The wife of a friend of mine once asked him, “Does this new dress make my ass look big?” He started off well by replying, “No, of course not, Darling, the dress is lovely.” And if he’d left it at that he would have scored lots of plus points, but then he added the fateful line, “You’ve just got a big ass!”
I may have told you that story before and I may well tell it again, because it’s funny and it’s true. This time it is by way of introduction to today’s post – or rant – on the subject of airline seats. I’ve already given you my two cent’s worth on airfares a few days ago. (Click here if you want to read that.)
Just when you thought they couldn’t get any smaller, or more uncomfortable, airlines are shrinking seat widths yet again to squeeze more passengers in and more money out of them. The latest culprit is Airbus, which unveiled a new 11 seat-per-row reconfiguration for its A380 superjumbo jet.
The Airbus A380 currently seats ten passengers uncomfortably per row in economy in a 3-4-3 configuration, but the new configuration adds yet another seat to the middle section to make it a 3-5-3 – with even less room per passenger and even more discomfort.
Airbus are making the excuse that the seats in the new configuration will be the same width as before, which is 18 inches or 46 cms, but then they add the qualifying word “technically” which means whilst what they are saying may be true in theory, in practice you the paying passenger will have less room.
Applying fasab logic to the situation, if you raise an airplane’s seating capacity from 525 seats to 544 seats, and at the same time you don’t make the airplane any bigger, then there is less room for the poor abused passengers. (quod erat demonstrandum or Q.E.D.)
The A380’s main users are Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa and Qantas, all of them long-haul carriers meaning you will be squashed up like a sardine for at least eight hours, maybe much, much longer which adds greatly to the discomfort experienced by passengers.
Other long-haul airplanes that are shrinking the width of their seats include the new models of the Boeing 777, many of which are flown by United and American Airlines. They will now come with a squashingly miserable 17 in. seat width.
The seat squashing trend started with the short-haul airlines and they got away with it because of the relatively short journey times. Long-haul is different – much different – and passengers should be less willing to endure many hours of discomfort.
To add a great big insult to this injurious trend, it is all taking place against a backdrop of decreasing fuel costs and rising airfares – in other words more greed than need on behalf of the airline companies who buy these newly configured butt busters.
On the plus side – for passengers – not a single airline placed an order for the world’s two biggest commercial jets, the Boeing 747-8 and the double-decker Airbus A380 during 2014. In fact most of the Boeing 747-8s that have been sold have been mainly the air freighter version. On the negative side, as just mentioned, airplanes like the 777 are also to be made much more uncomfortable too.
With air travel forecast to more than double from today’s 3.3 billion passengers a year to 7.3 billion by 2034 – according to the International Air Transport Association – I fear greatly for the comfort of those of us flying economy.
The first day of May, or ‘May Day’ as it is also known, is a curious mixture of superstition, social protest (Labor Day) and celebration.
May Day is also the 121st day of the year and marks the midpoint between spring and summer, occurring exactly half a year from November 1st.
Like most of the occasions we have now (Easter, Christmas, etc.), May Day started out as a pagan celebration. Its origins go back thousands of years to the Celtic period, where towns and villages would come together to celebrate springtime fertility, and rejoice in the beauty of spring and optimism of life. The energy of these gatherings was supposed to help inspire procreation.
During the 1600s, May Day festivities were prohibited and in 1640 the Church in England ruled against the debauchery and the British Parliament banned the traditions as immoral. A much tamer version was brought back in 1644 under the rule of Charles II.
Maypoles were devised as (phallic) symbols of fertility, but were also symbolic of the “world tree,” which was supposed to bridge the gap between heaven and earth. There are also rumors that this was the last chance for fairies to travel to the earth.
Today, May Day is probably best known in most countries for the tradition of ‘dancing round the maypole’ and the crowning of a ‘May Queen’.
Flowers also play an important part in May Day celebrations. Native Americans even called May the month of the flower moon, believing that flowers would dance under the full moon. And ancient Romans dedicated May Day to Flora, the goddess of flowers.
In Italy, May Day is still regarded by some as the happiest day of the year.
Since 1928, May Day in Hawaii has been known as ‘Lei Day’, a spring celebration that embraces Hawaiian culture and in particular, the lei. The holiday song, “May Day is Lei Day in Hawai’i,” was originally a fox trot, but was later rearranged as a Hawaiian hula.
Listed below are some of the historical events that happened on May Day that I found interesting. Hope you do too.
But just before you start those, a word about something that has nothing whatever to do with May Day although many people believe that it has. The international distress signal is often referred to s a “mayday” signal but this is not a reference to the first day of May. The name derives from the French “venez m’aider”, meaning “come help me.”
Now you know.
And now for the real facts.
Historical Events that happened on various May 1st’s
1006 – A Supernova was observed by Chinese & Egyptians astronomers in the constellation Lupus.
1328 – The Wars of Scottish Independence ended with the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton by which the Kingdom of England recognized the Kingdom of Scotland as an independent state.
1544 – Turkish troops occupied Hungary.
1682 – Louis XIV and his court inaugurated the Paris Observatory.
1703 – At the Battle at Rultusk the Swedish army defeated the Russians.
1704 – The Boston Newsletter published the first ever newspaper advertisement.
1707 – England, Wales & Scotland form the United Kingdom of Great Britain.
1751 – The first American cricket match is played.
1753 – May Day this year saw Publication of Species Plantarum by Linnaeus, and the formal start date of plant taxonomy adopted by the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature.
