A stonemason was engaged the other day in cutting
out a round ball for the purpose of some architectural decoration, when
a smart schoolboy came upon the scene.
"Look here," said the mason, "you seem to be a
sharp youngster, can you tell me this?
If I placed this ball on the
level ground, how many other balls of the same size could I lay around
it (also on the ground) so that every ball should touch this one?"
The boy at once gave the correct answer, and then
put this little question to the mason:
"If the surface of that ball contained just as
many square feet as its volume contained cubic feet, what would be the
length of its diameter?"
The stonemason could not give an answer.
have replied correctly to the mason's and the boy's questions?