Category: This & That's


HAD WE A PAIR OF WINGS

Humans are not meant to fly with their own wings and we all wonder why and what if.

Can we humans fly?  The answer is a big YES, but it is not actually so.  We are just making things float in the air and riding the wind with their help.  We can’t fly, we are not meant to.  Our bodies don’t allow us the capability of flight.  The reason, to most of us, is: we don’t have wings.  What if we did?  What would they look like – the a bird’s with feathers, like a bat’s with skin and bones, like insects’ (wings of a butterfly, wings of a dragonfly or wings of a bumblebee)?

Suppose all of mankind had wings … Suppose all humans developed wings as we evolved to be Homo sapiens.  What would life be like?

Civilizations would probably have emerged in history since the becoming of Homo sapiens is characterized by gain in intelligence.  However, we would more likely be in clans rather than cities or nations.  And we couldn’t have reached this far in history.  The pair of wings would make a lot of things different in our lives.  Transportation by air would have been convenient in the first place, so possibly we wouldn’t be inventing wheels or transportation devices that employ wheels.  Humans would still like ease, so they would be inventing and renovating such things like “wing-flappers” or enslaving large but dumb flying animals.  With an over-reliance on the wings, we would eventually lose our legs or keep shot ones if we did need to stand on them.  No leg or dysfunctional legs mean more work for the hand that is now used for holding, handling and which has made humans so able among mammals.  We would be using the hands for more purposes than we are now – they could also become balancing appendages in walking.  One thing for sure, to be fit for survival, we would have to let go of the loveable looks of those angels in Michelangelo paintings – we won’t be in God’s form anymore and we can’t look like God’s angels.

Winged girl

Everybody fancies a pair of wings but modern man can’t look like this if they had wings.

Our shelters would be treetops and caves or niches in high places rather than the ground which not only puts us in the danger of lurking predators but has also us a lot of things throughout history.  The safety of high places could eliminate the need for fire – no fire, no nothing!  Since we would have left the ground for the sky, there would be a late discovery of agriculture and we would have learnt to settle down later thus.  However, there would be a lot of hunting – for food and all kinds of prey.  We would definitely rule out every other flying being from rising above us, just like we got to the top of the food chain.  Due to a late discovery of agriculture and settlements, there would be little architecture or technology and we would not be sent to school for education.  No need to study, hooray!  As a downturn, this could cause our brains to atrophy but I believe we could stay smarter than whales and dolphins or chimps and orang-utans, i.e. we would still be the intelligent life form.

One thing about wings is there would be more room in us for ego, pride, arrogance and discrimination.  Humans would get obsessed with their wings as wings are part of their looks.  We would be proud of our wings if they’re good-looking and discriminate and be arrogant to others who don’t have perfect wings or have flying disabilities.  That’s just an inevitable fraction of human nature!

It sure wouldn’t be a pretty sight if all of us – every human – had wings.  And it is not a good idea to stand out among others as the one and only “winged-man”; novelty (mutation) leads to discrimination – like in the X-men movies.  So, I’d rather walk on my own two feet and never wish for wings.  If I want to fly away, I’d get on an aeroplane.

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FIND THE FAKE ONE

This is another great maths riddle I got from my teacher. He finished his Masters degree in the University of London specializing in ‘function analysis’. This isn’t something he made up, but he just has a way with maths …

Balance

Here's the balance to use ...

There are eight pieces of gold of the same mass (i.e. same mass and weight), but one fake piece of gold, which is lighter than every piece else is among them.  We are given a balance but no weights.  How many times at least can we use the balance to sort out the fake piece from the others?

This isn’t really tough.  I’ll post the answer as a comment some other time.  If you are through with this problem, try finding out a fake piece of gold from 10 pieces of gold (including the fake) and from 27 pieces of gold (including the fake).  It gets tougher but nothing’s that difficult.  Enjoy!

This is a very intriguing mathametical riddle that my teacher gave me.  He says he found if in an American text book.

Two long-lost friends, A and B, meet one day on a street.