1759 – Josiah Wedgwood founded the Wedgwood pottery company in Great Britain.
1759 – The British fleet occupied Guadeloupe, West Indies, capturing it from France.
1776 – The secret society of the Illuminati was established in Ingolstadt (Upper Bavaria), by Jesuit-taught Adam Weishaupt.
1777 – RB Sheridan’s “School for Scandal” premiered in London.
1778 – The American Revolutionary War Battle of Crooked Billet began in Hatboro, Pennsylvania.
1786 – Mozart’s opera “Marriage of Figaro” premiered in Wien (Vienna)
1822 – John Phillips became the first mayor of Boston.
1840 – The first adhesive postage stamps, known as the “Penny Blacks”, were issued in the UK.
1841 – The first emigrant wagon train left Independence, Missouri, for California.
1844 – Samuel Morse sent his first telegraphic message.
1844 – The Hong Kong Police Force, the world’s second modern police force and Asia’s first, was established.
1850 – John Geary became the first mayor of San Francisco.
1851 – The ‘Great Exhibition’ opened in the Crystal Palace, London.
1852 – The Philippine peso is introduced into circulation.
1857 – William Walker, conqueror of Nicaragua, surrendered to the U.S. Navy.
1861 – In the American Civil War, General Lee ordered Confederate troops under T J Jackson to Harper’s Ferry.
1862 – Also in the American Civil War, Major General Benjamin Butler’s Union forces occupied New Orleans.
1863 – The Confederate ‘National Flag’ replaced the ‘Stars & Bars’.
1866 – The Memphis Race Riots began. In three days time, 46 blacks and two whites were killed. Reports of the atrocities influenced passage of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
1866 – The American Equal Rights Association formed.
1869 – The Folies Bergère opens in Paris.
1873 – The first US postal card is issued.
1873 – Emperor Franz Jozef opened the 5th World’s Exposition in Vienna.
1875 – 238 members of the “Whiskey Ring” are accused of anti-US activities.
1883 – “Buffalo Bill” Cody put on his first Wild West Show.
1884 – Construction began on Chicago’s first skyscraper (10 stories).
1884 – May Day this year also saw the Proclamation of the demand for eight-hour workday in the United States.
1884 – Moses Walker became the first African American player in major league baseball in the US.
1885 – The original Chicago Board of Trade Building opened for business.
1886 – A general strike began in the US for an 8-hour working day.
1889 – German ompany Bayer introduced aspirin in powder form.
1900 – The Scofield Mine disaster killed over 200 men in Scofield, Utah in what was the fifth-worst mining accident in United States history.
1901 – Herb McFarland hit the first grand slam in the American League.
1908 – The world’s most intense shower (2.47″ in 3 minutes) occurred at Portobelo, Panama.
1912 – The Beverly Hills Hotel opened.
1915 – The RMS Lusitania departed from New York City, bound for Liverpool, on her two hundred and second, and final, crossing of the North Atlantic. Six days later, the ship was torpedoed off the coast of Ireland with the loss of 1,198 lives.
1920 – Babe Ruth made his first Yankee home run and the 50th of career.
1922 – Charlie Robertson of Chicago pitched a perfect no-hit, no-run game.
1925 – Cyprus became a British Crown Colony.
1927 – The first cooked meals on an airplane were introduced on on an Imperial Airways scheduled flight from London to Paris.
1930 – The dwarf planet Pluto was officially named.
1931 – The Empire State Building opened in New York City.
1935 – Boulder Dam was completed.
1935 – Canada’s first silver dollar was circulated.
1937 – FDR signed the act of neutrality.
1939 – Batman comics hit street.
1940 – The 1940 Olympics were cancelled because of WWII.
1941 – ‘Citizen Kane’, directed & starring Orson Welles, premiered in New York.
1941 – General Mills introduced Cheerios.
1944 – The world’s first operational jet-powered fighter aircraft, the Messerschmitt Me 262 Sturmvogel, makes 1st flight
1945 – A German newsreader officially announced that Adolf Hitler has “fallen at his command post in the Reich Chancellery fighting to the last breath against Bolshevism and for Germany”. The Soviet flag is raised over the Reich Chancellery, by order of Stalin.
1945 – Admiral Karl Doenitz formed the new German government.
1946 – Field Marshal Montgomery was appointed British supreme commander.
1946 – The three-year Pilbara strike of Indigenous Australians began.
1947 – Radar for commercial & private planes was first demonstrated.
1948 – North Korea proclaims itself the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea.
1952 – US Marines take part in an atomic explosion training exercise in Nevada.
1952 – Mr Potato Head was introduced.
1952 – TWA introduced tourist class.
1956 – The polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk was made available to the public.
1956 – A doctor in Japan reported an “epidemic of an unknown disease of the central nervous system”, marking the official discovery of Minamata disease.
1957 – Larry King made his first radio broadcast.
1959 – Floyd Patterson KO’d Brian London in the 11th round for the heavyweight boxing title.
1960 – Russia shot down Francis Gary Powers’ Lockheed U-2 spy plane over Sverdlovsk in the Soviet Union, sparking a diplomatic crisis.
1961 – May Day 1961 was the date of the first US airplane being hijacked to Cuba.
1962 – The first French underground nuclear experiment took place in the Sahara, at Ecker Algeria.
1963 – James Whittaker became the first American to conquer Mount Everest.
1964 – The first BASIC program ws run on a computer at Dartmouth.
1965 – The U.S.S.R. launched its Luna 5 spacecraft which later impacted on the Moon.
