Curiosities: What are the tiny bumps (nodes) on the tongue for?

August 16, 2018

By Eddy Montilla.

If you put an object over a smooth inclined surface, it will probably slide, which is less likely to happen if the surface were rough, right? That gives us a first clue of the functions of those nodes: They give the tongue its rough texture. The scientific name of the bumps are papillae. They also play an important role in perceiving the four traditional and well-known tastes (sweet, sour, bitter, and salty), and including a fifth taste too, called umami, which is not new, but it still unfamiliar for many despite completing the category of basic taste in food with the four tastes mentioned before. Umami is a Japanese term corresponding to the savoury flavour of glutamates, a type of amino acid, and it can be found in matured beef, Parmesan cheese, etc. In short, thanks to those nodes, food is enjoyable, since we can perceive the taste of what we are eating.

Copyright 2018 All rights are reserved.


Last love poems: My first love

August 15, 2018

By Eddy Montilla.

My first love was limpid water,

a mountain spring of crystalline purity,

always fresh for being so natural,

always present for me and sometimes for the sky.

To tell her “I love you”, I never needed

the obscure language of our modern poets

their “recherché style” that makes them feel depleted,

unable to paint the real of reality.

Perhaps, that’s why I clung and always cling

to the simple beauty of the simple word,

the anchor of life, the one that never lies

and talks to all of us with its open heart,

with nothing to hide.

Perhaps, that’s why I used to look her in the eye

to tell them the daily things that people want to hear:

“Good morning”, “I love you”, “See you tomorrow, dear”.

My first love smiled in the morning, afternoon and night

as, today, nobody can, and sometimes, for me, she also cried.

Yes… Why not? I still remember those nights

when she curled up around my body

and made me feel a human being with traces of immortality,

thanks to what it seemed to be our undying love.

She was not perfect; nobody is.

At times, full of groundless fears,

she yelled, she cried and kept for minutes scowling at me.

And I didn’t care that because she was

most of all I longed to have.

My first love left home one day

on an April afternoon and with nothing to say.

She just left on that day…

And, today, it’s no use looking for reasons.

But maybe it was because of fate or because of life

that wisely reminds us to keep free

what we love most to avoid pain, to avoid greed.

She went away as natural as wind,

as rivers flow into the sea,

with a sibylline smile that presaged the end, a farewell to love.

My first love gave me everything

and only asked the word “nothing” in return.

Leaves fall each autumn from my rosebush

in the hope of being able to sprout again,

but, with her or anyone else, it didn’t happen that way

because love, I mean, the first and true love, is only one:

What comes after that is not love, but fear,

fear that we find it hard to resist,

fear of living alone,

of losing everything,

of living without peace.

Copyright 2018 All rights are reserved.

A good laugh: Unwanted hiccups

August 14, 2018

By Eddy Montilla.

“Wake, sir. Your wife will not have triplets. That’s only a trick to get rid of her hiccups.”

“His not my husband, doctor, he’s his best friend!”

Copyright 2018 All rights are reserved.

Tell me the answer: What is the difference between a break-up when you are young and when you are an adult?

August 13, 2018

By Eddy Montilla.

A break-up when you are young means the end of the world for you. When you are an adult, it means the beginning of a new one.

Copyright 2018 All rights are reserved.

How should Latin American countries act regarding Trump’s ongoing trade war with China?

August 9, 2018

By Eddy Montilla.

Cautiously, but with firm actions.

This important question for many countries in Latin America can be quickly answered with only five words and one line. The difficult part, however, is to make that line real, since inertia seems to be “the driving force” that moves a lot of people and governments in that region, which means that people and governments do not make a move forward until something forces them to do so. Under such a way of thinking and life, it is not surprising that others take always the lead in the global market and other areas.

President Donald Trump’s ongoing trade war with China should be seen like a rare octopus with each of its eight long tentacles making significant impact on a particular country or region. Recently, President Trump announced, via the US Treasury Department, the imposition of 25 percent tariffs on $16 billion worth of Chinese goods, tariffs that will hit multiple industries that work with plastic, chemical products, motorcycles, electronic products, etc., in his attempt to place tariffs on a total of $50 billion. China, for its part, might impose its own tariffs on $60 billion of US products. We all know that the middle class in Canada, Mexico, China and USA are likely to be the hardest hit if this war trade because most companies cannot absorb those tariffs and they will be forced to increase the price of their products, which means that people’s wallets will be thinner. Under this context and conflict, countries in Latin America should be right in the center, without taking sides because the rich fight, but they never kill themselves.

To remain in the center, however, does not mean to take a passive stance at all, but there is where the region could obtain greater benefits and avoid more problems. Where you can see economic crisis, you can also find opportunities and development. The question here is if Latin American governments are doing something to find them. Their opportunity is in the war trade itself.

Whenever President Donald Trump impose tariffs on China’s products, Xi Jinping, the current President of the People’s Republic of China will not send him his regards, but he will act in the same way. Latin American countries produce some of those products subject to tariffs. Then, why does not region work as a “good negotiator” by selling those products at better price to the most affected side? We know that to put this idea into practice is hundreds of times more difficult that to write it in a couple of lines, but it is not unfeasible. For decades, those countries that are fighting economically today, have taken advantage of Latin American and African countries in many ways through unfair trade and exploitation. We are not feeding the idea of using the same vile practices they have used against the region for years, but, within the legal and fair framework, we can try to balance the scales that have been a broken system at their favor for a long, long time.

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

Copyright 2018 All rights are reserved.

Photo: By courtesy of Daniel Ramirez under the criteria of Creative Commons (Flickr, 8-9-2018).

A good laugh: Adorable child

August 8, 2018

By Eddy Montilla.

A child goes to see his first movie at the cinema and without his parents. One minute after he bought his movie ticket, he went back to the box office to buy a new one.

“One more, please”.


“I think the gentleman in front of that door is very angry at me. When I handed my ticket to him, he tore it! “

Copyright 2018 All rights are reserved.

Thought of the day: Responsibility

August 7, 2018

By Eddy Montilla.

The feeling of responsibility in today’s society is like perfume: The person who wears it is the one who perceives it least.

Copyright 2018 All rights are reserved.