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International Pi Day

Albert Einstein

3/14 is Albert’s birthday and

Π Day.

PiI assume you have all shopped for the perfect gift.

Some people don’t understand: it’s not just a number, it’s a mission.

To get you started: Π ≈ 3.1415926535897932384626433832795028


1 Jack K. { 03.14.07 at 10:45 am }

…me, I’m a rounder, not an enumerator. 3.14 is close enough for government work…

…at least in my world…

2 Karen { 03.14.07 at 3:47 pm }

I loved the 60 Minutes interview with David Tammet the savant who can recite PI to 22,500 places. (which is as far as he had memorized that infinite series.)

I think it took over 5 hours! That’s some Number!


3 Ron Davison { 03.14.07 at 4:42 pm }

I didn’t realize that Einstein was born on Pi day and really have no idea why I find that both so intriguing and so appropriate. Thanks!

4 Bryan { 03.14.07 at 4:51 pm }

As near as we can tell, it is an infinitely random number, which makes it vital for some esoteric math exercises and encryption.

I know what you mean, Jack, I use whatever is stored in my calculator or computer.

NPR is interviewing a piker who only got up to just over 12K, Karen.

5 Steve Bates { 03.14.07 at 5:30 pm }

I believe I read somewhere that the official record is something over 60k digits, and there are multiple videotapes to prove that the recordholder did it. The same article said that the unofficial record is over 100k digits. My reaction is a modification of your blog’s name: Why Bother?

BTW, how can this be International Pi Day? It’s 3.14 today in America, but in most of Europe, it’s 14.3 …

6 Bryan { 03.14.07 at 11:42 pm }

Why is it called the World Series?

It used to be a programming exercise in assembler to write a routine to derive Π from a given diameter and circumference, but with a built in value of Π you can generate some fairly decent random numbers.

7 Bryan { 03.14.07 at 11:44 pm }

Just about missed you, Ron. I think Einstein’s birthday was first and then someone noticed that the date was the start of Π.

8 ellroon { 03.15.07 at 11:46 am }

Is this where the pie gets higher?

9 Steve Bates { 03.15.07 at 7:13 pm }

My father told a story that I’ve never tried to confirm, because I want so much for it to be true: some wag in the Texas Legislature introduced a bill declaring that in the interest of simplicity, Pi henceforth would be equal to 3. Dad says the bill very nearly passed. True or not, it’s a great tale, and it says a lot about our Lege that I find it even plausible.

10 Bryan { 03.15.07 at 8:07 pm }

Higher, Ellroon? I don’t care what they’ve told you about pecan pie, it doesn’t contain anything illegal [for a given value of legal], and the only green in the strawberry-rhubarb is the rhubarb.

Steve, that has been introduced in a few states, sometimes as a joke, but occasionally by someone who just doesn’t get it. The extra digits may not be important to most people, but when you are dealing with putting things into orbit rounding can have some nasty results.