1966 – Last British concert by the Beatles took place at the Empire Pool in Wembley.
1967 – Elvis Presley married Pricilla Beaulieu.
1969 – James Chichester-Clark was elected leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, and Northern Ireland Prime Minister, after succeededing Terence O’Neill.
1971 – Amtrak Railroad began operations.
1971 – The Rolling Stones released their mega-hit single “Brown Sugar”.
1978 – Ernest Morial, the first black mayor of New Orleans is inaugurated.
1978 – Japan’s Naomi Uemura, travelling by dog sled, became the first person to reach the North Pole alone.
1979 – Elton John became the first pop star to perform in Israel.
1981 – Tennis player Billie Jean King acknowledged a lesbian relationship with Marilyn Barnett – becoming first prominent sportswoman to ‘come out’.
1984 – Great Britain performed a nuclear test at a Nevada Test Site.
1985 – US President Ronald Reagan ended the embargo against Nicaragua.
1986 – Russian news agency Tass reported the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster.
1989 – The 135 acre Disney MGM studio officially opened to the public.
1991 – The Angolan civil war ended.
1993 – There was a bomb attack on the Sri Lankan president in which 26 people died.
1994 – Three-time Formula One world champion Ayrton Senna was killed in an accident during the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola.
1997 – Howard Stern Radio Show premiered in San Diego, CA, on KIOZ 105.3 FM.
1997 – Tony Blair was elected Prime Minister of UK.
1999 – The body of British climber George Mallory was found on Mount Everest, 75 years after his disappearance in 1924.
2003 – In what became known as the “Mission Accomplished” speech, U.S. President George W. Bush declared on board the USS Abraham Lincoln off the coast of California, that “major combat operations in Iraq have ended”.
2009 – Same-sex marriage was legalized in Sweden.
2011 – U.S. President Barack Obama announced that Osama bin Laden, founder of the militant Islamist group Al-Quaeda and the suspected mastermind behind the September 11 attackshad been killed by United States special forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Due to the time difference between the United States and Pakistan, bin Laden was actually killed on May 2.
2012 – Guggenheim Partners made the largest ever purchase of a sports franchise after buying the Los Angeles Dodgers for $2.1 billion.
2013 – A digital camera was created that could mimic insect compound eyes.
People you might have heard of who were born on May 1st include,
1594 – John Haynes, English-American politician, 1st Governor of the Colony of Connecticut (d. 1653)
1769 – Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, Irish-English field marshal and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1852)
1852 – Calamity Jane, American scout (d. 1903)
1916 – Glenn Ford, Canadian-American actor (d. 2006)
1919 – Lewis Hill, American broadcaster, co-founded Pacifica Radio (d. 1957)
1923 – Joseph Heller, American author and playwright (d. 1999)
1925 – Scott Carpenter, American commander, pilot, and astronaut (d. 2013)
1937 – Una Stubbs, English actress and dancer
1939 – Judy Collins, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
1945 – Rita Coolidge, American singer-songwriter
1946 – Joanna Lumley, English actress
1946 – John Woo, Hong Kong director, producer, and screenwriter
1954 – Ray Parker, Jr., American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (Raydio)
1967 – Scott Coffey, American actor, director, producer and screenwriter
People you might have heard of who died on May 1st include,
1731 – Johann Ludwig Bach, German violinist and composer (b. 1677)
1873 – David Livingstone, Scottish missionary (b. 1813)
1945 – Joseph Goebbels, German politician, Chancellor of Germany (b. 1897)
1985 – Denise Robins, English journalist and author (b. 1897)
2006 – Rob Lacey, English actor and author (b. 1962)
2011 – Ted Lowe, English sportscaster (b. 1920)
2011 – Henry Cooper, English boxer (b. 1934)
2014 – Howard Smith, American journalist, director, and producer (b. 1936)
It has been a bit if a theme now for a while on Tuesdays to present some silly questions asked by the general public. Today we have a selection of questions that cruisers on cruises have asked of cruise crews.
Apparently you can have enough money for a cruise and still be dumb!
It really is a good job that they don’t make people walk the plank any more.
“Do you make your own electricity on board?”
“Why can’t I get cable stations?”
“Are you the Captain?” (Asked of crew who are clearly not the Captain)
“Do you actually live on this ship?”
“Do these stairs go up or down?”
“Does the crew sleep on board?”
“Could you call the captain to stop the waves? I am getting seasick.”
“I just saw the Captain in the dining room. Who is steering the ship?”
“Is the water in the toilets salty or fresh?”
“What time does the midnight buffet start?”
“What do you do with the ice sculptures after they melt?”
“Can you get these chips on land?” (Referring to casino chips)
“Why is it so windy outside?” (On a cruise liner traveling 30 miles per hour at the time)
“I see them!” (The inevitable response from a member of the crowd whenever a casino dealer on a cruise liner played a favorite joke — pointing out “penguins” on a “little piece of ice” during a cruise through Bermuda)
“So what is the elevation here?” (On an Alaskan cruise)
“Why can’t I find a USPC post box in town?” (In Ocho Rios, Jamaica)
“I want to change cabins! I paid good money for this cruise, and all I can see is a rusted crane in the harbor!” (Asked before leaving port)
Today was originally scheduled for the latest part in the short series about the curious and amusing phobias some people seem to have. But it’s a holiday week for most of us and I have put that post back until next week.
Instead I feel the urge to say something else. Two things actually.
First one is, have you heard of the herd? In particular the herd mentality, where people do something they have no need to do just because other people are doing it?
It happens a lot. Far too much in fact.
