I feel something must be said about this astrological "sign shift" business that has set the 'tubes abuzz in recent days. There being twelve astrological signs ("Ophiuchus" notwithstanding) arranged around a central point, the issue is clearly one of both dozenal and hexagonal import. Despite the fact that I'm not all that into astrology (though I've learned enough over the years to inform my general fluency in Western occult symbolism), I feel the hexagonal principles at stake must be defended.
First of all, this is of course old news. I don't really understand why it keeps popping up in the media every few years, but this is simply the latest incarnation of a story that we've all been well aware of since classical antiquity, and that certainly should not come as news to anyone, anywhere. "Ophiuchus" has always been there, the twelve signs have never been symmetrically arranged in exact 30-degree sections, axial precession has always been going on, we always knew about it, nobody has ever cared, and nobody cares now.
I have been reading about the PAH world hypothesis, and have come to see it as an intriguing indicator of the potentially hexagonal origins of life on earth.
Essentially, it is conjectured that, since polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are among the most common spaceborne molecules in the known universe, they would have likely been a constituent in the primordial seas of Earth, where they could have provided some sort of scaffolding or template on which early biological polymers such as RNA could assemble, thus solving a frequently-raised objection to the RNA world hypothesis that RNA is too fragile and transient to survive long outside of an extant cell or similar protective environment. By providing a structural backbone on which reasonably complex RNA strands and such could self-assemble, the PAH world would have given early pre-cellular life a fighting chance of finding its way into protective lipid bubbles, weird mineral formations, or what have you, where given enough replicative iterations it presumably developed into proper cellular life as we know it.
Here we see the hexagonal architecture of the International Space Station's Cupola module. Hexagonal space-windows are often seen in science fiction treatments of space travel, but this is the first time we have seen a proper full-sized hexagonal window in an actual spaceborne craft. The hexagon is of course the natural geometry for dealing with the hostile environemnt of outer space, as we have seen for many decades now in the hexagonal structure of satellites and deep space probes. No doubt we will see more and more such hexagonal architecture as we move out into the Solar System—eventually.
In this image we see the classic hexagonal honeycomb structure of the enlightened honeybee. The hexagonal structure is common to the nesting architecture many related insects, including wasps, et cetera. Note that the strength of the comb is improved not only by the superior hexagonal geometry, but also by the skillful employment of rhombic facets at the closed end of the cells.
This diagram illustrates both the hexagonal close-packing (left) and face-centered cubic (right) systems for the close-packing of spheres in Euclidean 3-space. Note the hexagonal symmetries of both arrangements. Both can be assembled using the same hexagonally-packed layers—they differ only in how the layers are stacked together.
In each hexagonally-packed layer, there are gaps left between every three spheres. Spheres from the next layer are placed in these gaps. In any given layer, however, one has a choice of which gaps to fill with spheres—only half of the gaps can have spheres in them, since a sphere placed in any particular gap precludes a sphere from being placed in any of the three gaps immediately adjacent to it. Thus, in the hexagonal close-packing system, layers are stacked such that the spheres in each layer align with the spheres two layers below it. In the face-centered cubic system, layers are stacked such that the spheres align with the spheres three layers below it.