Tag Archives: pi

2013 Pi Day

It is once again Pi Day! I’m proud of \pi for having survived yet another year. Let’s hope that we can celebrate many more \pi days for this most glorious number.

I wonder sometimes: if pi could think, what would it think about all of those silly humans who celebrate Pi Day every year? Would \pi be honored? Or offended? Given that every Pi Day makes me feel old, how does \pi feel about the aging process?


2*Pi Day

Today’s date is 6/28, which is 2 \pi Day for those of us with 10 fingers (or toes). Some evil people might tell you that they think today is \tau Day, but this kind of propaganda shall not be tolerated; \pi is better (or at least no worse) than \tau in every imaginable way.

Coincidentally, 6 and 28 are both perfect numbers, so I declare today to be Perfect Number Day. This all goes to show the deep connection that \pi has with perfection. Or maybe it just demonstrates that sufficient numerology can be made to prove anything.

2012 Pi Day

Happy Pi Day!

Here’s a movie named after this most wondrous number: Pi.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any mental harm resulting from viewing this movie. You have been warned.

The movie can be entertaining, but it is also somewhat disturbing. The mathematical inaccuracies are also rather unfortunate.

Happy Pi Day!

This is the obligatory pi day post.

Despite my insistence on celebrating this most glorious of holidays, I believe that celebrating Pi Day is silly numerology. Here’s why:

  • 3.14 depends on the base 10 number system.
  • 3.14 is only an approximation.
  • Pi Day suggests that pi is more important than other mathematical constants, such as e or tau.

Of course, celebrating e day is rather difficult because February does not have 71 days. There is actually a movement to celebrate Tau Day, however. I believe that celebrating tau instead of pi is even sillier.

  • Tau Day suffers from all of the problems of Pi Day that were listed above.
  • What food would we eat on Tau Day?
  • Why don’t we celebrate 2 Pi i day instead?
  • Einstein was born on Pi Day.
  • In particle physics, the pi particle is lighter and therefore more nimble than the tau particle. In addition, the pi particle interacts by the strong force while the tau particle interacts via the weak force.
  • Roughly speaking, pions are the particles that bind protons and neutrons together in the nucleus (according to the Yukawa interaction). Without pions, the only element in the world would be hydrogen, which would be rather unfortunate. So pions are very important in everyday life. In contrast the tau is basically a fat electron that decays quickly and doesn’t really do anything, so it’s pretty useless.
  • In chemistry, pi bonds are crucial while tau bonds are much less important.
  • \prod is the symbol for product, so pi represents productivity.
  • “Pirates” starts with pi, and as we should know, the decrease in pirates is linked with an increase in average global temperature.

Numerology is silly. In other news, today is the anniversary of the creation of this blog. Guess which post so far has been the most popular? Ironically, it’s 2011: Numerology.

Google and Pi

According to my standards, Google has violated its motto of “don’t be evil”. Here’s why:

Search for “pi” on Google: http://www.google.com/#q=pi. You’ll notice that Google’s calculator has helpfully provided an approximate value of pi. But look more closely, and you’ll see that there’s a minor problem:

Google used an equals sign, suggesting that pi is precisely 3.14159265. However, as we all should know, pi is irrational and never terminates, so Google is actually telling us something that is blatantly false. By doing so, it is corrupting the minds of all people who view that webpage. Even worse, Google’s calculator truncates the values of all numbers without any indication; even the value of \frac13 is wrong. We must work to stop this nonsense! Please write to Google and ask them to fix this mathematical falsity.

Click to see a surprising insightful commentary on Google’s evil scheming to rid the world of infinite decimals:

Read more of this post

Indiana Pi Bill

Today is Pi Day! The date is April 26, the day when Earth has made 2 radians of its orbit around the sun since the New Year. The time when Earth completed \frac1\pi of its orbit was at 4:23:41AM this morning, when I was asleep. Though I missed the precise time (and also failed to eat pie today), I’d still like to recognize this glorious holiday. So today, we’ll honor this holiday by recalling some history.

In 1897, the human named Edwin J. Goodwin believed that he had found a way to square the circle, and he proposed to allow the state of Indiana to use this result for free, provided that they passed a bill accepting his results and defining the \pi = 3.2. The gullible representative Taylor I. Record introduced this bill (number 246) to the Indiana House for approval. After some deliberation, the bill was endorsed by the Committee on Education and subsequently passed unanimously by the House. Luckily, just as this bill was being endorsed by the Senate, the mathematician C. A. Waldo visited the Senate and persuaded the senators to suspend a decision on the bill indefinitely. This is one of the most famous attempts to legislate mathematics.