We witnessed it during the recent election campaign where people formed opinions not on the basis of their own analysis of the candidates and policies, but because of something someone else said or something they heard on tv.
We saw it again very recently after the dreadful murders in Connecticut where the unthinking herd ignored the real problem and jumped on gun control as a solution to senseless attacks such as this. They might as well call for a ban on knives, axes, chainsaws, bows and arrows and gasoline when they are at it as any of these could do the same job in the hands of a mental defective.
And on December 24 we witnessed another example in grocery stores throughout the country (throughout the world even) as hoards of the unthinking joined the herd and bought up bread and food supplies like the shops would not be open again for at least a month. They are open again today you dummies!
These three examples have been going on for years and people never seem to learn, they just keep on following the herd without a thought in their heads.
And this leads me on to point two which is how little thought most of us give to what we are doing and what we are buying the already well off and pampered.
I know for a fact that Santa had orders for laptops and ipads and iphones and all sorts of other expensive playthings. And I also know that he hadn’t the sense to say no, but just bought them anyway. Mea culpa as much as anyone.
Then I got to thinking that life was a lot different when I was a kid. Yes we liked to get presents at Christmas, but they were a lot less sophisticated and a lot less expensive – even in relative terms. When I was eight, for example, I didn’t need a smart phone, or any phone come to think of it, nor was my social life so complicated and hectic that I had to have a chauffeur for all my must-do activities for every day of the week.
When I was a kid we had our toys, but we also had a thing called an imagination and we could make our own fun out of very little.
So what is the problem today? Why are kids so incapable of making their own entertainment? Why are they constantly “bored” without clicking a button on a computer consol or without someone else to do their thinking for them?
Like a lot of other things, it all boils down to money at the end of the day. Now I’m not advocating poverty as a solution to the world’s ills. Far from it. I like to make money, the more the better, and the thought of being, perhaps not rich, but comfortably well off is a very nice one. But if we had to we could all make do with a lot less. And I don’t think we would be any less happier in the process.
People in other countries seem to manage quite well. And they still seem to have the mental capacity to enjoy what little they have and make their fun out of next to nothing. In other words they are happy. If things do ever deteriorate to the extent that some of the doomsday preachers are telling us, there are a lot better prepared people in the world than there are in rich countries like America, or Britain, or Germany, etc.
Think about giving your kid or nephew or niece an old oil drum from the local garbage dump next Christmas instead of an ipod touch or some other overly expensive apple. I wonder how much music and entertainment they could get out of that?
By special request, today’s significant number is the number six. My thanks to John in Australia for the suggestion, turns out it was a very interesting choice. So let’s get started. Enjoy.
The Number Six 6
Chapter One of Genesis, the first book in the Old Testament, tells us that the Creation was done over a six day period, and that man was created on day number 6. Moreover, six days were appointed to man for his labor, while one day is associated in sovereignty with the Lord God, as His rest.
The serpent also was created on the sixth day.
The Sixth Commandment relates to the worst sin – murder.
The sixth clause of the Lord’s prayer treats of sin.
There are six points on a Star of David.
There are six Orders of the Mishnah.
Six symbolic foods are placed on the Passover Seder Plate.
The Jewish holiday of Shavuot starts on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan.
In Islam there are Six articles of belief
Fasting six days of Shawwal, together with the month of Ramadan, is equivalent to fasting the whole year
In Hindu theology, a trasarenu is the combination of 6 celestial paramanus (atoms)
Six is the first number which is neither a square number nor a prime number.
Six is the largest of the four all-Harshad numbers.
There are six basic trigonometric functions.
A cube has six faces.
A hexagon is a regular polygon with six sides.
A hexahedron is a polyhedron with six faces, with a cube being a special case.
S6, with 720 elements, is the only finite symmetric group which has an outer automorphism. This automorphism allows us to construct a number of exceptional mathematical objects such as the S(5,6,12) Steiner system, the projective plane of order 4 and the Hoffman-Singleton graph.
Six similar coins can be arranged around a central coin of the same radius so that each coin makes contact with the central one (and touches both its neighbors without a gap), but seven cannot be so arranged. This makes 6 the answer to the two-dimensional kissing number problem. The densest sphere packing of the plane is obtained by extending this pattern to the hexagonal lattice in which each circle touches just six others.
Six is the atomic number of carbon.
A benzene molecule has a ring of six carbon atoms.
The prefix “hexa-“ (Greek word for ‘six’) also occurs in the systematic name of many chemical compounds, such as “hexamethyl”.
A hexamer is an oligomer made of six sub-units.
Adenine is one of four bases that code for all life in deoxyribonucleic acid. Adenine’s molecular structure is based on a hexagonal ring bonded to a pentagonal ring.
In the Standard Model of particle physics, there are six types of quark and six types of lepton.
In statistical mechanics, the six-vertex model has six possible configurations of arrows at each vertex.
The six-fold symmetry of snowflakes arises from the hexagonal crystal structure of ordinary ice.
People with sexdactyly have six fingers on each hand.
Six babies delivered in one birth are sextuplets.
There are six tastes in traditional Indian Medicine called Ayurveda: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent. These tastes are used to suggest a diet based on the symptoms of the body.
Phase 6 is one of six pandemic influenza phases.
The cells of a beehive honeycomb are 6-sided.
Insects have 6 legs.
The measuring instrument called a sextant got its name because its shape forms one-sixth of a whole circle.
The New General Catalogue object NGC 6 is a spiral galaxy in the constellation Andromeda.
