Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Story about Confucius

One day, Confucius was strolling on the street when he saw two young five or six year old boys arguing. The boys saw him and said, "Let's ask the great scholar Confucius and let him decide who is right."

"What is it that you are arguing about?" asked Confucius.

"We disagree with each other on the distance of the sun to the earth at different times of the day."

"What is your name?" Confucius said to one of the boys, "Tell me your argument first."

The boy said, "My name is Wan Li 萬里(10,000 miles). The same object appears larger when it is closer to the observer, right? When we see the sun rising in the morning, it was huge in the beginning and then it gets smaller and smaller. Therefore the sun is closest to us at sunrise."

The other boy said, "My name is Yao Yang 耀陽(Bright Sun). The same object is hotter when it is closer to the observer, right? The sun is hottest at noon. Therefore, it is closest to us at noon."

Confucius said, "You are both brilliant boys. I am ashamed of myself being ignorant of the sun."

We learn a lot from this lovely story.


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