Birthday Pi

Jess of Blind Cavefish points out via her crazy-in-a-fun-way friend Julie that today is Pi day, by which we mean that it’s March 14, or 3.14, which is how the famous irrational ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle begins its long march into infinitesimalcy. It’s also my Dad’s birthday. Happy Pi Day, Dad.

Much as I’d love to do a long piece on pi here — and I would, you know — it’s Monday at the Office, and it’s also Friday at the Office, since tomorrow I fly down to Austin for a week for our annual visitation at the SXSW Music Conference. So it’s all week in a single day. We’ll be writing and blogging from down there, much as we did last year but with more digital cameras.

As far as Pi Day goes, though, I get to trot out my favorite annual mathematical parlor trick. Since you’re not here you’ll have to take my word for it, but I know pi by heart to 22 decimal places. I don’t remember why I went and memorized this in the first place, but it’s been sitting in there taking up valuable memory space for a few decades now. As I say, you’ll need to take my word for it, but this is from memory and it’s not a cut-and-paste job:

3.1415926535897932384626

Pi takes the path of ultimate sensibility: it’s irrational, it’s infinitely non-repeating, and it’s real. I have similar aspirations. Take a moment to revel in the mystery today at 1:59.

  • The Pi Pages – Pi, the tech specs. More detail than you could ever possibly want to know about pi, plus an annoying applet that calculates it, in French, on the main page.
  • More Pi – When some pi just ain’t enough.

About Linus

The man behind the curtain. But couldn't we get a nicer curtain?
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