A: I am married and have 3 children now.

B: Tell me how old they are.

A: The product of their ages is 36 and the sum is your house number.

(B thinks for a while.)

B: Still don’t know … Gimme one more hint.

A: The youngest likes chocolate.

B: Ah, I konw!  They are …

How did B find out the children’s ages?  And how old are the children?  Here’s a hint for you: two of the children are twins or are of the same age.

Brainstorming

Think, think, think of evey possible thing!

I’ll post the answer as a comment, but perhaps you can figure this out on your own.  This is indeed a very beautiful riddle or whatever if may be called!

This is a chant that I learnt several years back … It’s fun and I think it’s got a message; try to find it out.

Miss Susie had a baby
She named him Tiny Tim
She put him in the bath tub
To see if he could swim

He drank up all the water
He ate up all the soap
He tried to eat the bath tub
But it didn’t go down its throat

Miss Susie called the doctor
Miss Susie called the nurse
Miss Susie called the lady with the alligator purse

“Mumps,” said the doctor
“Measles,” said the nurse
“Hiccups,” said the lady with the alligator purse

Miss Susie thanked the doctor
Miss Susie kicked the nurse
Miss Susie thanked the lady with the alligator purse

My mom got this little poem by Gabriel Mistral in a medical lecture about pneumonia and children.  It’s beautiful!

Baby

A child ...

We are guilty of many errors and many faults,
But our worst crime is abandoning the children,
Neglecting the fountain of life
Many things we need can wait
But the child cannot. Right now is the time;
His bones are being formed,
His senses are being developed
His blood is being made
To him, we cannot answer, “Tomorrow”,
His name is “Today”.

A child dies unnecessarily every 3 seconds because of extremely poverty, every 15 seconds because of scarcity of pure water, and more are every moment of time for many other causes.  What do we do?

This is an essay adopted from Henry Shefter’s “Shefter’s Guide to Better Compositions”.  A  Myanmese (Burmese) language teacher of mine made us read this in the class before writing an essay.  It has a subtle start and surprisingly startles the reader with a touching twist in the ethereal end.  Enjoy…

“SHADOWS”

Shadows

Shadows in the Night

The child is in bed, awake, frightened by the howling wind and the shadows dancing on his walls.  His toy animals seem enormous as they are magnified on the ceiling by the dim light outside room. His clothes, laid carelessly on a chair, also throw off peculiar shadows.  He sees witches and goblins, dragons and giants.  The child is afraid of what he sees.  I would not be afraid.

The young woman hurries along, alone in the dark.  The only light is a dim street lamp.  The buildings all around her seem huge and horrible; their shadows fill her with fear.  She imagines terrible things and begins to run.  The only sound is the noise of her heels tapping on the sidewalk.  She is afraid of what she sees and what she doesn’t see.  I would not be afraid.

The soldier waits anxiously at the door.  Though the window shades he can see the fingers of a man and a woman, with shades he can see the figures of a man and a woman, with their heads bent as if they were whispering.  It is difficult to determine to whom the shadows belong.  He prays that his sweetheart has not found someone new during his long absence.  He hesitates before ringing the bell.  He fears what he sees.  I would not be afraid.

I would not fear the shadows on the walls.  They would be my friends.  I would watch them dance and dance with them.  O, what beautiful shadows I would see!

I would not fear walking in the dark and seeing ht e shadows of tall buildings.  The buildings would protect and keep me warm.  They would be friendly shadows.

I would not fear seeing the shadows of two people through a window.  They are my friends waiting for me.  They would be happy shadows.

I would not fear shadows. I pray for them instead.  I would love to see a shadow, any shadow – big or small – for just a moment.  I am blind.

What I Think: Well, this is really beautiful … I consider myself as an aesthetic artist but such an idea would not have sprung from my mind.  But I don’t like the idea of a blind wanting to see shadows; it would be preposterous for a person who is visually disadvantaged wanted to see shadows, which are anonymous with the dark or blindness.  However, I would not be able to comprehend a blind individual’s thoughts even if I had the power to read their minds.

