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Math Science

10 Ways To Celebrate International Pi Day 180

Posted by timothy
from the meteor-tail-pink dept.
We'd like to wish you a happy Pi Day. It may be just as arbitrary as some other holidays (though perhaps easier to schedule than some), but any excuse for some delicious food is one I'll take. Reader alphadogg writes with a few suggestions of ways to take part in this convenient celebration of both rationality and irrationality. (And lead your comment with the number of digits you can recite offhand ...)
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10 Ways To Celebrate International Pi Day

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  • Party! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bidule (173941) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @10:17AM (#43171321) Homepage

    Go to bed at 3:08:30 AM, not 3:14:16 as heretics would do.

    • I'm getting married at 1:59.
      • by Q-Hack! (37846) *

        Personally, I am waiting on Tau day; June 28, 3185

        On a side note, does anybody know a good cryogenics lab?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    that's all I got ...

  • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @10:21AM (#43171363) Journal

    Put a tiger in your tank

  • I prefer tau day (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @10:21AM (#43171371) Homepage
    I prefer tau day as it gives me an excuse to get 2 pies instead of just one.

    For the record I only know pi out to 5 significant digits 3.14159
    • I prefer tau day as it gives me an excuse to get 2 pies instead of just one.

      For the record I only know pi out to 5 significant digits 3.14159

      Fourteen digits are given by a mnemonic I learned in grade school:

      How I wish I could recollect of circle round the exact relation Archimede(s) unwound.

      Just count the letters in each word.

      • by iapetus (24050) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @10:51AM (#43171765) Homepage

        I wish I could determine pi
        "Eureka!" cried the great inventor.
        Christmas pudding, Christmas pie
        To the problem's very center.

        Twenty digits (omitting the 3, which everyone can remember anyway), and I find it very memorable.

      • by tehcyder (746570)
        By the time you've memorised the not-exactly memorable mnemonic, made a mental note about the (s) and learned how to translate the number of letters in a word into a number instantaneously [*] (and so on) you might as well just learn the actual digits by heart. A 14 long sequence of numbers is really not that hard to remember, it's not like you're going to have thousands of other irrational numbers to remember.

        [*] You're going to look pretty stupid if you have to write the thing out and count the letters

        • by Zalbik (308903)

          Agreed. In my younger years, I memorized the first 50 digits of pi on a bet that I couldn't do it in an hour.

          I thought I'd long forgotten them, but to my surprise when I tried writing it down the first 17 digits were still there. Only took me 20 minutes to be able to recite the remaining 33 as well

          In any case, two far better ways to remember long digits are the major system [wikipedia.org] or the method of loci [wikipedia.org].

      • by WhiteDragon (4556)

        How I wish I could recollect of circle round the exact relation Archimede(s) unwound.

        Just count the letters in each word.

        The one I learned is
        How I need a drink, alcoholic of course after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics

        • by mk1004 (2488060)
          The one I learned, to the 20th decimal place: Sir, I send a rhyme excelling, in sacred truth and rigid spelling. Numerical sprites elucidate, for me the lexicon's dull weight.
    • by sosume (680416)

      My favorite is 'steak and blowjob day' .. which is, coincidentally, today..

  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @10:22AM (#43171377) Homepage
    I can recite all the digits of pi - just not necessarily in the right order.
    • by drosboro (1046516)

      Just finished teaching my pre-calculus class we've made kind of a week out of it a bunch of students were going away for Spring Break a little early, so we had several pies (coconut cream and strawberry rhubarb were among the standouts) on Tuesday then we went back to it today with a couple of apple pies for the few kids I've got left :)

      Now if only there could be a mathematical constant called "poutine", I'd really be set.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The real PI day is on 2015.
    3.14.15 to be exact.

  • Watch Life of Pi, starting it at 3:14PM, while eating pie.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Shouldn't you start at 1:59 pm?

    • by slinches (1540051)

      Or you can watch Pi [imdb.com], which actually has some math in it. (okay, so it's more numerology than actual math, but at least there's numbers in there).

      • Seriously--that movie annoyed me very much. My wife was like "you'll like this movie because it's about math." Which turned out to be false. (my expectations were apparently unreasonably high)

        • Seriously--that movie annoyed me very much.