Messier object M6, a magnitude 4.5 open cluster in the constellation Scorpius, also known as the Butterfly Cluster.
The gaseous planet Saturn has hexagonal clouds on its north pole discovered by Voyager 1 in 1977 and verified again in 2006 by the Cassini spacecraft, meaning this hexagon is a persistent structure on the scale of a planet.
Apollo 6, the final unmanned mission of the United States Apollo Program, was launched on April 4, 1968. It was an A type mission and the second test flight for the Saturn V launch vehicle, intended to demonstrate full lunar injection capability of the Saturn V with a nearly full simulated payload, and also the capability of the Command Module’s heat shield to withstand a lunar-speed re-entry.
The mission was not designed to go to the moon, but merely to achieve a trans-lunar speed toward an imaginary point in space nowhere near the moon, then turn around and return in about 10 hours.
However, fuel line failures in several Saturn V second and third stage engines prevented it from achieving lunar injection, but it was able to get close to lunar return velocity by using the Apollo spacecraft’s engine, as was done on Apollo 4, the first Saturn V test. Despite the engine failures, the flight nonetheless provided NASA with enough confidence in the Saturn V to use it for manned launches.
Massachusetts was sixth to receive statehood on, Wednesday, February 6, 1788.
The Sixth Amendment (Amendment VI) to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights that sets forth rights related to criminal prosecutions. The Supreme Court has applied the protections of this amendment to the states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The sixth President of the United States of America was John Quincy Adams (1767–1848) who served from March 4, 1825 to March 4, 1829. His V.P. Was John C. Calhoun.
The sixth Prime Minister of Australia was Sir Joseph Cook, (7 December 1860 – 30 July 1947). A coal miner from Silverdale, Staffordshire, Cook emigrated to Lithgow, New South Wales during the late 1880s, and became General-Secretary of the Western Miners Association in 1887.
He was a founding member of the Australian Labor Party, and was elected to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly as Member for Hartley in 1891.
Later Cook switched to the Free Trade Party, and was a minister in the cabinet of Premier George Reid from 1894 to 1899. During Australia’s first federal election in 1901, Cook was elected unopposed to the federal seat of Parramatta, and served as the deputy to Reid, then Alfred Deakin, following the creation of the Commonwealth Liberal Party from Cook’s and Deakin’s parties.
As leader of the Liberal Party, Cook became Prime Minister following the 1913 elections; but he only had a one-seat majority in the lower house and no majority at all in the upper house, so he repeatedly sought to obtain a double dissolution. The outbreak of World War I just before the September 1914 election led to a Labor victory. Following a split in the Labor party in 1916, Cook joined William Morris Hughes’ Nationalist Party of Australia, and following the Nationalist victory in the 1917 election, served as Minister for the Navy, then Treasurer under Hughes.
In 1921 Cook resigned from the federal parliament, and was appointed Australian High Commissioner in London. During 1928 and 1929, he headed the Royal Commission into South Australia as affected by Federation. He died in Sydney in 1947.
Australia has six states, Queensland (capital, Brisbane); New South Wales (capital, Sydney); Victoria (capital, Melbourne); Tasmania (capital, Hobart); South Australia (capital, Adelaide); and Western Australia (capital, Perth). The Northern Territory (capital, Darwin), as the name implies, is classed as a ‘territory’, not a ‘state’.
The ‘Six Counties’ is a term used to describe Northern Ireland which consists of the six north-eastern counties of the island of Ireland. It was created when Ireland was partitioned in 1921. After a campaign of terrorism, murder and bombing lasting almost thirty years the London government (of first Conservative John Major and later Labour Tony Blair) along with the Clinton administration brought about a ‘peace’ agreement that saw terrorists installed as part of the Northern Ireland government in Belfast. This was done during the 1990s and pre the 9/11 terrorists attacks on New York when Americans got first hand experience of what terrorism was all about. It is questionable if a post 9/11 American administration would have been so keen to participate in appeasing terrorism.
The National Basketball Association and National Hockey League have six divisions.
The Original Six teams in the National Hockey League are Toronto, Chicago, Montreal, New York, Boston, and Detroit. They are the oldest remaining teams in the league, though not necessarily the first six; they comprised the entire league from 1942 to 1967.
In American college football, there are six conferences that automatically qualify for Bowl Championship Series games.
Six-man football is a variant of American or Canadian football, played by smaller schools with insufficient enrollment to field the traditional 11-man (American) or 12-man (Canadian) squad.
In a football (soccer) game each side is allowed a maximum of three substitutes, making six in all.
In ice hockey, six is the number of players per team, including the goaltender, that are on the ice at any one time, excluding penalty situations.
In volleyball, six players from each team on each side play against each other.
In some sports, six goals is known as a double-hat-trick, but is very hard to accomplish. A hat-trick in sport is the achievement of a positive feat three times or more during a game, or other achievements based on threes. The term was first used in 1858 in cricket to describe H H Stephenson’s feat of taking three wickets in three balls. A collection was held for Stephenson, and he was presented with a hat bought with the proceeds. The term was used in print for the first time in 1878 and was eventually adopted by many other sports including association football, water polo, and team handball, but did not become popular in North America until the mid-1940s in the National Hockey League.
In American and Canadian football, a touchdown earns 6 points.
In Australian Rules football, six points are received for a goal.
In cricket there are six balls to an over, and a “six” or “sixer” is a shot in which the ball clears the boundary without bouncing, scoring six runs.
