14/3: Pi-Day

Pi-Day is here again! 14 march, written as 3/14 in American date format, and these are also the first digits of Pi.

Last year I wrote about a virtual celebration of Pi-Day in the Metaverse of Second Life, and now there is again an opportunity to meditate a little on the special qualities of this number.

First of all: learning all the digits is impossible, because it is a transcendental number with an infinite range of digits – but it can be a challenge to study as much of them as possible.

My personal record is 25, ( 3.14159 26535 89793 23846 26433) but I am still working on it! I memorized them by chunks of five digits, but there are probably better ways. Like this mnemonic rhyme that I found on the wikihow-website:

Now I will a rhyme construct,
By chosen words, the young instruct.
Cunningly devised endeavour,
Con it and remember ever.
Widths in circle here you see,
Sketched out in strange obscurity.

You can also buy this T-shirt at ThinkGeek! It is on my Wishlist, so if you are looking for some gifts to surprise me, don’t hesitate!

Another good starting point is Pi World, where you can find the first Million digits and also the Pico-software, that helps you mastering the number, that is giving meaning to the life of a Geek.

Daniel Tammet, the savant who wrote the book “Born on a Blue Day”, recites 22.514 of them on Pi Day 2004.

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  • The Aesthetics and Beauty of Knowledge

    Shih was the opposite of facts and raw information; shih was the elegance of knowledge, the insight and skill to organize knowledge into meaningful patterns. As an artist chooses colours or light to make her pictures, a master of shih chooses textures of knowledge – various ideas, myths, abstractions, and theories – to create a way of seeing the world. The aesthetics and beauty of knowledge – this was shih.

    – David Zindell, The Broken God, 1993

  • Geek Attitude

    The attitude thing is about flexibility, portability, creativity, sociability and jamming (ran out of suitable “ity” words!). It’s about improvising – in the practical and musical senses of the word; not getting tangled in boundaries and the “right” way to do things.
    Definitely the only way to travel.
    Martin Delaney – “Laptop Music”.