Tell me the answer: What is the difference between learning and memorizing?

July 20, 2017

By Eddy Montilla.

Memorize things and they will be at your side for some days at most. Learn things and they will go with you for many years or perhaps forever.

Copyright 2017 littlethingsforall.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.


Curiosities: How many gallons (liters) of water can a camel drink in one go ?

July 20, 2017

By Eddy Montilla.

Thanks to commercial globalization and technological advances, we can have almost any fruit at any time today. In my case, when I was a child, I could only have apples over the winter months. Since I like apples a lot, I used to eat them as many as I could. Either I look like camels or camels look like me, the truth is that these animals are in similar position than I was because of their habitat. One of the desert’s scarcest thing is water, so they try to drink this vital liquid as much as possible when it is in front of them because nobody knows how many days will pass without drinking it again. How much? Well, “just” 30 gallons, that is, 135 liters (considering an imperial gallon as unit) in less than 15 minutes.

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Thought of the day: The wind

July 19, 2017

By Eddy Montilla.

Whenever you feel the wind caressing your skin, remember the great lesson that it is trying to teach you: The most important things cannot be seen, but felt.

Copyright 2017 littlethingsforall.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.


Curiosities: Why do leaves change colors in autumn?

July 18, 2017

By Eddy Montilla.

AUTUMN-2

This is one of the few moments when the reverse can give you a better answer and lead you to the place you want to go faster. Then, let’s see first why most leaves are green in fall. Leaves are green during the growing season thanks to chlorophyll, a green substance that not only provides the plants with that color, but helps them grow and keeps them alive by absorbing light from the sun. We eat to live; plants do the same too, but they neither have a mouth nor can take carbohydrates from cereal, potatoes, etc., as we do. Instead, green plants use a chemical process that turns carbon dioxide and water into food (carbohydrates) by using energy coming from sunlight. This process is called photosynthesis and it would not be possible without the chlorophyll we mentioned before and, of course, sunlight.

Green chlorophyll coexists with red, yellow and orange pigment molecules called carotenoids in a leaf. In autumn, because of the temperature and, especially, because of the much lower proportion of sunlight, the photosynthesis process does not continue, the green chlorophyll fails and the red, yellow and orange carotenoids emerge giving the leaves the beautiful color we enjoy in that season. Luckily, not all trees turn their green leaves into red, yellow and orange. Broad-leaved plants like those famous Canadian sugar maples or Japanese ginkgo are more sensitive to change while evergreens can protect their leaves better.

Copyright 2017 littlethingsforall.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.


Curiosities: Why do camels have humps and what is inside of them?

July 17, 2017

By Eddy Montilla.

Those camels you can see in a zoo have for granted the food and water they need to live. In return, they have to pay a high price: To live in captivity. Except for them, most camels live in desert areas where food and water are difficult to find. How difficult? It might take days until camels can find something to eat and water to drink. Since these animals can drink an enormous amount of water, many people think that their humps are full of this liquid, which is not the right answer.

The camel’s humps are like a small mound of fat that are used as food when this animal is in a precarious position for the lack of it. This fat can reach up to 80 pounds (36 kilograms). When a camel uses its hump (or humps, depending on what kind of camel is) as supply food, the hump will change its size and will shrink until the camel can store fat there again by eating almost every type of vegetation (you cannot choose when you are in a desert!): dried leaves and dried grass, thorny vegetation, salt bush, etc., and keep walking even for weeks in cool weather.

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Lessons of life: The lesson of the hug

July 14, 2017

By Eddy Montilla.

Yesterday, I saw a mother walked a couple of meters away from her little daughter to make space first and later, they both ran to hold each other in a warm embrace: A sublime example of what sublime and maternal love means. At dusk, I found myself in front of a situation very different from the first story: When a twelve-year-old boy tried to hold his mother’s hand, she replied, unable to hide her annoyance, in this way: “Don’t touch me! Kimochi warui (That’s unpleasant and weird). The first thing that came to my mind was a very simple question: “How can a mother deny her son a simple hug?”

Since I was a child, I have been living immersed in cross-cultural environment and that’s why I weigh things first, carefully considered them from the place and point of view of those people who did them instead of making value judgements from my own culture. In Japan, for example, physical contact is almost imperceptible and the family circle size is so small that can be drawn with a penny. Customs, other people’s eyes, what people might think and the acceptance of social rules without being able to reply exerted undoubtedly a strong influence on that mother’s decision.

Once at home, I was thinking about all the times I have been back to my country and how police officers struggled trying to persuade an old man to wait behind the line until the passengers left through the exit door. As soon as he saw his son, another old man, he ran to hug and kiss him. And when the police officers told him: “You can’t do that, sir. Are we getting through to you?”, he replied: “Yes, but I don’t know how to make you understand that my son has returned home. I have to hug him.” That old man is my father and, his son is, therefore, the person who is writing these lines to you.

I did not judged the last mother’s action when she decided not to give a hug to her son as neither a good nor a bad stance. Last night, the only thing I did was to sleep happily. I was happy for the family I have and, above all, for the kind of relationship we have because we were born, grew up and will die expressing in an internal and external way what is, in our opinion, the meaning of family love through its best symbol: Hugs and kisses.

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Thought of the day: Faith

July 11, 2017

By Eddy Montilla.

From a religious point of view, Saint Agustine gave us, in my humble opinion, the best definition of what faith means: “Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.” So, I prefer to give you another idea from a more practical and human angle: Faith is the food that makes grow your confidence. Your lack of determination and lack of confidence do not come from your doubts about your capacity, but from your hesitation about your faith.

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