Friday, March 14, 2008

It's Pi Day, 3/14/08

Today is Pi Day, an occasion to honor that mathematical ratio that begins with 3.14 and seems to have all kinds of magical applications in math and the world at large. You can find more about Pi Day at

The BBC has a good, thoughtful article on pi that asks, "why are we driven to find the answers behind it?" (Yes, today is 3/14, which makes it ideal for Pi Day, but the Beeb also notes that it is also Albert Einstein's birthday.)

A refresher from school days about what pi is: it's the number that results get when you divide the circumference of a circle (the distance around it) by the diameter (the distance across the circle at its widest part, dividing the circle into two even halves).

If you want to read more about pi and its significance, read the BBC article, which also has links to things like musical pi.

For me, too much math makes my head hurt. Just considering all the math and science implications revealed in the average episode of "Lost" give me brain freeze, so the potential cosmic ramifications of pi are way over my head. But I'm sure Daniel Faraday, "Dan McFly" from the "Lost" island, is celebrating with his dead rat Eloise.

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