In rugby union, the starting blindside flanker wears jersey number 6. (Some teams use “left” and “right” flankers instead of “openside” and “blindside”, with 6 being worn by the starting left flanker.)
In most rugby league competitions (but not the European Super League, which uses static squad numbering), the jersey number 6 is worn by the starting stand-off half (Southern Hemisphere term) or five-eighth (Northern Hemisphere term).
In football (soccer) AC Milan retired shirt number 6 belonging to their legendary center back and captain Franco Baresi in 1997.
In Britain, Arsenal retired the number 6 shirt after their long serving center back and captain Tony Adams retired in 2002.
In Major League Baseball: the Atlanta Braves, for manager Bobby Cox; the Boston Red Sox, for Johnny Pesky; the Detroit Tigers, for Hall of Famer Al Kaline; the Minnesota Twins, for Tony Oliva; the St. Louis Cardinals, for Hall of Famer Stan Musial; the San Diego Padres, for Steve Garvey.
In the NBA: the Boston Celtics, for Hall of Famer Bill Russell; the Orlando Magic, for their fans (the “sixth man”); the Philadelphia 76ers, for Hall of Famer Julius Erving; the Phoenix Suns, for Walter Davis; the Sacramento Kings, also for their fans.
In the NFL: the Kansas City Chiefs, for Warren McVea.
In the NHL: the Detroit Red Wings, for Larry Aurie; the Pittsburgh Penguins, for Ian Ackerman; the Toronto Maple Leafs, for Hall of Famer Ace Bailey (the Leafs have a unique policy of not retiring numbers unless the player honored either died or suffered a career-ending incident while a member of the team. Bailey suffered a fractured skull during a game in 1933; while he recovered and lived for nearly 60 years after the incident, he never played again. The Leafs would issue the number to Ron Ellis in 1968 at Bailey’s personal request, and Ellis wore it until his own retirement in 1981.)
In NASCAR, the number 6 is currently owned by Roush Fenway Racing. Since the 2007 season, the first year in which Roush Racing was merged with the Fenway Sports Group that owns the Boston Red Sox, the Cup Series version of the car has been driven by David Ragan. From 1988 to 2006, Mark Martin drove the #6 in the Cup Series for what was then Roush Racing.
Cars and Bikes
Yamaha YZF R6
The Yamaha YZF R6 is a super sports bike, motorcycle manufactured by Yamaha Motor Company. The Yamaha comes with many sports bikes that are Yamaha R1, Yamaha FZ8, Yamaha R15 and Yamaha Vmax, Yamaha MT01 and more. The Yamaha YZF R6 is the one of the most advanced production in the 600cc segment from Yamaha. The Yamaha, bike manufacturer is flourishing in the Indian Market with the most stylish and delivers the best and advanced technology in India.
Easily distinguishable by the row of LED running lights that graces both sides of its front bumper, Audi’s sport-inspired version of its A6 executive saloon, the S6, has much more than visual cues to separate it from its little brothers. This four-door, five-passenger luxury sport sedan comes standard with the six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, Audi’s quattro AWD and a 435-hp, 5.2-liter V10 designed by Lamborghini.
During the resurgence of Germany from the rubble of WWII, after a tough post-war German automotive industry was recovering, and it was there that Mercedes Benz proposed making the car better representation of the world, whatever the cost. Work began in 1955 and after eight years of development the result was the Mercedes 600, also known as der Großer Mercedes, a car totally superlative in all respects. This was the car of choice of Presidents, Popes, dictators and billionaires.
In books, music, television & movies
Six Graves to Munich by Mario Gianluigi Puzo, perhaps better known for his novels about the Mafia, including The Godfather (1969), which he later co-adapted into a film by Francis Ford Coppola.
Six Days Of The Condor, a thriller novel by James Grady first published in 1974 by W.W. Norton, is a suspense drama set in contemporary Washington, D.C., and is considerably different from the 1975 film version, Three Days of the Condor starring Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway. It was followed by a second novel by Grady titled Shadow of the Condor, released in 1978.
Hexameter is a poetic form consisting of six metrical feet per line.
Six Degrees of Separation is a movie about an affluent New York couple find their lives touched, intruded upon, and compelled by a mysterious young black man who is never quite who he says he is.
Six Days Seven Nights is a movie starring Harrison Ford and Anne Heche. Robin Monroe, a New York magazine editor, and the gruff pilot Quinn Harris must put aside their mutual dislike if they are to survive after crash landing on a deserted South Seas island.
Six Days in June is a documentary about the Six Day War.
Sixth Sense starring Bruce Willis is a movie about a boy who communicates with spirits that don’t know they’re dead seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist.
Number 6 (Teresa Palmer) is a character in the movie I Am Number Four (2011).
The Six Million Dollar Man, was an extremely popular sci-fi television series from the 1970s about former astronaut Steve Austin crippled in an airplane crash but rebuilt using bionic components that gave him super-human strength and speed.
The Bionic Six are the heroes of the eponymous animated series.
A group of six musicians is called a sextet.
There are 6 semitones in a tritone.
A standard guitar has 6 strings.
Most woodwind instruments have 6 basic holes or keys (e.g., bassoon, clarinet, pennywhistle, saxophone); these holes or keys are usually not given numbers or letters in the fingering charts.
Les Six (“The Six” in English) was a group consisting of the French composers Georges Auric, Louis Durey, Arthur Honegger, Darius Milhaud, Francis Poulenc and Germaine Tailleferre in the 1920s.