          For a far better movie about math, watch Donald Duck in Mathmagic Land [youtube.com]. When I was in 4th grade, my teacher was sick, so the substitute show that film to the class. I learned more from Donald Duck than I learned in the whole rest of the year. I saw that math could be fun and entertaining, and not just drills and word problems. To this day, I still remember the Golden Ratio, and the Fibonacci Sequence, and how they are related.

    • by skywhale (664067)
      Watch Life of Pi streamed from a Raspberry Pi, starting it at 3:14PM, while eating pie.
    • Make a chart to illustrate how much time you spent making pie and then eating it while watching Life of Pi, which started at 3.14pm, on International Pi Day

      Oh, and I've always remembered 3.141592653589. My mother's phone number is a complete mystery...

    • I found myself checking the time a lot. Perhaps it was the lack of dialog during the majority of the movie when there was just one human. Castaway had a similar problem.

      I was shocked to hear Rhythm & Hues who got an effects Oscar for this movie had gone bankrupt. They had a real nice 25th anniversary presentation at 2012 SIGGRAPH.
  • Do I still need to recite them?
  • Why pick Samhain as being difficult to determine? Whats hard about Oct 31st-Nov 1st? Its celebrated as one day changes to the next (the start of the Celtic new year), and as far as I know never wavers. Its an old Pagan festival.

    Easter on the other hand is calculated by some obscure and much more complex system ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter [wikipedia.org] ). Also an old Pagan festival suborned by Christianity quite possibly, but then thats true of a lot of them :P

    Very odd choice for the summary, although as we all

    • by Hey_bob (6104)

      Perhaps by "easier to schedule" Tim meant that with trick-or-treaters(kids) or various the costume parties, those of us celebrating Samhain have to figure out how to schedule around those things. :-) Cause, really.. I'm not going to be the one to tell the gf's kids that they can't go out in costume, because "your mommy and I want to go do ritual." :-P

    • How is this relevant to the story? You might have a point about Halloween be co-opted and maybe if you had mentioned the date of christmas and some of the trappings of modern christmas but the content of the christmas festival celebrated by bible believing christians has nothing to do with the "yule". The church, in that case chose December 25th for its symbolism. It fit well with the idea that the christ child was the "light" coming into a world of darkness. The fact that the placement of the date could be
      • by Phrogman (80473)

        I am well aware of the meaning of Christmas, I am not that fucking stupid. Because its not the same day - or name - as Yule, I didn't mention it. Also it has a fixed date.
        Easter on the otherhand does not have a fixed date. The only reasons I mentioned it is because Samhain has a fixed date, and Easter does not. I also jokingly mentioned it had been coopted solely because of the name Easter which might come from a European Pagan Horse goddess named Eostre and that made it a tad relevant.
        My point was that Sam

        • Yeah, Easter does not have a fixed date because the festival of Passover is also not a fixed date. Anything else you would like to say genius? I suggest that you read the page you linked to. It explains how Easter, as celebrated by christians, is tied to the Passover festival in Judaism. It has nothing to do with bunny rabbits, easter eggs or any other such silliness.
          • Yeah, Easter does not have a fixed date because the festival of Passover is also not a fixed date.

            Of course Passover has a fixed date: Nisan 14 every year, as Jehovah's Witnesses sing every year at their Memorial service. It's just that the solar calendar used throughout the majority of the diaspora doesn't start on a fixed date relative to the Hebrew lunar calendar under which Passover was instituted.

          • by Phrogman (80473)

            Your missing the point that the reason we associate bunny rabbits and easter eggs and all that is due to the original pagan influences for the pagan celebration held at the same time roughly. Thats all I meant by that.

      • the content of the christmas festival celebrated by bible believing christians has nothing to do with the "yule".

