Posted in Life & Happiness

A Jar And Two Cups Of Coffee

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he silently picked up a very large and empty jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “yes.”
The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things – your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favourite passions – and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.
The sand is everything else – the small stuff.”

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18 holes. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”


Posted in Science & Nature

Kangaroo Rat

Kangaroo rats are a type of rodent found in North American deserts. They are known for their extremely long and strong hind legs which they can use to hop great heights (up to nine feet), just like a kangaroo. But the most interesting feature of the kangaroo rat is its kidneys.
This tiny animal is known to be so efficient in using its water that it literally never has to drink water. By having extremely efficient kidneys, kangaroo rats gain sufficient water from metabolism, as water is made from oxidation of food naturally. This gives them a strong advantage in such a dry habitat.

Kangaroo rats have many more adaptations that aide their survival in their desert environment. They exhibit food-hoarding behaviour and can be often seen with their cheek pouches full of grains. As there is no pools of water, they roll in the sand to have sand baths like some birds. Being rodents, they are social and live in underground community tunnels to avoid the heat during the day.

When in danger, kangaroo rats hop on the spot and stamp their feet on the ground to send signals to nearby friends using the vibrations. Amazingly, they have been observed to even fight snakes in times of need, using sand to their advantage. By leaping back with their strong hind legs, kangaroo rats are capable of spraying sand at their enemy, irritating them and sometimes even damaging them. Furthermore, they show exemplary teamwork by attacking a predator together, biting and leaping back to continuously inflict damage. Because their legs are so well-developed, they are able to jump away from harm even if it is a snake striking at rapid speed.

Such adaptations in anatomy, physiology and behaviour allow the kangaroo rat to survive in an environment that can swiftly kill even a person.