Bands with the number six in their name include Six Organs of Admittance, 6 O’clock Saints, Electric Six, Eve 6, Los Xey (sei is Basque for “six”), Out On Blue Six, Six In Six, Sixpence None the Richer, Slant 6, Vanity 6, and You Me At Six.
#6 is the pseudonym of American musician Shawn Crahan, when performing with the band Slipknot.
“Six geese a-laying” were given as a present on the sixth day in the popular Christmas carol, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”.
The concerti grossi Opus 3, organ concertos Opus 4 and Opus 7 (each) by Georg Frideric Handel.
The sixth album by Dream Theater, Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence, was based around the number six: the album has six songs, and the sixth song — that is, the complete second disc — explores the stories of six individuals suffering from various mental illnesses.
Six is the second album by Mansun released in 1998. It takes its name in part from the main character in the television series The Prisoner, and from A. A. Milne’s poetry book, Now We Are Six.
Patrick McGoohan played prisoner number 6 in the mysterious British television series called The Prisoner, catchphrase “I am a man, I am not a number”.
Carrier Air Wing Six
Carrier Air Wing Six (CVW-6) was a United States Navy aircraft carrier air wing whose operational history spans from the years prior to World War II to the end of the Cold War, including participating in the Battle of Midway, the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, and the Vietnam War.
When the unit was named “Air Group Six” during its time on the Enterprise, it was the Navy’s only carrier-based air group to carry out three complete tours of duty during World War II.
It was based on 15 different carriers during its operational lifetime. The lineage of Carrier Air Wing Six can be traced to the Enterprise Air Group, created on 1 July 1938, which included the following squadrons and aircraft:
Bombing Six (VB-6) — 18 Douglas SBD-2 Dauntless dive bombers
Fighting Six (VF-6) — 18 Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat fighter
Scouting Six (VS-6) — 18 Douglas SBD-2 Dauntless dive bomber
Torpedo Six (VT-6) — 18 Douglas TBD Devastator torpedo bomber
The Douglas DC-6 is a piston-powered airliner and transport aircraft built by the Douglas Aircraft Company from 1946 to 1958. Originally intended as a military transport near the end of World War II, it was reworked after the war to compete with the Lockheed Constellation in the long-range commercial transport market.
More than 700 were built and many still fly today in cargo, military and wildfire control roles.
The DC-6 was known as the C-118 Liftmaster in United States Air Force service and as the R6D in United States Navy service prior to 1962, after which all U.S. Navy variants were also designated as the C-118.
The F-6 was a Chinese copy of the MiG-19S Farmer-C cannon-armed day fighter. From the late 1960s to the final batch in 1971, a total of more than 70 F-6s were reported delivered, equipping six squadrons at 3 bases, for both interceptor and attack duties. Some of the 1971 batch were late production F-6C version, featuring a prominent braking parachute housing at the base of the rudder.
A few FT-6 two-seat trainers also appear to have been supplied. The FT-6 wasn’t certified for production until December 1973, so these examples must have been delivered after this date. It is also reported that 4 F-6 aircraft are fitted with ventral cameras for the reconnaissance role – whether these are export versions of the JZ-6 or local conversions is not known.
Beechcraft T-6 Texan II
Developed from the Pilatus PC-9, the Beechcraft T-6 Texan II is a single-engined turboprop aircraft built by the Raytheon Aircraft Company (now Hawker Beechcraft). The T-6 is used by the United States Air Force for basic pilot training and by the United States Navy for Primary and Intermediate Joint Naval Flight Officer (NFO) and Air Force Combat Systems Officer (CSO) training. It has replaced the Air Force’s T-37B Tweet and is replacing the Navy’s T-34C Turbo Mentor.
The T-6A is also used as a basic trainer by the Royal Canadian Air Force (CT-156 Harvard II), the German Air Force, the Greek Air Force, the Israeli Air Force (Efroni), and the Iraqi Air Force.
As well as being an initial trainer, the multirole Hawker Beechcraft AT-6 is capable of performing missions including: net-centric ISR with the ability for precise geo-registration, streaming video and datalinks, light attack including combat search and rescue (CSAR), close air support, forward air control and convoy escort, homeland defense (border security), port security, counter-narcotics operations and civil missions such as disaster area reconnaissance, search and rescue and firefighting. There are tandem HOTAS (hands on throttle and stick) controls fore and aft for pilot and instructor.
Hawker Beechcraft showcased the AT-6 at the Royal International Air Tattoo and Farnborough International Airshow in the UK in 2010.
The Fiat L6/40 was a light tank used by the Italian army from 1940 and on through World War II. It was designed by Fiat-Ansaldo as an export product, and was adopted by the Italian Army when officials learned of the design and expressed interest. It was the main tank employed by the Italian forces fighting on the Eastern Front alongside the L6/40-based Semovente 47/32 self-propelled gun. L6/40s were also used in the North African campaign.
The official Italian designation was Carro Armato (“armored tank”) L 6/40. This designation is understood as follows: “L” for Leggero (Italian: “light”), followed by the weight in tons (6) and the year of adoption (1940).
Ordnance QF 6 pounder
The Ordnance Quick-Firing 6-pounder 7 cwt, or just 6 pounder, was a British 57 mm gun, their primary anti-tank gun during the middle of World War II, as well as the main armament for a number of armoured fighting vehicles.
It was first used in North Africa in April 1942, and quickly replaced the 2 pounder in the anti-tank role, allowing the 25 pounder to revert to its intended artillery role.
The United States Army also adopted the 6 pounder as their primary anti-tank gun under the designation 57 mm Gun M1.
