Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pi Day!

There was a fire last night that cut power to the entire Back Bay (and my workplace until early this morning),  the sky is covered in residual haze from that plus a sheen of blanket fog, I physically don't feel that chipper this morning and I'm most certainly not a math major. 

Thanks, then, to my San Francisco cousin K for making me smile by reminding me that the 14th of March (otherwise known as the day between brother-in-law Chad and Aunt B's birthdays) is Pi Day .... in honor of the mathematical constant 3.141592653 (+ 2 quadrillion more digits).




(K works at a science museum, The Exploratorium, that is also home to the physicist who coined the Pi Day holiday back in 1988.  She's even featured on the local public radio's story on this year's celebration with some great exposition on what Pi is:  "There's No Such Thing as Too Much Pi."  You should listen.  A band of Exploratorium employees has written a pretty funky song about it.)

Here's some fun facts about Pi Day, lifted verbatim from the Wikipedia page:

*  Pi Day is observed on March 14 because of the date's representation as 3/14 in month/day date format. This representation adheres to the commonly used approximation of 3.14 for π.  What some call "Real Pi Day" will be celebrated on March 14th, 2015 at 9:26:53 AM. These numbers (3/14/15, 9:26:53) correspond with the first 10 digits of pi (3.141592653).

*  On Pi Day 2004, Daniel Tammet recited 2, 964 decimal digits of π.

*  On March 12, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution (HRES 224)recognizing March 14, 2009, as National Pi Day.

*  For Pi Day 2010, Google presented a Google Doodle celebrating the holiday, with the word Google laid over images of circles and pi symbols.  (Like so:)

*  There is also a Pi Approximation Day held on July 22 (or 22/7 in day/month date format), since the fraction 227 is a common approximation of π.

Most definitely think that today calls for some pie, too.  Thanks for the reminder, K!


Brandi said...

I was wondering if you had to go to work today. Sounds like a yes?
In other news, I was bored in a class in 6th grade and pi was printed out in a long banner on two of the four walls, so I did what any other X-treme Nerd would do and memorized it to about 22 digits. To this day I still remember it. And no, it's never come in handy for some calculation I needed to do to a great number of significant digits. :-)

Karin said...

@Brandi. Somehow I am not surprised. You are very good at making use of your time!

Yes, all systems normal. My building is on the border of the streets (Clarendon to the east) that were powered by the second transformer; NStar was able to get that one back up and running v. early this morning. However, my gym, which is one block over on Dartmouth, is still without. One of my colleagues was in the building last night at the moment of truth and had to walk nearly 30 flights down the darkened emergency stairwell.