest mirror. The mirror image of the clouds and sky extend as far as you can see, creating an exotic backdrop for photographers and an invisible horizon where there is nothing to distinguish earth from the heavens.

     Since everything here is salt, you can also find a hotel made, of course, of salt.

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

     Several thousand years ago, different lakes covered the plateau there. Around 15,000 years ago, Minchin Lake covered most of the area where Salar de Uyuni is, but the water from the lake had evaporated significantly leaving deposits of different chemical elements and minerals that over several thousand years made the salt crust that we can see today. The crust is comprised of 11 layers which vary in thickness. In many areas, the salt crusts are more than 10 meters thick.

     Salt is extracted from Salar of Uyuni. However, the greatest threat to the environment is lithium, a metal used in batteries for mobile phones, computers, etc. It is said that this area contains from 50 to 70% of the world’s lithium reserves, so nobody knows if men will destroy one more time Mother Nature.

Copyright 2015 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights reserved.

May 5, 2015 Posted by | Articles, Blogging, Countries, Curiosities, Education, general knowledge, Geography, Geology, Journalism, natural science(s), Travel, trip | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thought of the day: Forward

By Eddy Montilla.

REGRET

In your darkest hours, move forward. In your happiest moments, move forward and look back to extend your hand to others, but never, never to show regret about something that could have happened, but it didn’t.

Copyright 2015 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights reserved.

May 4, 2015 Posted by | Blogging, coaching, Education, Family, Inspiration, Life, Perseverance, Personal Experience, Personal Motivation, philosophy, Phrase, Quotes, Spirituality, Thoughts, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Last Love Poems: You

By Eddy Montilla.

HI3G0001

What happened? You are not the same person you’ve always been,

in your eyes, where I saw the feeling of love,

today, I can feel disdain, I can feel contempt.

I used to see the gladioli watered by your smile,

lilies that talked to me and were always at my side.

And what can I see today? A cold and indifferent face.

What happened? Why did you change?

You don’t dress in white like the flowers of the clover,

you don’t walk along the beach at sunset or twilight,

you don’t greet the skylark, you don’t thank him for his song

and that’s why I could see the presage of your goodbye.

You said once that you remain deaf to my words and pleas,

that time caused irreparable damage to your column of love,

wounds that will not heal with words of forgiveness.

But it was not you who asked for time?

It was not you who asked for distance

with your glacial expressions and one-syllable answers,

with attitudes that reveal a total lack of love?

That hurt me, that killed me

and made me taste the bitter presage of the beginning of the end.

You said once that in love the word to forget does not exist

and come haughtily to ask: “Who am I for you today?”

You are a beautiful story,

memories of our love that I already forgot.

Copyright 2015 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights reserved.

May 4, 2015 Posted by | Articles, Arts, Blogging, Culture, Inspiration, Life, Literature, Love, Thoughts, Writing | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

(4) Four steps to write a curriculum vitae or résumé

By Eddy Montilla.

CURRICULUM

Those times when people were working all or almost all their life for the same company are today a thing of the past. Even in countries like Japan where workers where clung to the same company until they retire, you can see people these days looking for new jobs. And you are right there… in the middle of a world economic order cruelly designed to destroy or create jobs in the direction that best serves particular individual or group interests. Since you are not the son of a very rich man, owner of a company that you will run sooner or later, since your father does not have very influential friends in high circles, you have to apply for a job like any other person, either because you are unemployed or because you are looking for a better future. Because your search for a job starts from your curriculum vitae (CV) or resumé, let’s see some steps that will help you to do this better and… Good luck!

Step 1: Make a good impression with a clear, easy to read and well laid out CV

     Remember that before meeting you, an employer will meet your CV or résumé first. A bad impression created by the appearance of your CV may be enough to decide to scan through it quickly or … skip it because we are talking about a person who has more than 100 CVs on his or her desk and the unpleasant task to deal with them. So, your CV should be carefully designed to have a good aesthetic appearance. You can find several templates on the Internet that will help you to make your CV look great, but if you cannot do it yourself, get some help or pay some money to get something good (it is something that you will only pay once, but can keep forever, so it is a good deal, isn’t it?). If your CV looks horrible, it will probably end up inside a waste-paper basket. I recommend you to pay attention to the following points:

  • Font size: Avoid too big font sizes (you only have one or two pages) and very small font sizes too (they cause fatigue). Personally, I prefer between a 10 and 12 point size.
  • Extension of your document: The main difference between a resume and curriculum vitae is what is included. A resume is usually shorter and it contains your level of education, experience, skills, etc. while a CV includes other aspects like publications, research experience, affiliations, etc. If you apply for a position as a teacher at a university, for example, you should send a CV. It also depends on where you are. It seems that in Europe, employers expect to receive CVs in situations where their American counterparts would accept a resume. However, no matter what you write, a CV or resume, keep it between one and two pages.
  • Format: There is no a “best and specific way” to structure a CV or résumé, but to be concise is absolutely necessary (the employer will thank you. Do not forget the 100 CVs on the desk!). In order to be concise, you will have to reduce the number of words and show relevant and specific ideas instead. And how do you do that? With the use of short paragraphs, bullets and boxes. It is advisable to highlight headings and relevant information like job titles and other things related to work experience and education in bold type too.