The Six Gun
Whilst not actually a firearm as such, the term ‘six gun’ or ‘six shooter’ is a general, if inaccurate, description of a revolver. The original name came from the fact that the majority of the early revolvers had a cylindrical bullet magazine that held six rounds of ammunition.
However, modern revolvers come in a variety of capacities including 5 round, 6 round, 8 round and 10 round. An example being the Smith & Wesson Model 617 is a 10 round capacity .22LR revolver shown below.
The Holocaust, also known by the Biblical word Shoah (which means calamity), was the mass murder or genocide of approximately six million Jews during World War II. Led by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, it was part of a program of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi Germany throughout German-occupied territory.
Of the nine million Jews who had resided in Europe before the Holocaust, approximately two-thirds were killed. Over one million Jewish children were killed in the Holocaust, as were approximately two million Jewish women and three million Jewish men.
Some scholars argue that the mass murder of the Romani and people with disabilities should be included in the definition, and some use the term “holocaust” to describe other mass murders, including those of Soviet prisoners of war, Polish and Soviet civilians, and homosexuals. Recent estimates based on figures obtained since the fall of the Soviet Union indicates some ten to eleven million civilians and prisoners of war were intentionally murdered by the Nazi regime.
The persecution and genocide were carried out in stages. Various laws to remove the Jews from civil society, most prominently the Nuremberg Laws, were enacted in Germany years before the outbreak of World War II. Concentration camps were established in which inmates were subjected to slave labor until they died of exhaustion or disease. Where Germany conquered new territory in eastern Europe, specialized units called Einsatzgruppen murdered Jews and political opponents in mass shootings. The occupiers required Jews and Romani to be confined in overcrowded ghettos before being transported by freight train to extermination camps where, if they survived the journey, most were systematically killed in gas chambers. Every arm of Germany’s bureaucracy was involved in the logistics that led to the genocides, turning the Third Reich into what one Holocaust scholar has called “a genocidal state”.
There are numerous Holocaust Memorials throughout the world, including in Jerusalem, Washington, and Berlin, Germany.
However, it was not the German Nazis, but the Croatian Ustase who were responsible for some of the most bloody and sadistic crimes carried out against the Orthodox population in Croatia. Some of their crimes so heinous that they even appalled the Nazis.
The Ustaše committed their deeds in a bestial manner not only against males of conscript age, but especially against helpless old people, women and children. The number of the Orthodox that the Croats massacred and sadistically tortured to death has been estimated at approximately three hundred thousand.
The legacy of the brutality of this genocidal campaign still affects the political situation in that part of Europe.
Think it could never happen again? Don’t be too sure. In 1994 in Rwanda, Africa somewhere in the region of one million people were murdered by the Interahamwe death squads in a genocidal campaign. Local officials assisted in rounding up victims and making suitable places available for their slaughter. Tutsi men, women, children and babies were killed in thousands in schools. They were also killed in churches with the collusion of some clergy. The victims, in their last moments alive, were also faced by another appalling fact, namely that their cold-blooded killers were people they knew – neighbors, work-mates, former friends, sometimes even relatives through marriage.
Finally, other stuff
There are said to be no more than ‘six degrees of separation’ between any two people on Earth.
Extra-sensory perception is sometimes called the ‘sixth sense’.
Six Cardinal Directions: north, south, east, west, up, and down.
The number of sides on a cube, hence the highest number on a standard die.
The highest number on one end of a standard domino.
‘Six’ is used as an informal slang term for the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, the one Ian Fleming’s fictious character James Bond works for.
Six is the number of cans of soda or beer in a ‘six-pack’.
A ‘six pack’ refers to the appearance of well developed stomach muscles.
The term ‘six pack’ also refers to the number of fundamental flight instruments lumped together on a cockpit display.
‘Six Flags’ is the name of a series of amusement parks and theme parks.
‘Six of the best’ is a slang term for corporal punishment particularly in schools where the offending pupil was given six slaps with a cane.
A ‘sixer’ is the name of the leader of the smallest group of Cub Scouts, traditionally consisting of six people.
Six is the number of feet below ground level where a coffin is traditionally buried, thus also leading to the phrase ‘six feet under’ meaning that a person, or thing, or concept is dead.
In the ancient Roman calendar, Sextilis was the sixth month. After the Julian reform, June became the sixth month and Sextilis was renamed August.
Sextidi was the sixth day of the decade in the French Revolutionary calendar.
‘L’Hexagone’ is a French nickname for the continental part of Metropolitan France.
A ‘hex nut’ is a nut with six sides, and a hex bolt has a six-sided head.
On most phones, the 6 key is associated with the letters M, N, and O, but on the BlackBerry it is the key for J and K, and on the BlackBerry 8700 series and Curve 8900 with full keyboard, it is the key for F.
The ‘6 meter band’ in amateur radio includes the frequencies from 50 to 54 MHz.
6 is the resin identification code used in recycling to identify polystyrene.
In Astrology, Virgo is the 6th astrological sign of the Zodiac.
There are six dots in a Braille cell.
The Six Dynasties form part of Chinese history.
6 is a lucky number in Chinese culture.
The unit of measurement used for the Great Pyramid was the inch and its sexagesimal multiples. The first multiple is the foot, 12 inches (2×6); and after this the rises are 18 (3 x 6), 24 (4×6), 30 (5 x 6), and 36 (6×6 or one yard).
Natural time-spaces are also based on multiples of six, there are 12 months in a year, a day consists of 24 hours (4 x 6), hours are 60 minutes (6×10), and minutes made up of 60 seconds (6×10).