        Then what's with the Christmas trees? (Jeremiah 10:1-5) And what's with the "do not open until Xmas" spirit of holding back of gift-giving in the months leading up to the date? Learn why one Christian denomination believes origins matter [jw.org]:

        Maybe you feel that the origins of holidays have little to do with how they are celebrated today. Do origins really matter? Yes! To illustrate: Suppose you saw a piece of candy lying in the gutter. Would you pick up that candy and eat it? Of course not! That candy is unclea

        • Only two birthdays are ever mentioned in the Bible, and in both cases, the birthday boy had someone put to death as his gift.--Genesis 40:16-23; Mark 6:14-29.

          At first, I couldn't figure out what you were talking about -- I'd imagine that several birthdays are mentioned in the Bible (Moses and Jesus come to mind). Then I realized that you were talking about birthday anniversaries.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 14, 2013 @10:27AM (#43171447)

    I wasn't aware that Pi was now defined as 14.3

    • by sarysa (1089739)
      Then no pi(e) for you!
    • by sarysa (1089739)
      P.s. I prefer yyyymmdd as the standard and I'm still not poohpoohing this. I'm an atheist and I use xmas as a present day. People yearn for excuses to celebrate, so just roll with it.
  • July 22nd would seem to be a more accurate value for Pi day, shirley?

    • by Lithdren (605362)

      I'm celebrating pi every day I can... and stop calling me Shirley!

  • I'm out of practice... was "playing" https://developer.palm.com/appredirect/?packageid=de.komola.pi [palm.com]

  • Eating pie! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Zaatxe (939368) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @10:29AM (#43171475)
    That's the only way! ONLY WAY!
  • *NATIONAL* pi day (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ljw1004 (764174) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @10:30AM (#43171485)

    This can't be an "International" pi day. It's a US-specific pi day (Month-Day-Year). It might also extend to Japan and ISO8601 (Year-Month-Day).

    Little-endian (Day-Month-Year) is common to the vast majority of the world's countries. And 3-14 doesn't exist.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Every coder should write the date in the yyyymmddhhnnss format (which would give you 03-14) simply because it sorts properly.

      • by TeknoHog (164938)

        Also, no matter how you write it, consider the significant figures. 3 is the most significant figure in both 3.14 and 14th of March.

        However, the problem with this logic is that it's less than 3 months since the beginning of the year, while pi is more than 3 after zero....

        • I was worried that I'd missed all of the Pi Day fun. Little did I know that there was a C programmer lurking nearby, waiting to output it as April 15th for display purposes.
    • by martica (20295) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @10:50AM (#43171747) Homepage

      "International" means "national" in the US. They assume that anything that applies to them, applies to everyone else, and if it doesn't, it doesn't for a reason that doesn't concern them, being as they are clearly foreigners and are just being different for the sake of being different.

      • by Zalbik (308903)

        "International" means "national" in the US. They assume that anything that applies to them, applies to everyone else, and if it doesn't, it doesn't for a reason that doesn't concern them, being as they are clearly foreigners and are just being different for the sake of being different.

        Yes, if only there were some sort of international date format [wikipedia.org]. Perhaps one agreed to by some sort of International Standards Organization [wikipedia.org]. And if only that date format [xkcd.com] had the month prior to the day ....then we could righ

    • by steelfood (895457)

      Pi Day only can exist in one calendar format. And that is precisely why it's international. If it could exist in multiple formats, everybody else would have their own Pi Day. But since there's only one, everbody gets to either celebrate it on the same day, or not have a Pi Day at all.

    • Little-endian (Day-Month-Year) is common to the vast majority of the world's countries.

      xkcd #1179: ISO 8601 [xkcd.com]

      • by rsborg (111459)

        Little-endian (Day-Month-Year) is common to the vast majority of the world's countries.

        xkcd #1179: ISO 8601 [xkcd.com]

        I personally preferred the military method 27FEB2013 - no delimiters necessary as the numeric/alpha boundary is adequate. Of course, in other languages this varies (ie, francais = 27FEV2013).

        • Of course, in other languages this varies

          That's one of the problems. The other is that FEB is all hexadecimal digits: 0x27FEB2013 = 10,736,050,195.

    • by sootman (158191)

      > 3-14 doesn't exist.

      Sure it does. Just keep waiting...

