Our Favorite Facts About Pi
Do you smell that? It’s Pi Day. Masterminds will surely spend all day with your Ti-83’s reading through the whole number. But that’ll take you a while and give you cataracts. Instead, you should circle back, grab some apple, pumpkin, or coconut cream, and celebrate everyone’s favorite ratio with us. Feast your eyes on this list: 3.14 Things You Didn’t Know About Pi:
3) It’s possible to hear Pi (and it sounds pretty catchy).
This one’s for all you musically inclined Masterminds: You can assign numbers to the notes in a major scale, and play them at a consistent tempo following the digits of Pi. You’ll get a song that’s so hot, it’ll spin you around all 360 degrees. Check it out:
2) Indiana tried to change the value of Pi.
In 1897, Dr. E. J. Goodwin authored a bill which calculated Pi in a way that would make it a rational number. One of two rational numbers, actually. In his bill, Goodwin alternates between calling Pi 3.2 or 4. Unfortunately for him, his math was wrong. Unfortunately for the state of Indiana, the bill was never really defeated. In Indiana’s House of Representatives, the bill passed hands between a slew of different committees including the Committee on Swamplands. Evidently in 1800’s Indiana, an education in swamps is all you need to be a mathematician.
To be fair, the bill never actually passed; instead, it was “indefinitely postponed.” But that’s only because C. A. Waldo, a university professor, swooped in to point out the incorrect calculations. He happened to be visiting the House on completely unrelated business when someone handed him the bill. Thank goodness for that. He ensured centuries of frustration for high school students across the country who refuse to believe that Pi can’t just be 3.
1) Some people can recite over 60,000 digits of Pi.
In math classrooms all around the world, students and teachers alike huddle around a chalkboard to perform the holy sacrament of this glorious holiday. It’s the annual competition to see who can recite the most digits of Pi.
You may think you’re hot stuff because you won your school’s competition by reciting 100 digits. Unfortunately, that won’t cut it at the professional level. To bark with the big dogs, you’ll have to contend with the likes of Chao Lu. In 2005, Mr. Lu correctly recited 67,890 digits of Pi. Not impressive enough? He did this over the course of 24 hours and four minutes. Still not impressed? He took zero breaks. Imagine how hard it would be to recite those digits when the only numbers you can think of are 1 and 2. Now that’s dedication.
.14) The Last Digit of Pi
You’ve probably skipped to the end of this article to find out the .14th fact about Pi. Well, if you did, here it is:
The last digit of Pi is th---
Happy Pi Day! May the day be filled with irrational joy as it welcomes you to a circessful new year.