Today is “Pi Day.” According to PiDay.org (not even kidding):
“Pi Day is celebrated on March 14th (3/14) around the world. Pi (Greek letter “π”) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159.
Pi has been calculated to over one trillion digits beyond its decimal point. As an irrational and transcendental number, it will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern. While only a handful of digits are needed for typical calculations, Pi’s infinite nature makes it a fun challenge to memorize, and to computationally calculate more and more digits.”
Fascinating… An irrational and transcendental number. Really? One trillion digits beyond its decimal point. Wow! I actually find this way more interesting:
I remember pi being one of those things that tortured me in high school, some random formula and fact we had to memorize and understand for reasons I have yet to comprehend, even at fifty-five. (Sidebar: In my entire adult life, I have never found it necessary to calculate “…the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.” Never ever. Thanks, Wikipedia!) My only association/remembrance of pi is a challenge by one of my middle school math teachers to my class – memorize pi to as many decimal points as possible. The reward? The winner received an automatic “A” on our next test. Me? I was able to memorize pi to ten decimal places, and only because I pretended it was a telephone number with an area code.
Some brainiac in my class memorized pi to 101 decimal places. I am sure that guy grew up to be a serial killer…
So while I do not really fully appreciate the relevance of pi in my life, I do celebrate pi and Pi Day – I am an equal opportunity holiday celebrator guy. But, in my personal celebration of Pi Day, rather than following the cerebral route, I think I shall instead seek out a gastronomical avenue to celebrate the day. I just need Martha Stewart’s help…