Everybody Wants a Piece of the Pi

Happy Pi Day! No matter how you celebrate this 3.14, I hope that you enjoy it. Today, in honor of Pi Day – or Pie Day depending on whether you gobble up flaky, fruit-filled dessert or mathematical equations – I am sharing my favorites of both.

Arithmetic has never been my strong suit, but I do enjoy a few things about the constant π, like how it is helpful, essential rather, in easily determining the ratio of circumference to diameter in a circle. Plus, there is no denying that π is the most fun non-integer, especially when you write it out beyond the decimal point! That thing keeps going and going and going like an eternally Energizer Bunny. Did you know that people in China and India were using π  way back in the 5th century? Yeah, they were! Back then in China, they worked out π to seven digits, or 3.141582. Today it has been calculated out to over 13 trillion – yes, trillion – digits. It serves as a nice primer test for high-accuracy supercomputers, but mostly mathematicians have worked it out that far for shits and giggles. We love you π, even if you are irrational.

I also admire Life of Pi, the 2012 movie based off of the 2001 novel of the same name written by Yann Martel. I have not read the book yet, but it is near the top of my future reading list. It comes highly recommended from my most trusted friend on matters of the pages. I’m more of a movie buff, and I’ll tell you what many others already have: this movie is terrific. A marvel of technical and scenic spectacle with excellent and award-winning direction from Ang Lee, Life of Pi is a standout story of survival that features a young man named Piscine “Pi” Patel and a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker on a raft adrift in the Pacific Ocean after their boat capsizes. While Pi and Richard Parker’s endurance and unlikely bond is the most apparent element of the film, it is Pi’s growth as a human looking for meaning in life and everything that is part of it that is the most intriguing aspect.

Now we come to my favorite type of pi/pie. No, not the pie chart! Admittedly, it is the best chart to use to make a funny point. The best kind of pi is pie, be it cherry, banana cream, strawberry rhubarb, chocolate peanut butter, coconut creme, pecan (on second thought, I’ll deal with the nuts tomorrow here in Ohio), etc. I’m actually not terribly enthused with apple pie which hopefully correlates more to my favoring other fruits and fillings instead of some lack of American spirit. Nevermind that I was just complaining about doing my civic duty. Hey, if they gave me a slice of apple pie every time that I voted then I might be more excited to head to the polls. As far as I’m concerned, that is tomorrow me’s problem. As for today, I’m going to enjoy some tasty treats fitting for this Fat Monday before a day of political emaciation.

Thanks for reading! Carry on crunching numbers or enjoying a slice of your own favorite pie, or both! Direct any questions, comments, writing requests, etc. to monotrememadness@gmail.com. Come on back next week for more fun!

3.14159265358979323846264338327950…

Alex

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