Impurities

 

Watching a Japanese samurai sword (刀, katana) is one of the finest pleasures you can experience.  Especially when you learn about the process that is needed to make one.

The steel used to build one is called Tamahagane(玉鋼) and consists of several layered steels with different carbon concentrations. This steel is full of impurities and the look of it in the beginning of the process is not very nice.

The antiquity of the steel is very important in the process of removing those impurities.  The oldest the steel, the highest concentration of oxygen making it easier to get rid of the impurities during the hammering, thus resulting in a stronger blade.

High and low carbon steel are welded and folded several times and the hammer and fire make their hard work to get rid of impurities in a very strenuous and long process where each element makes its part in forming a stronger and stunning blade. Continue reading

Advertisements

You define yourself

I remember one day when my daughter told me she was stupid.

I was very impressed by the way she said that. She was around 5 years old and after school she told me she was stupid in a very confident and serene voice. She was totally convinced that was a fact.

I asked her why she said that and, in the same tone, she answered: “My teacher told me I am stupid, my friends told me I am stupid, my cousins told me I am stupid therefore, I must be stupid”

“Did they tell you that today?” I asked.

“Yes, but they have told me that before, so I think they must be right” She answered with sadness. Continue reading

Empires

A teacher I had, once told us that learning History is one of the most important subjects, not because of the dates and names, but because it teaches what mistakes were made in the past and how not to repeat them again.

Although I think we all have failed on that completely because humans are repeating same mistakes over and over again all the time. So I think that we are not done learning that important skill from history yet.

One of the most impressive parts in human history, to me at least, is the rise and fall of the biggest empires all over the world.  From the Roman Empire, the Mongol Empire, The Russian empire, The British Empire and so on. Continue reading

Gorgeous

When was the last time you looked at yourself in the mirror and liked what you saw?

I was joking yesterday with my daughter about a Japanese legend called “口裂け女kuchisake onna” (slit-mouthed woman) it’s about a woman wearing a surgical mask who appears to children and ask them: “Am I pretty?” If the child answered “no” she killed him with a pair of scissors she always carries with her, and if  the child  answered “yes” then she removed the mask and they could see that her mouth was slit from ear to ear and then she asked: “What about now?” If the child answers no, he/she will be cut in half. If the child answers yes, then she will slit his/her mouth like hers. Continue reading