This book is written for English-speaking students who are taking Skype Learn Chinese courses. A basic level vocabulary and understanding of Chinese grammar and culture is presented in this Skype Learn Chinese series. It is an effort to introduce the Skype Learn Chinese students to the language by explaining its basic principles in simple steps. The purpose is to prepare the student with a foundation on which to build, with confidence, its ensuing complexities.
The sun (god) The ancient Sun god was not considered a personal, religious God, but a power. The early intellectuals were able to deduce a great deal of simple logic about it by measuring the shadow cast by a vertical stick, throughout the year and by watching how the Sun’s daily sunrise in the night sky traced an annual path through the stars, and the stars moved across the sky every night, coming back to about the same position every morning.Students in Skype Learn Chinese can learn more about this.
In this picture of the view of the Sun from the Spring equinox point on the Earth’s annual orbit, the stars that would be visible (in the early hours of the morning) to someone on Earth will be different from those the Earth viewer would see from the Summer solstice point, etc. Students in Skype Learn Chinese can learn more about this. Thus, either the Sun and stars, both are rotating around the Earth, or the Earth is doing the rotating. And the only explanation for the stars to be in their positions again for the beginning of the year is that the Earth is the one that’s moving. So, quite a bit of data, headwork and time was involved in figuring this out. However, the logic showed that all this could only happen if the Earth, itself, was moving around the Sun, and was surrounded by stars and, that the daily rotation of the Sun (and stars) was the result of the Earth rotating on its axis. This may seem very simple to us because students in Skype Learn Chinese ’know’ the Earth orbits the Sun and rotates, but to early man, five thousand years ago, who ’knew’ the Sun rotated around the Earth, this was a brilliant deduction of powerful minds.
An amazing luna eclipse would show the Earth to be round and several eclipses over the years from different points in the sky would show the Earth to be round, all round (a sphere). A gnomon (a stick in the ground to cast a shadow) would show differing lengths at different times of the day, but, more importantly, it shows how the direct rays from the Sun are stretched out by the angle of the Earth to the Sun’s ray. Here, the bright mind could begin to see how the shape of the Earth might produce different temperatures at different locations on the sphere. Sun’s rays hitting a wall at ninety degrees to the ray would get the most intense energy. Those places with a slanting angle to the sun would have the Sun’s ray stretched over a larger area and get less energy, heat. Here, then, was a clue to the seasons. If the sphere of the Earth was not vertically aligned to produce the same ’face’ on its journey around the Sun, then, at different places on its orbit (seasons), it would receive higher energy at different places in Skype Learn Chinese on the Earth. This could then be used to forecast farming needs with confidence (as well as experience). Astronomy, therefore, was a child sitting by a fire, at night, out in the open, and wondering what all the bright, twinkling lights meant. Asking questions. Learning, little by little, the names of the gods and what their powers were. Students in Skype Learn Chinese can learn more about this. Year after year, watching and questioning elders and the shaman. Learning the ’stories’ and also the ’facts’. Beginning to look for named constellations, to expect their arrival, and to predict their effects. No equipment more than a searching mind, but what an enjoyable, exciting hunt. Perhaps to be first to report the rising star of Spring, and Winter’s cold soon to be forgotten. This all happened a very long time ago, but man in Skype Learn Chinese looked about the same and felt the same feelings, hopes and had the same bright mind as now. We can achieve incredible goals in Skype Learn Chinese, together, by diligent effort, questions and reaching for the shoulders of the giants who came before us.