I own a coffee mug that I only use to drink hot tea (or water) out of at work. Most of the time it’s a light-absorbing black nondescript mug hiding in my overhead cabinet above my desk. Yet each workday, shortly after I arrive, I grab some tea and pour in some hot water and my morning transforms as the heat transfers to the mug and a bright red cup appears with the following image greeting me:
Why is Pi so lucky in love? — Because its love is infinite and non-repeating.
In an effort to celebrate international “Pi Day” today, I thought about scheduling this post for 15:09:26 (central time zone) this afternoon – 3.14.15.09.26. But I’m too impatient for that so you will get this post much earlier in the day on Saturday the 14th of March, 2020. I got this idea from a WikiHow post on how to celebrate Pi Day and here’s the relevant excerpt:
Celebrate at 1:59 PM on Pi Day. This time represents the next three digits of pi: 3.14159.
Take a minute to acknowledge pi in whatever way you see fit at that
moment During this minute, you can cheer wildly, or even have a
countdown leading up to “pi minute” the minute before.
For added effect for a countdown, have a “pi drop” where you drop a
big pie off a balcony or another elevated structure. You can even add a
lot of sprinkles to the pie to make it look like a disco ball.
If you’ve written a pi song or made a pi dance, this would be the perfect minute to share your art.
Note that there is some debate regarding the exact time that Pi Day
should be celebrated. Though 1:59PM is probably the most common, some
believe that the 24-hour clock should be used instead, which would mean
that Pi Day should be celebrated at 1:59AM or 15:09PM.
Sadly for my family, I won’t be making any pies today. I might make some sourdough bread (in rounds of course) and possibly a diabetic-friendly round cheesecake for my visiting uncle. Which reminds me, I need to feed my soudough starter.
In parting, I will share on of my update statuses I occasionally post on my work Skype, where I share snarky, nerdy computer, math or tech one-liners. One of my absolute favorites is:
1.The Greek letter P or p, corresponding to the roman p.
2.A number, represented by said letter, expressing the ratio of the circumference of a perfect circle to its diameter. The value of pi has been calculated to many millions of decimal places, to no readily apparent purpose: no perfect circles or spheres exist in nature, since matter is composed of atoms and therefore lumpy, not smooth. Nature herself sometimes takes to rounding off the more extreme decimals of numbers when they get sufficiently small, as Prof. Heisenberg has pointed out. However, the continued extension of pi provides a harmless exercise of computer power which would otherwise be misused playing Quake or surfing pointless web sites.
Meanwhile, back at the office, I need to adorn my otherwise digital-centric workspace with an old school analog clock (and perhaps a sliderule)? One of these might do the trick:
Eventually, I’ll abandon cubicle purgatory and install one of these at home:
And it’s high time, or prime time, to get back to memorizing more digits of pi . . .
I completely missed the celebration of tau yesterday as well as being completely ignorant of a movement among mathematicians to replace my favorite constant, pi. I have spoken previously (once) here about pi and even use the first few digits of it as part of my username here at WordPress. At least once a year, on Pi Day, which corresponds to March 14th (or as close to 3.14 as you can get on our calendars), I celebrate the never-repeating, endlessly enlightening expression of the ratio between a circle’s circumference and it’s diameter … or wait, is that it’s radius.
I received a Tweet that intrigued me, entitled ‘Mathematicians Want to Say Goodbye to Pi‘ with an accompanying link. I read the article, but what really held my attention was an inserted YouTube video from someone named Kevin Houston (with a British, not Texan, accent). If you enjoy math, take a few minutes to watch his video.
So, since Pi Day is celebrated on March 14th, and 2π is roughly 6.28, it follows that celebrating tau should occur on June 28th. Or so the tau enthusiasts hope.
I’m still on the fence, preferring pi for the moment; although, I agree the use of tau has its merits in simplicity and beauty.
Can you guess what my favorite mathematical constant might be? There is a clue in the URL address of my blog. Still unsure?
This mathematical constant whose value is the ratio of any circle’s circumference to its diameter. It is an irrational number, which means that its value cannot be expressed exactly as a fraction m/n, where m and n are integers. Consequently, its decimal representation never ends or repeats. It is also a transcendental number, which implies, among other things, that no finite sequence of algebraic operations on integers (powers, roots, sums, etc.) can be equal to its value.
Yes, together with other math-loving geeks out there in the universe, I’m celebrating Pi Day. And if WordPress behaves itself and publishes this as I’ve scheduled it to, at exactly 1:59 pm (Central time), I will have succeeded in my mathematically constant celebration.