Tuesday, May 22, 2012

6: Strength and Efficiency

Honey Comb Patch, by Field Day

It's time for the sixth installment of the number series based on The Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe by Michael Schneider. 

The beauty of hexagons comes in their efficient use of space and their strength. Like circles, hexagons have a low perimeter to surface area ratio; like triangles, hexagons are strong and distribute weight efficiently. Bees build their hives in a hexagonal pattern and reap the benefits: "a mere one and one-half ounces of wax holds four pounds of honey," says Schneider.

We use the phrase "busy as a bee," but thinking about how efficient beehives are, I'm wanting to imitate bees in other ways. (And I'll be looking at my "altar to beautiful necessity," which includes a bit of beehive I found, in a new way, too.) Rather than be busy, how can I be efficient? How can I build something beautiful and strong? How can I cram as much sweetness as I can into my life?

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