Yes, it’s June, the sixth month, and June, whoever she is, is busting out all over. Spring is here, and summer, being a clumsy dancer, is hard on spring’s heels. Actually, summer, the summer solstice, is June 20 this year. The flowers are in bloom, the NBA Finals are here (well, gee whiz, the season started in October!) and the U.S. primary season is grinding (us) to an unconventional resolution. Go Sanders!
June is the sixth month and Bumbastories again celebrates the “perfect number” six. We hope, indeed we trust, that Marina Kanavaki is cooking up something special for the number six. Marina has also been infected by the number bug, and each month prepares a splendid display of amazing artwork to honor that month’s number.
The six has long been regarded as “perfect” or whole. Its factors 3, 2, and 1 add up to 6. The world was created in six days according to this big, fat book I once read. There are six colors in the color wheel and six strings on a guitar. Six is the atomic number of carbon, the basis of life on earth, unless, of course, you’re “six feet under”. There’s the six-shooter, the six-pack, six degrees of separation, the Moon and Sixpence, and Six Flags amusement park. You can get your kicks on Rte 66, gas up on Phillips 66 or at any hamburger stand along the way, and you can always stay at a Motel 6.
Six was the uniform number for the great Bill Russell, arguably the greatest basketball player ever, also Dr. Julius Erving, arguably the most exciting. Baseball’s Al Kaline of the Detroit Tigers, and Stan the Man Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals wore the number six. The best reserve player on a five-person basketball team is called the sixth man. The Clippers’ Jamal Crawford won the “Sixth Man of the Year Award” this year for the third time ( that’s half of six). We at Bumbastories just love Jamal and we love the six. Someone complained to me the other day. They said: “Six, six, six! That’s all you ever talk about, Bumba. What are you, some kind of six maniac?”.
The six sided figure is the hexagon, a favorite shape for bees and people alike. Bees also like fives and anything symmetrical, but any bee will wax (sorry) nostalgic and tell you that hexagons are wonderfully stable, and make a honey (not sorry anymore) of an apartment complex.
Escher, inspired by the tesselations at the Alhambra palace in Grenada, often used hexagons to plot his magnificent drawings.
The radius of a circle circumscribes exactly six times in a circle! Try it: take a compass, draw a circle and then start marking off lengths of that radius. It fits exactly six times! Why this is so is a mystery. Mathematics has a number of these “coincidences”.
So, it’s no coincidence that we like the six.
Happy sixth month of the year,