Pizza. Apple, cherry and rhubarb. Charlie Brown’s head?
What all of these things have in common is Pi, the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.
Today the world over mathematicians, pizza lovers, fruit and savory pie eaters along with Peanuts fans can come together in celebration over the Greek letter π, also known as 3.14159…
Why Charlie Brown has been called a block head when his head clearly has the roundness of a circle has not been solved through mathematics. But, the search for Pi, not the fruit kind, began back around 400 B.C., Richard Wilders, department chair and professor of mathematics at North Central College has said. Archimedes was one of the first to try to solve the riddle.
Though a circle seems like such a simple object, it isn’t, he explained.
“The fact is that any time there is a circle there is a Pi lurking there,” he said. And, without Pi many formulas in physics might not have been found.
When it comes to π he is quick to point out that Pi is irrational. Which does not mean it isn’t realistic, merely that there is no way to write it as a fraction.
According to the Pi Day website, Pi s an irrational and transcendental number, meaning it will continue infinitely without repeating. And, if you hold up the number 3.14 in a mirror, imagine what it says: PIE.
And, Pi has been calculated to over one trillion digits past its decimal point. That’s a lot of computing.
Competitions take place to see how far numerically a person can memorize and recite. One record holder was able to memorize 67,890 digits, which took him more than 24 hours to recite.
One has to wonder if he had a taste for pie after reciting Pi?
Where to find Pi(e) around town:
- Nancy's Pizza, 1240 State St.
- Jimbo's Pizza, 12267 Walker Road
- Turnabout Pizza, 1000 Main St.
- The Vault Café and Bar, 308 Canal St.
More about Pi(e):
Pi in the movies: Darren Aronofsky (better known lately for Black Swan) directed Pi, a film about a paranoid mathematician. It’s dark, but fascinating.
Pie at the restaurant: "Pie Rush" Day at Bakers Square is on Wednesday, but you can always get a slice at the chain.
National Pie Day: Celebration of the actual fruit pie takes place on Jan. 23 every year.
Favorite Pies: According to Serious Eats the top three pies in the U.S. are apple, pumpkin and chocolate cream, followed by cherry in 4th place.
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