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May 21, 2018

Happy Pi Day!

Happy Pi Day, everyone!  The post below is actually recycled from last year’s Pi Day. But rather than confess to you that it’s a lot easier and quicker to repost this one, than to write a new one, I’m going to come at this from the angle that just as pi is eternally, beautifully constant, so will be my annual Pi Day post. It’s not laziness… it’s simply an homage to the great unchanging gloriousness that is pi. (How’d I do? That’s my story and I’m stickin’ with it!)



I was reminded this morning that today is “Pi Day.” March 14 = 3/14 = 3.14 = pi. Roughly.

How could I have forgotten?

I have always loved pi. I remember the day I learned about pi. It was the same day I learned about negative numbers – a banner day, mathematically speaking, for a kid with a giant blackboard and a big brother who was a math major.

So many other numbers just seem to conform. They are predictable and knowable. With 5, you know exactly what you’re getting. But pi is an anomaly. It is deliciously significant in the fabric of things. You need it to figure out the nuts and bolts of a simple circle, for goodness sake. But pi itself stands outside the metaphorical circle, and defies anyone to really figure it out. You can know what it is, but you can never really know IT. It can’t even be memorized. It is irrational, and proud of it. It is transcendental, mathematically and conceptually. Among numbers it is King. Or Queen. Or Court Jester.

Pi is actually


… and on, and on – infinitelyand without pattern. Take that.

So, if I’d been thinking, I might have made note of today at 1:59am plus 26 and a half seconds as “pi moment.” I wonder if anyone paid attention in 1592 when the date was 3/14/1592 – a full on, “in-your-face” pi day.

From wikipedia:

π (sometimes written pi) is a mathematical constant whose value is the ratio of any circle‘s circumference to its diameter in Euclidean space; this is the same value as the ratio of a circle’s area to the square of its radius. It is approximately equal to 3.141593 in the usual decimal notation. (snip)Many formulae from mathematics, science, and engineering involve π, which is one of the most important mathematical and physical constants.[5]

π is an irrational number, which means that its value cannot be expressed exactly as a fraction m/n, where m and n are integers. Consequently, its decimal representation never ends or repeats. It is also a transcendental number, which implies, among other things, that no finite sequence of algebraic operations on integers (powers, roots, sums, etc.) can be equal to its value; proving this was a late achievement in mathematical history and a significant result of 19th century German mathematics. Throughout the history of mathematics, there has been much effort to determine π more accurately and to understand its nature; fascination with the number has even carried over into non-mathematical culture.

The Greek letter π, often spelled out pi in text, was adopted for the number from the Greek word for perimeter “περίμετρος”, first by William Jones in 1707, and popularized by Leonhard Euler in 1737.

So, now what? How does one celebrate this special day? Before you just go the safe route and march around in a circle reciting digits, check out this web page which lists all sorts of fun ways to celebrate Pi Day. This is not a time to hold back your geekiness. Today you get to wear it like a badge. Let it out of the closet, and go for a run for pi miles – you’ll never know when you hit it, but when you’ve gone 3.2 miles, you’ve gone too far. Bake a pie, throw a pie, rent the movie Pi, or have a pi-zza pie.

And as if this was not enough to get your inner mathemetician all a-twitter, you can raise a glass of pi-napple juice and give a toast to Albert Einstein whose birthday was today.

So, Happy Pi Day to you all. I’m going to celebrate by eating something out of my pi plate. Yes, I really have one just like this:




28 Responses to “Happy Pi Day!”
  1. Buffalogal says:

    Back in the 60s, when I was a wee sprite, we had a huge backyard with a fabulous garden, fruit trees, berry bushes and a big ol’ meandering patch of rhubarb that spread out and over into the neighbor’s yard. In the spring, Mom would often send me out to gather a basket of those tall, gorgeous, red/green stalks so she could make pi(e) , jam, or rhubarby whatnot.

    One day I went out there and found our neighbor laying on his back, full on nekkid, hidden within his portion of the rhubarb patch. As I had been brought up to be a polite child I didn’t scream or immediately run but rather said ” good morning” and backed away casually. When I thought I was out of visual range I bolted into the house and up into the kitchen and hysterically told Mom what I had seen.

    Mom didn’t seem at all surprised and continued on with pinching the pie dough into the tins. I stood there a few moments, waiting for some sort of reaction until finally she said, ” Well, here’s the thing you have to remember about Lou. He was in the concentration camps when he was very young. That makes a difference. ” I had nooooo idea what she was talking about because at 6 years old what did I know for concentration camps ( or for naked men in rhubarb patches for that matter ) . I just knew that there was no way I was going back out there , even if it meant no pie ever again.

    Early the next morning Mom dragged the hose out back and set it up right near the rhubarb patch. For the next few days she kept an eye on the backyard window. She eventually saw Lou wander out and she waited for him to get comfortably “situated”. Then, she calmly went out the side door and turned on the water to the hose which then started the big rotating sprinkler which then soaked the bejeebers out of naked Lou. It actually took two more times before he gave up laying out there in the yard. ( a few weeks later we discovered he had taken his naked napping to his upper back porch but – well that’s another story ….. )

    So anyway – as math makes my head hurt, this is the best I can offer on Pi day. Thanks Mag the Mick for bringing up rhubarb and this memory. It was one of Mom’s favorites.

