Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Happy Pi Day

Go ahead, have a slice of pie. It's pi (π) day (3.14 or March 14th).

Wait a minute. I get '3' as the third month. But 0.14 of a month like March (31 days) is 4. So, shouldn't π Day be March 4th?

Or, if it's just the decimal representation, and you use the digits, what about other bases. Computer people use octal. The number pi, in octal, is 3.11. So two decimal digits of π is 14/100 (100 = 10 * 10). In octal, you're looking for a number that in decimal is x/64 (64 = 8 * 8). x = 64 * (14 / 100) = 8.96, or roughly 9. But 9 (decimal) in octal is 11, which is 8 * 1 + 1. All that to say, computer nerds can claim the 11th of March as pi day too.

Why stop there? Computer people also use hexadecimal. In hexadecimal, π is 3.24 or March 24th. This is particularly handy if you missed March 14th.

And, in Europe, dates are reversed from the USA. I have no idea if anyone really celebrates π day on the 22nd of July, which is 22/7.

If that's not enough, you can at least think about Tau day. Tau (τ) is π * 2 or 6.28 or June 28th. I don't know what you'd eat, maybe 2 pies? But you can show off as a real math geek.

There you go. You are eligible to eat your π on March 4, March 11, March 14, March 24, July 22 and June 28th. That should fill your pie hole.

If all else fails, March 14th is Einstein's birthday. And he doesn't look a day over 133. If you're not into π, you could have Einstein cake. You can have your cake and eat pi two (π * 2 = τ).

2 comments:

Stephen said...

Uhg. pi comes out really crappy in Internet Explorer 8. Hopefully, your font is better.

DQKennard said...

I did not think about this when I was standing in front of the reduced-bakery rack at the supermarket at lunchtime. Clearly, I should have bought that apple pie.