  • by MetalliQaZ (539913) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @10:33AM (#43171531)

    Tau Day [tauday.com]

  • People from my work bring various kinds of pies from home and we have a sampling at 3:14 in the afternoon. Corny, but tasty! My favorite are the small fried apple pies. Yuuuummmmmmm.
  • "Oh, thought it was 'pee' day. Silly me. Really sorry about your shoes, ma'am."

  • To celebrate Pi day, try performing this division:

    4427007044615115050034854648525685871587 / 1409160108506276783085718440252375099653

    • ~ :) bc
      bc 1.06.95
      Copyright 1991-1994, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2004, 2006 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
      This is free software with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.
      For details type `warranty'.
      4427007044615115050034854648525685871587 / 1409160108506276783085718440252375099653
      3
      ^D

      See, it really is 3!

  • Squaring the circle was demonstrated impossible 131 years ago... all you can do now is to walk around the square.
    • by magarity (164372)

      Squaring the circle was demonstrated impossible 131 years ago... all you can do now is to walk around the square.

      Pie aren't square. Pie are round.

  • Just remind everyone that the volume of a pizza of radius z and thickness a is pi z z a.
    • by j-beda (85386)

      Just remind everyone that the volume of a pizza of radius z and thickness a is pi z z a.

      I like that.

  • by camperdave (969942) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @10:58AM (#43171873) Journal
    Do you recognize this famous number?: 1.3591409142295226176801437356763...

    That's right. It's e/2. Why e/2, you ask? Well, let me ask a similar question. Why celebrate Tau/2?

    A circle is the locus of all points equidistant from a single point. Circles are defined by their radius. The natural circle constant is the relationship between the length of the radius and the circumference of the circle: Tau. No alien culture is going to be beaming 3.14159... into space. They will be sending 6.28318...

    It's no wonder aliens don't want to contact us. We can't do basic math. We must be the laughing stock of the galaxy.
    • by TheSpoom (715771)

      Excuse me, aliens haven't contacted us yet because we don't yet have warp technology, so they're prevented by the Prime Directive.

      And you call yourself a geek.

  • That's as far as I can go. We have a pizzeria named Pi in St. Louis (it's famous because President Obama had one delivered to the White House) and they are running specials today.
  • FWIW, as requested: 120 digits (was 200 at one time, in competition with a dormmate in college. Hi Rob!)

    That experience lead me to question how many digits are useful? Of course, that depends on how you define useful. Computer burn-in testing, theory of algorithms and optimizations thereof notwithstanding, I was thinking more along the lines of physical applications.

    Question:What is the largest circular body that I could conceivable try to calculate the circumference of, and what is the finest measu

    • by femtobyte (710429)

      For testing compiler optimization and computer speeds, and validating numerical libraries, a few billion digits.

    • by MrLogic17 (233498)

      I have heard NASA uses 32 digits, but I have no citation for that.

      I can only remember 27 digits now, used to be a few more. Competition with a cousin (Hi Matt!), and I lost. Turns our I was mentally using groups of 2, he was using groups of 4.

  • Ratio of circle's diameter to its radius. Yipee.
  • Last year on PI day I went out to lunch at 1pm
    It took about an hour to eat - I could have film developed or glasses made.
    Being Pi day I of course got the wonderful gooey food.
    It was delivered to my table at 1:58 so I waited a minute to eat it.
    I started at 3-14 1:59.
    It just coincindence though.

    Unfortuately there are no more Perkins near me anymore. :(

  • ... International Binary Day?

  • How will I spend Pi Day? Probably by reading the same story from previous years. [google.com]

  • And it just happens the subject-line mnemonic is how many digits I've memorized: 3.1415926.

    My favorite for inputting an approximate pi into a calculator is the 11 33 55 hack: 355/113 is close enough to pi for most practical purposes: It's high by about one part in ten million. You can check against the above mnemonic: The approximation fails on the eighth digit, producing 9, rather than 6.

  • No, March 14 is White Day. You know, the holiday one month after Valentine's Day, but reversed so that women can pursue men they like instead of waiting around?

    What the hell? An internationally aware website like Slashdot (always one for a good metric flame) has no idea what today is to most of the world? Instead "celebrating" this "holiday" that only makes sense if you use non-SI units?

  • Don't go to Marie Callender's.

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming

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