  2. Zyxomma says:

    Happy Birthday, Albert. He’s one of my personal saints. And I even have a Pi story:

    No one in Bobby’s family had gone beyond seventh grade in school. All were determined that Bobby would be a high school graduate.

    One day, he came home from school, and the whole family greeted him. His dad inquired, “Bobby, what did you learn in school today?”

    Bobby smiled at his father, and said, “Dad! Pi, r, square!!”

    His father frowned, and said, “Bobby, I ain’t got yer book learnin’ but son, everyone knows this! Pie are round! Cornbread are square.”

  3. Sourdough Mullet says:

    Off-topic, but I don’t see an open thread, and Oh, My God, you’ve got see this!

    It’s regarding comments to Virginia Republican caucus chairman Ryan McDougle’s facebook page. Mr. McDougle “has proven himself a fearless, uterusless supporter of Getting all up in The Commonwealth’s Ladybusiness”.
    Some Absolutely Hilarious comments on the screen captures, worth sharing!!

  4. Paddlefoot says:

    Buckminster Fuller did not think that pi existed in nature. When he was in the Navy, he spoke of standing at the stern of the boat and watching all of the bubbles that were in the water as the ship motored on. “At what number does nature round off pi in order to form a bubble?” Something to think about.

    • Alaska Pi says:

      Mr Fuller had a different vantage point on things than most of us. His questioning of the ratio we call pi resulted in some rather remarkable results.
      Some of the most interesting turns in human thought come from standing what works well in our understanding of the world we live in on it’s head and describing what we see then 🙂

  5. COalmost Native says:

    Tomorrow: beware the Ides of March! (play scary music now…)

  6. benlomond2 says:

    Pie-in-my-mouth is my favorite type of pie…. with the one exception of “Moose Turd Pie”.. from an old radio comedy sketch…

    • benlomond2 says:

      although “Pie in the wife’s face” is a favorite,too… we went to Nickelodeon tour in Orlando from the “Make a Wish” foundation when daughter #1 was small… where she got “slimed” and then wanted to put a pie in Mom’s face…the video clip is a family favorite !

      • Mag the Mick says:

        Moose turd pie…good,though.

        I used to have a “pie plant” (rhubarb) right outside my door in Anchorage. As soon as those stalks got red,I’d grab a frozen pie crust, a can of Eagle Brad milk,a couple eggs, and a handful of rhubarb stalks to make rhubarb custard pie. othing better!

  7. Thisby says:

    I love lemon meringue pie, which my mom used to make, but now I can make it with my own lemons off my tree.

    But if Pi – zza is allowed, can I also indulge in a nice Pi-not noir or Pi-not gris?

  8. John says:

    Thanks for the reminder. I almost missed it. It is my second favorite day right after National Punctuation Day.

  9. Ripley in CT says:

    I hope this works.

  10. COalmost Native says:

    My favorite is Jayhawk Pie: combine sour cherries and blueberries, in a lattice topped-crust. The perfect choice during March Madness!

    • thatcrowwoman says:

      rock chalk jayhawk, eh?
      Badgers and Bulldogs (Asheville?!!!) and my, oh, my!

      Littlebird was born during tourney-time 22 years ago…just after midnight, so on my birthday, also, too. The game Happy was watching (Georgia vs. ?) went into overtime: if it had gone into double overtime, Littlebird would have been born in the forest instead of the hospital. The nurses brought me birthday cake at 4 in the morning. 🙂 This year, SpiderMan will bake birthday cake for Littlebird away at college, but I’m thinking I might try Jayhawk Pie here in the forest. Thank you for the idea, there, COalmost Native.

      • COalmost Native says:

        It’s awesome, especially with Colorado-grown cherries- I freeze both fruits in season, and enjoy the pie anytime.

        Yes, Rock Chalk Jayhawk- go KU! One of the few good, positive things in and from the Sunflower State right now…

  11. AKMuckraker says:

    Alaska Pi is totally my favorite. After that, I’d have to go with chocolate pecan.

    • thatcrowwoman says:

      and this post is absolutely not “recycled” laziness, AKM.
      It’s vintage!
      It’s classic!

      It’s delightful, it’s delicious, it’s de-lovely.
      Ella says so:


    • leenie17 says:

      Chocolate pecan…yummm! Love me some pi(e)!

  12. thatcrowwoman says:

    I like pi!

    **passing some of my favorites**
    Apple with streusel topping (mama’s recipe)
    Cherry with lattice crust (recipe from Grandpa Linus, of blessed memory)
    Blueberry! (with fond memories of the rez)
    Pecan (sometimes you feel like a nut…)
    Key lime (one of the best things about Florida)
    Mississippi Mud (with a nod to Littlebird)

    oh, look, it’s Chicken Pot, also, too.

    Somebody else will have to bring the pumpkin, sweet tater, or Boston creme; ick ick ick, but no offense if you like them.

    What’s your favorite?
    (After Alaska Pi, of course!)

  13. COalmost Native says:

    Pi!? I don’t want to be a Pi! I don’t like gravy!

    Sorry… couldn’t resist. Anyone else a fan of “Chicken Run”? 😉

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