OK. It’s November and here comes yet another Bumbastories monthly report/March through the Numbers thing.
“Oh, no,” you say.
“Oh, yes”, says I. “And we’re definitely going to do another march through the numbers thing”
For the Americans there’s an additional message this month, which is that you have to vote and do what you can to get other people to vote. We’ve been talking about voting for forever, like for the entire year – or at least since the impeachment hearings concluded. Funny how everyone’s forgotten about the impeachment hearings and the Russia connections. It seems people have limited memories. What was I talking about? That’s right, vote. So Vote!! Don’t forget!!
These are definitely strange times, times of Rage, as Bob Woodward so aptly describes it. Fires are raging in Southern California. The corona virus is raging all over the world. Personally, I’m raging too, but I trying to keep a lid on it. Therapeutically, I believe we all can chill if and when we turn out minds to some math. And what with November being the eleventh month, here’s something about the eleven.
Officially, and we try to be perfectly transparent with you here, eleven should not be included in any Bumbastories’ March Through the Numbers thing, because eleven is not a numeral. It’s not. In our Bumbastories March Through the Numbers we ought to draw the line at the nine or maybe the ten. But since we do these magazines every month, we might as well do something for the eleven. And heck, the eleven is cool, and it’s November, and here goes a (slightly edited) re-post.
Onze, 11. A fine number. A prime! Composed of two skinny numerals, two 1’s. Mathematically, the eleven is not particulary interesting, it’s not useful in constructing things. Nothing in nature uses eleven-fold symmetry if I’m not mistaken. But we humans harbour a certain liking for the eleven. We do. We like the eleven. Eleven connotes a certain solidity, a feeling of dominance, or power. Eleven, which is derived in English from “one lef” or “one left over after the ten” appears surprisingly frequently in our languages and in our various cultures. The 7-11 convenience store network comes to mind. And I wish it didn’t.
The Statue of Liberty stands on Bedloe Island in N.Y harbor on what was originally an eleven-pointed island (It has eroded a bit at the corners). What a beautiful symbol. Long may she stand on her eleven-sided island! The Marina trench is 11 km below sea level, deeper than Mt. Everest is high! The Canadian dollar coin and the Indian two-rupee coin are eleven sided. OK, I’ll stop. It’s the eleventh hour, and I still have to get down to the 7-11.
Football is played with 11 men. Likewise cricket. Did I mention the 7-11 convenience store? I have to go there later. There’s the 11 O’Clock News, Apollo 11, and Remembrance Day, Poppy Day, and Veterans’ Day – which are commemorated on 11/11, because World War I ended on the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month back in 1918. May the memory of those millions who died in WWI be blessed. Looking back at history, we can see that WWI was avoidable. All those soldiers didn’t have to die. May all the fallen soldiers from all the wars rest in peace. And let us always strive to avoid wars and to seek peace in the future.