Slice of a piece of Pi Day

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  • Pi in the Sky.
  • Pi in the House.

March 14, 2015, is Super Pi Day. So who exactly is celebrating on day of Pi?

Every year, Pi Day (March 14) is a day of mathematical fun and punnery. And 2015 marks Super Pi Day since it’s more than likely the only time current humans will see 3/14/15 show. Numbers representing the first set of numbers for circumference of pi (3.1415).

Then again, who knows when science fiction will be reality? There could be a whole bunch of Lady Cassandras in a hundred years, enjoying a nice moisturizing cream and watching the world act foolish again.

Of course, there are definitely rules to be observed. The Tennessean reminds people to not celebrate the day with cornbread. Why? Because some people seem to think cornbread is supposed to be square, when it’s definitely best out of a round pan—cut into teeny slivers to keep the best parts to yourself by hiding those pieces in a napkin for a snack later on.

Oh, sorry. Slipped into southernism again. It’s a terrible joke but works regionally. Plus, cornbread is delicious.

This year MIT chose to be clever by filming a short video where pieces of paper are slid into in a mailing tubes and flown across the world on drones. Even the school’s dome transformers into a launching base. And why all the secrecy? Admissions!

The class of 2019 should be receiving acceptance letters in the mail soon. Never hurts to be a little geeky, right? Geek is chic.

And it’s not just regular people getting in on the action, either.

Turns out that lawmakers took time out of their day to discuss the one day a year that math rules the entire planet. (Ignoring Tax Day, which is a day in which Americans alone celebrate a groaning wallet and blurry eyes of defeat.) The Hill reports that Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) is the lone Congressperson to hold a PhD in mathematics.

Obviously, it’s his job to lecture us on the awesomeness of pi.

Since antiquity, “the concept was discovered in Ancient Greece, referenced in the Bible, and has been refined over the millennia. π is in a class of numbers, called transcendental numbers, that cannot be expressed as a ratio of two integers or as the root of a polynomial, but has an infinite, non-repeating decimal expression.”

Okay, why isn’t he teaching math? Even I could follow that line of mathematical logic. He also notes that while some Indiana statesmen tried to round up the number to 3.2, no one was having it. 

And Steven Strogatz, a Cornell math professor wrote a column in the New Yorker, explaining the mystique of the number. “The beauty of pi, in part, is that it puts infinity within reach. Even young children get this. The digits of pi never end and never show a pattern. They go on forever, seemingly at random—except that they can’t possibly be random, because they embody the order inherent in a perfect circle.”

Pi Day isn’t just about pie, or pi. It’s about opening the imagination and innovation of math on an easy-to-follow level. March 14 is about having fun and embracing the complexity of life. Just don’t tell Neil deGrasse Tyson how much you’re enjoying the day.

On Twitter, the scientist initially shot down the idea of celebrating the day since majority of society doesn’t follow month/day/year, instead preferring day/month/year. Suddenly 14/3/15 doesn’t hold the same special appeal.

Of course, he relented and offered little bits of trivia. Including the fact today is Albert Einstein’s birthday. Birthday buddy Billy Crystal (67) won in shared day honors. After all, Michael Caine (82) and Apollo astronaut Frank Borman (87) join in the fun, too. Good day to like math. Where would science be without a little math to help prove those incredible theories?

And if all, this math is making you hungry for something other than cornbread, go out and get a gooey piece of pie. Now, granted, officially pie day is January 23, but how often do math and food go together in such sweet bliss?

Gothamist has a list of deals for New Yorkers, Washingtonian has DC covered, while the Mission Pie bakery in San Francisco stopped taking pie orders 3.14 days before the 14th. And PBS is all about the banana cream pie.

So…go celebrate π Day with a little ingenuity. Be clever for me since math and I are not exactly on friendly terms. Instead I just advise everyone to enjoy a piece of delicious, straight from the oven pie.


Sources: Gothamist, New Yorker, SF Gate, The Hill, Tennessean, Twitter, Washingtonian, YouTube


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