BreakingModern — Well, it’s just about that time again. Pi Day 2015 is celebrated by geeks everywhere on March 14 (3.14) at 1:59 PDT (Get it? 3.14159). Here’s everything you need to know about Pi, including Pi videos, Pi facts, Pi trivia, Pi infographics, Pi art, you name it. If you’re going to party for Pi, we here at BMod think you ought to do it right.
Becoming the smartest Pi expert you know isn’t for lightweights. This is a challenge that takes grit and stamina. But it won’t require a lot of hard work, luckily. Just scroll below, click the links, read the facts and view the videos. You’ll be well on your way to rocking the cult of Pi before you know it.
If you want to head to a real live Pi party, the mother of them all is at San Francisco’s Exploratorium. It was huge last year. And Pi Day 2015 is supposed to be even bigger. There’s a Pi dance, Pi beading, a Pi channel, a Pi shrine.
It is all just a little out of hand.
But if you love math or just want to pretend you do, what’s not to love about Pi Day? And if you’re not in San Francisco, don’t sweat it.
The great thing about Pi is, it’s an equal opportunity number.
Let’s dig in.
What’s Pi? You remember. Pi is the infinite number you get when you calculate the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.
The ancient Greek mathematician, Archimedes of Syracuse, generally gets the credit for Pi, but that’s a lie. He was a latter day promoter. The Babylonians, Egyptians and even the Bible mention Pi several centuries before Archimedes started publicizing the fact that it was his number. That crime took place, historians believe, about or around 260 B.C.
Here’s a great link to an in-depth history of Pi, but before you click, check out the cool Pi facts I’ve been collecting for the last couple of years.
Here’s my impressive collection of Pi facts, if I must say so myself.
- As I mentioned above, Pi didn’t come out of ancient Greece. And Archimedes of Syracuse called the number that we now know as Pi by a different name entirely. In true promotional style, he renamed it after himself. He called it Archimedes’ Constant.
- William Jones of Wales (no known relation to Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales) gave Pi its current name in 1706.
- March 14 — Pi Day — is also Albert Einstein’s birthday. Cool.
- Another way to describe Pi — it’s the number of times the diameter of a circle will fit around its circumference.
- No one knows how Pi ends. It’s an irrational number that is apparently infinite. It just keeps going and going, with no repeating series of numbers. It’s been calculated to well over a trillion places in recent months.
- Calculating Pi isn’t as cool as memorizing and reciting it. There are actually clubs that train people to do this. I once saw a Japanese student, Kiroyuki Gotu, recite Pi from memory during a competition. It took him 112 hours — he recited it accurately to 42,195 places on stage at the NHK Broadcasting center in Tokyo.
- Pi is useful for another purpose. Use it to figure out your hat size. Measure your head — its circumference — divide the measurement by Pi and round it off to an eighth of an inch.
- If you ever are assigned the task of estimating the height of an elephant, here’s the trick. Measure the diameter of its foot and multiply that number by two. Then multiply the result by Pi.
- A number that goes on as long and apparently as randomly as Pi is ripe for all kinds of weird conspiracy theories. There are entire sites dedicated to helping you find your birthday and other meaningful dates in Pi. Convert Pi into images, audio files and, even alphabetic sequences where you can seek out personal messages. Too funny. The Satanical signature 666 doesn’t make an appearance until position 2240. Worth noting.
- Try singing the line “Pi, Pi, 3.1415″ to the tune of Don McLean’s “American Pie” ( …bye, bye, Miss American Pie …). Some kids in CA came up with this years ago — right before the Exploratium kicked off a Pi Day in the spring of 1999. The kids wrote an entire song to the tune and they dedicated it to the day their “math team tied” as opposed to “the day the music died.”
- The true beauty of Pi lies in its flexibility. Find it in harmonic motion theory, superstring calculations, Einstein’s gravitational field equation and more.
- Would you believe you could calculate a circle the size of the entire universe (down to a proton) using Pi to just 39 places? It’s true.
Speaking of learning Pi to the tune of McLean’s “American Pie,” now you have zero excuse not to learn Pi to at least 30 places. All you have to do is grab the real lyrics to the song here. That will help you get your song bearings.
Then, just check out this video of the Pi version of the lyrics, below.
Speaking of math and music, definitely check out the Pi Song below. It was composed by matching the numbers in the Pi string to notes. It’s the sound of Pi. How cool is that.
And I love this. Created just for Pi Day, it’s the Pi Domino Spiral. See if you are able to solve its many hidden references.
Watch this space over the next few days for a ton more Pi facts, links, videos, songs and just plain weird Pi-ish information. We’ve now officially begun our 3.14 countdown.
And check out the infographic below. It’s just an appetizer, but it’s a pretty handy tool for visualizing Pi.
Pi infographic credit: Full Dorm
For BMod, I’m Gina Smith. Happy Pi Day.