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Friday, March 13, 2009

Happy Pi Day!

Did you know there's such a thing? Well there IS! And its TOMORROW! In case you're a bit behind on your math and have forgotten about the wonderful little symbol know as Pi, or 3.14159265, let me share some fun Pi and Pi Day facts with you. As noted in the internet bible, Wikipedia and from the official Pi Day web site:

Pi represents the relationship between a circle’s diameter and its circumference.

With the use of computers, Pi has been calculated to over 1 trillion digits past the decimal. Pi is an irrational number meaning it will continue infinitely without repeating. I wish pundits would take a cue from Pi. The symbol for pi was first used in 1706 by William Jones, but was popular after it was adopted by the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler in 1737.

Pi Day is also sometimes celebrated on March 14 at 1:59 p.m. If π is truncated to seven decimal places, it becomes 3.1415926, making March 14 at 1:59:26 p.m., Pi Second (or

sometimes March 14, 1592 at 6:53:58 a.m.).

The first Pi Day celebration was held at the San Francisco Exploratorium in 1988, with staff and public marching around one of its circular spaces, and then consuming fruit pies; the museum has since added pizza pies to its Pi Day menu. The founder of Pi Day, the "Prince of Pi", is Larry Shaw, now retired from the Exploratorium, but still helping out with the celebrations. They have also recently added the first Pi Day celebrations in Second Life.

MIT, (The Massachusetts Institute of Technology) , think Good Will Hunting, often mails out its acceptance letters to be delivered to prospective students on Pi Day.

Pi Day also happens to be Albert Einstein's birthday. (March 14, 1879)

Some also celebrate Pi Approximation Day in addition to Pi Day, which can fall on any of several dates:

  • April 26: The Earth has traveled two radians of its orbit by this day (April 25th in leap years); thus the entire orbit divided by the distance traveled equals pi
  • July 22: 22/7 in the more common day/month date format, an ancient approximation of pi
  • November 10: The 314th day of the year (November 9 in leap years)
  • December 21, 1:13 p.m.: The 355th day of the year (December 20 in leap years), celebrated at 1:13 for the Chinese approximation 355/113
  • On March 14, 2004, Daniel Tammet calculated and recited 22514 decimal digits of pi.
  • On March 14, 2009, Fortune Cookies will bake Pi shaped whole wheat, spinach, bacon and Parmesan doggie biscuits for the Sunny-dog.

And that's just a little 411 on our friend, Pi, or as I like to call it, the number formerly known as 3.1415926...

How will you celebrate?

1 cookies cracked:

Tink said...

Pi Day! I had no idea such a thing existed. But I'll take a slice of that lovely pie up top please. ;)