Step 2: Write all your information in a proper and logical order

     For an employer, your skills, references, etc. are irrelevant if he does not even know who you are or what you can do. So, the golden rule here is first things first.

  • Personal details: Your name, address, telephone number and e-mail. In USA and UK, for example, curricula vitae do not usually include a photograph since it could lead to rejection on grounds of ethnicity, sex or age (in plain English, it could lead to discrimination). If you are applying for a position in other countries, please get information about it because in Latin America, Japan and countries in Europe it is a common practice to include it. As for your e-mail, it is preferable to use your own name (Johnsmith@xxxx.com) to a hidden one (keeprolling@xxxx.com) because it shows that you are a person who has a lot of personality and strength of character.
  • Education, professional training, certification: Write here all information on Bachelor, Master, Ph.D., postdoctoral or other relevant studies, in reverse chronological order, i.e., most recent first. It also includes degree awarded or anticipated, name of institution, location, date, etc. Skills (languages, computing, etc.) can be part of this section.
  • Work experience: Describe your professional and work experience connected with the job that you are seeking. With the use of tables or bullets, you can create different sections to highlight details. Organize the jobs you have had in reverse chronological order within each section, i.e., most recent first. Do not forget to include beginning and terminating dates, job title, name of company and location. Use action verbs (supervised, promoted, etc.) to describe your skills, jobs, and accomplishments in your CV since they express achievements or something a person does in a concise and persuasive manner.
  • Publication (usually for CVs): You should include the title, publisher, place of publication, volume, ISBN, date of publication, number of pages, etc.
  • Conferences and presentations (usually for CVs): Make a list of conference seminars, presentations and professional workshops.
  • Professional affiliations: List organizations you belong to and include current memberships, with dates.
  • Volunteer experience: You can list here the organizations for which you volunteered or add brief detail about your contributions.
  • Hobbies and interests: Insofar as you can do, show hobbies and interests with relevance to academic life and the job you are seeking.
  • References: This point is not strictly necessary. If you are running short of space, just write: “References are available on request.” In case you decide to write about references, supply the name, title and contact information of your referees and be sure to ask their permission before submitting their names.

Step 3: Be accurate in its content and be careful with spelling mistakes

     Your CV is not a book of 120 pages; it has only 2, so keep the number of mistakes in zero or at least below the acceptable limit and this limit is … one! Many employers will probably move on to the next CV as soon as he or she detects a second mistake. In some cases, for example, if you are applying for a teaching position, even a single mistake is unacceptable. There is no margin for error there.

Step 4: Be honest

     A lie might help you to get a job, but it will not prevent you from being fired as soon as the employer finds out what’s going on there. Be honest because honesty is as highly appreciated as your curriculum or résumé.

Copyright 2015 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights reserved.

May 2, 2015 Posted by | Articles, Blogging, coaching, Economics, Education, Journalism, Life, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let’s talk about movies: American Sniper (2014) shot me and…I liked it!

By Eddy Montilla.

Rating: 8.4/10

Directed by: Clint Eastwood.

Written by: Jason Hall, based on the book Chris Kyle written by Chriss Kyle, Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice.

Genre: War, biography and drama.

MPAA Rating: R (Contain some adult material. Parents are urged to know more about the film before taking their young children with them).

Starring: Bradley Cooper (Chris Kyle) and Sienna Miller (Taya).

Running Time: 134 minutes.

Clint Eastwood is like a good bottle of cabernet sauvignon that keeps the fresh, bright fruit flavors of the grape intact. With American Sniper (2014), he only needed one minute to make me hold my breath, catch my attention and intensify my senses. Yes, only one minute, the first minute when Bradley Cooper (Chris Kyle), the most accomplished and lethal sniper in U.S. military history, is aiming his weapon at an Iraqi young boy holding a grenade near his platoon. A quick decision should be taken: To kill him or wait and see if the boy only wanted to hand the grenade over to the American soldiers.

     I cannot tell you what Kyle did.

     But I can tell you what Eastwood did: A clever and incredible match-cut that will make a comparison (and somehow a parallelism) between this nerve-racking scene and the moment when he was learning how to shoot in his childhood. Observe that moment carefully. And during the movie, observe how some marksmen took their job in Iraq as another day in another war while Chris Kyle looked almost to be obsessed with protecting the soldiers’ lives. Observe the sandstorm and the uncertainty about Kyle: He could make it or not. Then you will be able to understand why I rated this absorbing and tense movie higher than other film critics.

