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Posts Tagged ‘pi

“It’s exact and indefinite. It’s like pi– you can keep figuring it out and always be right and never be done”*…




It’s Pi Day!  What better way to “prove” 3.14 than with that most perfect of pies– pizza!

Via the ever-illiminating Boing Boing.

See also: “Pi Day: How One Irrational Number Made Us Modern.”

* Peter Schjeldahl, quoting the painter John Currin


As we celebrate the irrational, we might recall that it was on this date in 1958 that “Tequila” hit the top of the pop charts (sales and radio plays, both pop and R&B).



Written by (Roughly) Daily

March 14, 2020 at 1:01 am

“All numbers are by their nature correct. Well, except for Pi, of course. I can’t be doing with Pi. Gives me a headache just thinking about it, going on and on and on and on and on…”*…

It’s Pi Day!

In celebration, a few amusing– and illuminating– links:

The history of pi

Pi day magic revealed

10 stunning images show the beauty hidden in pi

The history of Pi Day

How to Memorize Pi if You’re a Word Person (from whence, the image above)

* Neil Gaiman, Anansi Boys


As we enumerate endlessly, we might pause for a piece of pi(e)…


… in celebration of Albert Einstein’s birthday; he was born on this date in 1879.


“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

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March 14, 2018 at 1:01 am

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“Exploring pi is like exploring the universe”*…




Pi is an infinite string of seemingly random numbers, but if you break down the first 1000 digits of Pi according to how many times each number from 0 to 9 appears, they’re all just about equal — with 1 being the outlier at 12% (although we wonder if they’d all average to ~10% given enough digits of Pi)…

More at “Visualizing The Breakdown Of The Numbers In The First 1000 Digits Of Pi Is Fascinating.”

* David Chudnovsky


As we watch it even out in the end, we might spare a thought for Hannah Wilkinson Slater; she died on this date in 1812. The daughter and the wife of mill owners, Ms. Slater was the first woman to be issued a patent in the United States (1793)– for a process using spinning wheels to twist fine Surinam cotton yarn, that created a No. 20 two-ply thread that was an improvement on the linen thread previously in use for sewing cloth.

A waxen Hannah, at the Slaters’ Mill Museum in Pawtucket, RI




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October 2, 2017 at 1:01 am

“You drive for show but putt for dough”*…

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“Everybody has their one thing that they’re good at, and if you ever find it, you want to stick with it.”
—Rick Baird

On April 9, 2011, at a tournament in Richmond, Virginia, an IT manager named Rick Baird notched 18 straight hole-in-one shots to record a perfect putt-putt score. In more than 50 years of sanctioned competition, it was just the third time that anyone had achieved the feat.

Putt-putt is different from miniature golf. It’s played only on official courses; there are no pirate ships, no windmills, and no holes that cannot be conquered with one stroke — if you execute the perfect shot. On that day in 2011, Baird executed the perfect shot 18 times in a row.

Via Grantland

* Bobby Locke


As we address the ball, we might recall that it was on this date in 1997 that president Bill Clinton underwent surgery at Bethesda Naval Hospital to repair the quadriceps tendon of his right knee.  An avid golfer, Clinton had injured his knee at 1:20 that morning when he slipped down some stairs at Australian professional golfer Greg Norman’s house.  Clinton’s surgeon later reported that the president’s primary concern after the surgery was when he would again be able to “swing a golf club.”  Upon his return to the links, Clinton continued to improve his game, and once remarked that he was the only president to trim his handicap while in office; it stood at 15 when he left the White House.

President Clinton on the links in 1995


Happy 3.14–  Pi Day!

And Happy Einstein’s Birthday!

Written by (Roughly) Daily

March 14, 2014 at 1:01 am


Okay, what? Shut up, evolution, this cannot actually be a bird. Are you high?

WTF Evolution: “Honoring natural selection’s most awkward creations. Go home, evolution, you are drunk.”

The wolffish is actually modeled after evolution’s cousin Frank. Evolution has always secretly hated its cousin Frank.


As we think over trial and error, we might recall that it was on this date in 1897 that the Indiana State House of Representatives passed Bill No.246 which gave pi the exact value of 3.2– a nice, round… and wrong number.

Hoosier Dr. Edwin J. Goodwin, M.D, a mathematics enthusiast, satisfied himself that he’d succeeded in “squaring the circle.”  Hoping to share with his home state the fame that would surely be forthcoming, Dr. Goodwin drafted legislation that would make Indiana the first to declare the value of pi as law, and convinced Representative Taylor I. Record, a farmer and lumber merchant, to introduce it.  As an incentive, Dr. Goodwin, who planned to copyright his “discovery,” offered in the bill to make it available to Indiana textbooks at no cost.

It seems likely that few members of the House understood the bill (many said so during the debate), crammed as it was with 19th century mathematical jargon.  Indeed, as Petr Beckmann wrote in his History of Pi, the bill contained “hair-raising statements which not only contradict elementary geometry, but also appear to contradict each other.”  (Full text of the bill here.)  Still, it sailed through the House.

As it happened, Professor Clarence Abiathar Waldo, the head of the Purdue University Mathematics Department and author of a book titled Manual of Descriptive Geometry, was in the Statehouse lobbying for the University’s budget appropriation as the final debate and vote were underway. He was astonished to find the General Assembly debating mathematical legislation.  Naturally, he listened in… and he was horrified.

On February 11 the legislation was introduced in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Temperance, which reported the bill favorably the next day, and sent it to the Senate floor for debate.

But Professor Waldo had “coached” (as he later put it) a number of key Senators on the bill, so this time its reception was different.  According to an Indianapolis News report of February 13,

…the bill was brought up and made fun of. The Senators made bad puns about it, ridiculed it and laughed over it. The fun lasted half an hour. Senator Hubbell said that it was not meet for the Senate, which was costing the State $250 a day, to waste its time in such frivolity. He said that in reading the leading newspapers of Chicago and the East, he found that the Indiana State Legislature had laid itself open to ridicule by the action already taken on the bill. He thought consideration of such a propostion was not dignified or worthy of the Senate. He moved the indefinite postponement of the bill, and the motion carried.

As one watches state governments around the U.S. enacting similarly nonsensical, unscientific legislation (e.g., here… perhaps legislators went to school on this), one might be forgiven for wondering “Where’s Waldo?”


Written by (Roughly) Daily

February 5, 2013 at 1:01 am

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