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 →
Sometime ago, I had the opportunity to meet in person a very well know scientist-writer. He always wrote about very polemic subjects but he was convinced of his concepts and was considered an eminence in his time.
For many years he was able to endure the attacks and criticism of his fellow scientists who were more comfortable with the old theories. He could most times provide good evidence of his own models.
But he started a family and the economic pressures began to emerge. So, he had to start searching for new work opportunities and his life took a 180° turn.
When he was not so “famous” anymore, and he had to abide under the rules of the scientific community (see how I didn´t say under the laws of science) He was politely asked to “rephrase” some of his arguments and personal views in his books, since they “were not in line with the general scientific view”. Continue reading →
Do you remember that time when you thought everything was lost and there was not possible solution for that problem?
When you were a child, there were times when things appear impossible to accomplish, things like holding your spoon properly, reaching for a toy in a tall drawer, solving an addition on the blackboard while all classmates were watching you, and so forth.
Probably there were times when you felt hesitant to tell your parents you had broken their favourite vase by accident while playing with your ball inside your home. You just could not think of a way out of that situation, right?
As you advanced in your life, the tests became more challenging and the situations seemed harder. But, when you looked back, you could see that you were always able to find a solution for every tribulation you found in your way, right? Continue reading →
I was talking to a friend about all those bizarre “negative” things and events in our lives.
According to him, his life had always been very harsh and difficult. Many times he had complained about all the things he had to go through to survive, while most of his friends and family had a more relaxed and comfortable life, (at least from his perspective).
He had to overcome several obstacles in his past, in order to reach some things that other people simply obtained or achieved in a very “relaxed” manner, according to his analysis.
He was about to go once more, through the list of difficulties he had to face in his life until this morning, when I was forced to interrupt his litany in order to avoid 45 more minutes of the same old, same old. Continue reading →
When I was a little child I dreamt with being a grown up and doing whatever I wanted without having to ask permission or receiving help from anyone. Being a grown up should be something marvellous!
I remember those times now and wish I could go back to being spoiled and ignoring many things that happen every day around me.
Years later while I was waiting for my daughter to stop crying and allow us to go back to sleep, while swinging her cradle, I remember wishing she could grow up fast and see her as a beautiful girl who would go to sleep quietly and fast! Continue reading →
Most people of a certain age I know like to see their life backwards. That is, they like to see all the things they have accomplished during their lives. How things were tough once and they were able to overcome the obstacles and fight to get what they wanted. But 95% of them when I ask them if they would go through all of that from square one, they answer: NO!
So most of them have lived a life full of difficulties and have learnt to overcome them and they are now in a privileged place because they passed their tests. Nevertheless they don’t like the idea of starting all over again.
They feel they have reached the goal and now they can just rest and live looking at the past for the rest of their lives. Continue reading →
I have heard so many times that you have to embrace change and difficulties when they come, that I thought I had totally understood the idea. And probably I had, but as usual when it comes to apply our knowledge in real life, things become difficult.
We are all excellent for theory but when practice time arrives, the story is quite different, same thing when giving advice to others, we already know what to say to them in any situation THEY have to face, but when we are in the same predicament, all those answers and solutions vanish from our head. Continue reading →