     American Sniper (2014) is based on a true story, on a book written by Chris Kyle and other authors. Kyle served four tours in the Iraq War and was (is) considered an American hero. Since the plot is well known, to make the movie look original is very difficult indeed. Letters from Iwo Jima (2006) and Flags of our Fathers (2006) speak themselves about Eastwood’s ability to direct war films. With American Sniper (2014) we should add another great film to his brilliant career.

This article was originally published in the digital newspaper World And Opinion with Eddy Montilla.

Copyright 2015 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.

March 26, 2015 Posted by | Articles, Arts, Blogging, Culture, Journalism, Movies | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Good Laugh: Snow?

By Eddy Montilla.

DENTURE

“Where does snow come from?” A five-year-old girl asked his father.

“As all white and pure things, snow comes from heaven, sweetie pie.” The father replied tenderly.

“And this thing too?”

“No!!” The father said angrily this time. “This is not white any more and when your granny is sleeping, don’t remove her denture!!”

Copyright 2015 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.

March 24, 2015 Posted by | Blogging, Fun, humor, Jokes, laugh | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thought of the day: Growth

By Eddy Montilla.
ENVY

Whenever you get up and see that you are about to burst with things to do, instead of getting angry or depressed, you should be happy and sing a song because to be very busy is a visible and irrefutable evidence that you are moving forward and are growing.

Copyright 2015 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.

March 24, 2015 Posted by | Blogging, coaching, Inspiration, Life, Opinion, Perseverance, Personal Experience, Personal Motivation, philosophy, Phrase, Quotes, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

EUROPE: Where free speech is mistaken for satire

By Eddy Montilla.

If you ask someone about the meaning of free speech, you will probably hear that…”It is the right to speak freely”. And this might be an acceptable answer coming from a person in the street, but it is absolutely inexcusable coming from the lips of a journalist. If you think about what happened in France where an excessive satire, as a result of a wrong concept about what free speech really means, caused the death of 12 people at the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, then the conclusion is only one: These days the media and numerous journalists’ s perception of free speech is as ingenous as people’s in the street, with the great difference that they can cause more and serious problems.

     Free speech does not mean to say whatever you want, whenever you want at the moment you want. In Europe (in France, England, Spain, etc.) since far-off times there is a bad practice of making an extensive and poor use of satire and sarcasm to express ideas. This is neither journalism nor free speech, but inability to show, hold and refute arguments, in short, a concealed way to insult, that is, cheap journalism.

     Since there are people whose job seems to be to understand the opposite of what it means, let me repeat what we have written many times: Any form of terrorism is brutal, unacceptable and abominable, but people have focused their attention on the terrorist attack only and that prevented them from viewing this situation with a critical eye. We all know how sensitive all people around the world might become when it comes to religion, then why such extremes of satire?

     Each of us might define the concept of free speech in a very different way, but in journalism, you only need nine simple words: To(1) be(2) able(3) to(4) say (5) and (6) defend(7) the(8) truth(9). Let us not confuse free speech with bad journalistic practices because water and gas-oil might look similar at first sight. However, if you drink the first one you have life, but if you drink the second one, you know exactly where you will go.

This article was originally published in the digital newspaper World And Opinion with Eddy Montilla.

Copyright 2015 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.

February 16, 2015 Posted by | Articles, Blogging, Countries, Education, Journal, Journalism, News, Opinion, Social, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Curiosities: What is the color of the Sun?

By Eddy Montilla.

SUN

At first sight, this question looks like something very silly (which makes me giggle and makes the question itself more interesting too!). After all, who has not painted a yellow sun in his or her life? Who has not seen an orange sunset?

     The Sun is not yellow, orange or red. What you see with your naked eye or what is captured by your camera is not always or necessarily right and true. If beauty, as the old saying goes, is in the eye of the beholder, colors too!! The Sun looks yellow because, compared to other colors, yellow is the brightest wavelength from the Sun that can be seen directly with your eyes or through the lens of your camera. So the Earth’s atmosphere and pollution lead to the common misconception of a yellow sun and orange or red sunsets, etc. In essence, the Sun is not white either. It looks like that when viewed from the space because it emits light in all colors and when all these colors come together, we see what scientists call “white light”, which is the name given to what the human eye sees when all the colors that make up the visible light spectrum are combined. So the Sun is not white and this color is the result of all colors emitted by it.

     When the Sun’s light is passed through a device like a prism, for example, it emits all C O L O R S (or almost all of them because this part seems to be a little bit unclear yet.). So, if the Sun emits all colors, we can say that the color of the Sun is in fact a mixture of all of them.

     Now you know the answer, but give me a favor a take a look at this picture of a sunrise that I took a couple of days ago in the Caribbean Sea.

SUNRISE

     If you have the opportunity to see what I saw on that day with your family, with someone you love or alone if you want, forget everything you read in this blog and keep thinking that…The Sun is yellow!!!!!!

Copyright 2015 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.

January 24, 2015 Posted by | Astronomy, Blogging, Culture, Curiosities, Education, Journalism, science | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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