Thursday, March 14, 2019

π day

Today is national pie day. And that's different from National Pie day which is January 23. What, you missed it?

Everyone else was having pizza.

Why is today National Pi day?

Because in America we write the 14th of March as March 14, or 3/14. See? 3.14. And that's π.

And because:

But that's silly because it conflates π with 🥧.

π is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to the diameter and that means for any circle you can divide the circumference by the diameter and always get the exact same number and it doesn't matter how big or small the circle. And this blows the minds of mathematicians because it is a universal constant and because they are quite an imaginative lot. And that means when humans encounter aliens from outer space they can communicate through the language of maths. 

And now I must repeat the very old story told all the time all over the place. So that you can remember to tell your grandchildren and keep the thing going through generations.

A farmer values education and saves up to send his son to college. He's quite pleased with his son being the first in his family to attend college and he wants to show him off to his neighbor. 

"Come here, Boy, and show Mr. McMillan your education." 

     "How do you expect me to do that?"

"Tell him some of your ciphering." 

     "Uh. Okay. Let's see. To calculate the area of a circle use the formula:  A = π r2 and that means measure the radius and square it then multiply by pi, or stated simply, pi r squared. 

The farmer looked at his son nonplussed.

Then he looked at his neighbor Mr. McMillan. 

Then he looked back at his son.

He told his son, "Thank you. That will be all."

The son went back to what he was doing.

The farmer stepped closer to his neighbor and lowered his voice. "That's alright, McMillan, the boy's confused. He's still got a bit of learning to do. Everyone knows pie are round and cornbread are square."

1 comment:

edutcher said...

Professor Irwin Corey, 1982.