Thursday, February 26, 2015

Pie For Breakfast - An Invitation To An Irrational Celebration

I am still working the job that I started in September, working Friday - Sunday, 6 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. This means that I miss nearly everything that happens on weekends. And until a few days ago, I thought it meant that I would not be able to do something I really want to do on Saturday, March 14.

On that day, at precisely 9:26 a.m., I want to eat pie.

A few days ago, I remembered that we have a morning break from 9:10 - 9:35 a.m. So I can eat pie at 9:26.

This delights me; I can hardly wait.

Why do I want to eat pie at 9:26 a.m. on March 14? To celebrate the mystery that is Pi - the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. That ratio cannot be precisely stated because calculating it produces a number that trails off into infinity without ever repeating itself (in mathematics, that's called an irrational number).

But the first three digits are 3.14, so it made sense to a physicist named Larry Shaw to celebrate Pi on March 14 (3/14), and in 1988, he got some people together to do just that. Since then, Pi Day has been a thing.

I ask in love - does he not look like the kind of guy who would establish Pi Day?

This year, it's a bigger thing, because the first five digits of Pi are 3.1415 - and for the first time in a hundred years, Pi Day will fall on 3/14/15.

Finally, the first seven digits of Pi are 3.1415926 - so I feel obligated - yea, compelled - to celebrate Pi by eating pie on 3/14/15, at 9:26.

But I want to do more than eat pie. I want to find other people who would find this fun, so that we can celebrate Pi together. So I've begun planning a Hangout on Air (working title, "Pi - An Irrational Celebration"), to be broadcast from 9 - 9:30 a.m. If you're geeked about Pi, I invite you to join me, not just in the celebration itself, but in the planning.

What do you think would make for a fun and cool half-hour HOA? So far, my ideas are:
  • Having a mathematician speak about what makes Pi worth celebrating; the history and qualities of Pi (I'm especially interested to learn "When did people realize that it never ends?"), 
  • A shared viewing of this YouTube video of a song based on Pi:
  • Ending by ceremoniously diving into a fruit-filled pastry with a flaky crust - precisely because that ending would be silly. And I believe the world could use a great deal more silly.
What do you think? What would you add?
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