I couldn’t post anything new because the internet had been down for the past couple of weeks.  And I come up only with this, nothing special.  At least, it’s a post …

7 Secrets

7 Secrets

  1. It hurts to love someone and not be loved in return.  But what is more painful is to love someone and never find the courage to let that person know how you feel.
  2. A sad thing in life is when you meet someone who means a lot to you, only to find out in the end that it was never meant to be and you just have to let go.
  3. The best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a porch swing with, never say a word, and then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you’ve ever had.
  4. It’s true that we don’t know what we’ve got until we lose it, but it’s also true that we don’t know what we’ve been missing until it arrives.
  5. It takes only a minute to get a crush on someone, an hour to like someone, and a day to love someone, but it takes a lifetime to forget someone.
  6. Don’t go for looks, they can deceive. Don’t go for wealth, even that fades away. Go for someone who makes you smile because it takes only a smile to make a dark day seem bright.
  7. Dream what you want to dream, go where you want to go, be what you want to be because you have only one life and one chance to do all the things you want to do.
  8. Always put yourself in the other’s shoes. If you feel that it hurts you, it probably hurts the person, too.
  9. A careless word may kindle strife. A cruel word may wreck a life. A timely word may level stress. But a loving word may heal and bless.
  10. The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.
  11. Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss, and ends with a tear. When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so that when you die, you’re the one smiling and everyone around you is crying.

An American visiting England walked into a hotel lobby.

“The lift will be down presently,” the receptionist told him.
“The lift?” said the American. “Oh, you mean the elevator?”
“No, I mean the lift,” replied the Englishman.
“I think I should know what it is called,” said the American. “Elevators were invented in the States.”
“Perhaps,” retorted the Englishman. “But we invented the language.”

Union Stars & Stripes Jack

A university professor once said, "There are no such things as American English and British English - it's either English or American. And we only have the English department at school."

GOOD EGG, BAD EGG?

What happens to an egg over time? Here’s a way to tell how old your eggs are …

The quality of an egg deteriorates right after it leaves the hen.  A fresh egg white will be cloudy but, as the egg ages, the white becomes more clear and runny.

A fresh yolk has more dissolved molecules than the white, and this osmotic imbalance creates a natural pressure for water in the white to migrate across the yolk membrane.   Each day, five milligrams of water cross from the white to the yolk in each of your refrigerated eggs; the water causes the yolk to swell, thinning it and weakening the membrane.

The egg itself also loses water daily, causing the yolk and white to shrink while the air cell at the wide end of the egg expands.  Because of this moisture loss, there is an easy way to gauge the freshness of your eggs.

Fill a bowl with water and drop your eggs in.  A fresh egg has less air space; therefore it is denser than water and will sink to the bottom.  But, as the egg ages, the loss of water causes the air cell to expand.  The older the egg, the higher the wide end of the shell will rise in a bowl of water.

Egg

Check it before you eat!

An egg that actually floats is very old and should be discarded.

NOTE: This is a post I found on somebody’s blog.

I found these really awesome and paradoxical punchlines which can make you laugh through MetaCafe.

1. I’m a nobody.  Nobody is perfect, and therefore, I’m perfect.
2. I’ve got to sit down and work out where I stand.
3. If I save time, when will I get it back?
4. Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.
5. I am free of all prejudices: I hate everyone equally.
6. Take my advice. I don’t use it anyway.
7. The statement below is true.
The statement above is false.
8. As I said before, I never repeat myself.
9. Sometimes I need what only you can provide: your absence.
10. I wish there was a knob on the TV to turn up the intelligence.  There’s a knob called brightness, but it doesn’t work.
11. A conscience does not prevent sin. It only prevents you from enjoying it.
12. If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.
13. War doesn’t determine who’s right. War determines who’s left.
14. Best way to prevent hangover is to stay drunk.
15. Doesn’t expecting the unexpected make the unexpected become the expected?