It is Pi day today

Not only is today Pi day, but right now the time is Pi.

Are you thinking ???.

OK … pi = 3.14159…. but you knew that (unlike the folks from Indiana in 1897).

Today is 14th March, or to use the US format … 3.14 … and right now (as I publish this, it is 1:59)

Am I making this up? Nope, here is the press release

Today, 4,000 years after people first discovered how useful pi could be, we are about to celebrate International Pi Day. The first time a day was dedicated to pi was on March 14, 1989 at the Exploratorium, a museum of science, art and human perception in San Francisco. The idea was the brainchild of Larry Shaw, a physicist at the center. (See picture of Larry Shaw, “Prince of Pi,” at right.)

Since then, this museum and many others, as well as universities, schools and individuals have celebrated Pi Day by performing pi-related activities; some serious and some less so, such as creating pi puns; baking, throwing and eating pies; and singing pi songs. You can check out this year’s bash at the Exploratorium here.

1 thought on “It is Pi day today”

  1. As many factual errors as facts. Pi was first defined in the 1st Century AD, although there is some indication the Greeks had figured it out, roughly, as far back as 500 BC. The Egyptians MAY have figured it out, to the same rough figure (essentially a fraction), earlier, although the “evidence” is inconclusive, and suffers from the same problem as most of Egyptology–misdating by as much as 1,000 years. The papyrus used as “proof” is cited as “Old Kingdom”, but the “writing” on it is much younger–probably Middle Kingdom. Writing as such did not exist prior to about 1500 BC–or rather, the few “examples” are probably younger than claimed. Earlier styles are mainly pictographic. Still, it’s likely that Euclid (Ca. 300 BC) certainly used something on the order of Pi, a fraction represented as 22/7, although the error factor would have caused no small amount of problems, since that works out to 13.1428. The Egyptians used 25/8 (3.125) and (16/9)² = 3.1605, both bigger errors than the Greeks. The early Hindis used 339/108 (3.139). The Chinese perfected the number to seven places, in the 5th Century AD, using graphical methods.


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