The consideration of this bill is ridiculous in several ways. First of all, the mathematics in the bill is incorrect, demonstrating that the Indiana representatives at the time had no mathematical knowledge and no proper fact checking. Even worse, Goodwin stated that passage of the bill was a prerequisite for using his proof free of charge, despite the fact that royalties cannot be requested for mathematical results.

Thus, we see that by voting on this bill, the Indiana General Assembly showed that they are not qualified to make any decision on mathematical results, and the Committee on Education showed that they are incompetent. Though such a bill is unlikely to be considered today, the general trend still holds. Legislators in America (as well as the general public) are not well-informed about basic facts, but they still believe that they have the right to legislate on matters that they do not fully understand. Furthermore, the modern equivalent of the Committee on Education is still highly under-qualified to make decisions on mathematical education, and I still wouldn’t trust them with properly treating the value of pi. As an over-generalization, we see that many of our elected officials should never have been elected at all. Those who elected them — the general public — should be banned from voting. Dictatorship is certainly a much more efficient system than democracy.

The full text of the Indiana Pi Bill (Bill 246 of the 1897 Indiana General Assembly):

A Bill for an act introducing a new mathematical truth and offered as a contribution to education to be used only by the State of Indiana free of cost by paying any royalties whatever on the same, provided it is accepted and adopted by the official action of the Legislature of 1897.

Section 1
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana: It has been found that a circular area is to the square on a line equal to the quadrant of the circumference, as the area of an equilateral rectangle is to the square on one side. The diameter employed as the linear unit according to the present rule in computing the circle’s area is entirely wrong, as it represents the circle’s area one and one-fifth times the area of a square whose perimeter is equal to the circumference of the circle. This is because one fifth of the diameter fails to be represented four times in the circle’s circumference. For example: if we multiply the perimeter of a square by one-fourth of any line one-fifth greater than one side, we can in like manner make the square’s area to appear one-fifth greater than the fact, as is done by taking the diameter for the linear unit instead of the quadrant of the circle’s circumference.

Section 2
It is impossible to compute the area of a circle on the diameter as the linear unit without trespassing upon the area outside of the circle to the extent of including one-fifth more area than is contained within the circle’s circumference, because the square on the diameter produces the side of a square which equals nine when the arc of ninety degrees equals eight. By taking the quadrant of the circle’s circumference for the linear unit, we fulfill the requirements of both quadrature and rectification of the circle’s circumference. Furthermore, it has revealed the ratio of the chord and arc of ninety degrees, which is as seven to eight, and also the ratio of the diagonal and one side of a square which is as ten to seven, disclosing the fourth important fact, that the ratio of the diameter and circumference is as five-fourths to four; and because of these facts and the further fact that the rule in present use fails to work both ways mathematically, it should be discarded as wholly wanting and misleading in its practical applications.

Section 3
In further proof of the value of the author’s proposed contribution to education and offered as a gift to the State of Indiana, is the fact of his solutions of the trisection of the angle, duplication of the cube and quadrature of the circle having been already accepted as contributions to science by the American Mathematical Monthly, the leading exponent of mathematical thought in this country. And be it remembered that these noted problems had been long since given up by scientific bodies as insolvable mysteries and above man’s ability to comprehend.

Some thoughts on Pi Day

As everyone should know by now, yesterday was Pi Day (March 14), the most important holiday of the year. Pi Day is a day to celebrate the amazing properties of the number \pi, and every year on 3/14, at 1:59:26, every competent person must spend 53 to 58 seconds reciting 97 digits of pi.

What do you get when you write 3.14 on a sheet of paper and hold it up to a mirror? Try it and see! It’s a sign from the gods of mathematics.

This year, there was a government conspiracy to cheat Americans out of an hour of this most glorious of holidays. Daylight saving time means that we skipped the hour from 2am to 3am. This is simply unacceptable, and provides further evidence of the incompetence and complete failure of democratically elected government. We must try to recover from this lost hour of Pi Day, and here is what I suggest we do: We shall celebrate from 1am to 2am on November 7, when we get this hour back. We will not allow our government to take away our right to Pi Day!

I do have some intelligent posts planned, but Pi Day is simply too much fun.