Friday, March 14, 2008

Happy Pi Day!

For those who didn't realize, today, 3-14 (March 14) is Pi Day.

Some people celebrated with various protests. Though I'm not sure why.
Others that I know had cuptakes at 1:59pm today. (Get it? 3.14159) That's Pi Minute. Pi Second, of course, would be at 1:59:26.

More fun Pi facts:
  • The Guinness-recognized record for remembered digits of π is 67,890 digits, held by Lu Chao, a 24-year-old graduate student from China. It took him 24 hours and 4 minutes to recite to the 67,890th decimal place of π without an error.
  • There are many ways to memorize π, including the use of "piems", which are poems that represent π in a way such that the length of each word (in letters) represents a digit. Here is an example of a piem: How I need a drink, alcoholic in nature, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics. (3 . 1 4 1 5 9 2 6 5 3 5 8 9 7 9)
  • The Feynman Point is the sequence of six 9s which begins at the 762nd decimal place of π. It is named after physicist Richard Feynman. For a randomly chosen irrational number, the probability of six 9s occurring this early in the decimal representation is only 0.08%. The next sequence of six consecutive digits is again composed of 9s, starting at position 193,034. Here are the first few hundred digits of Pi, with repeat digits highlighted in yellow (double), green (triple), and red (Feynman).
  • March 14 also happens to be Albert Einstein's birthday.
  • The first Pi Day celebration was held at the San Francisco Exploratorium in 1988, with staff and public marching around one of its circular spaces, and then consuming fruit pies; the museum has since added pizza pies to its Pi Day menu.
  • Today’s date expressed in DDMMYYYY format (14032008) occurs 9,209,525 digits after the decimal point in the value of pi. (hat tip to the good folks at The Xyre)
  • The coordinate (Pi, Pi) in latitude and longitude is in the sea just off the west coast of Africa. See a map on Google Maps.
Check out all the other things in history that happened on Pi Day.

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