A Once-In-a-Century Pi(e) Day


This Saturday is Pi Day of the Century, an extra-special day to celebrate the irrational number that expresses the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter.

For math geeks, this is big.

For us, it's still pretty fun.

The first five digits of pi can also be read as the date March 14, 2015. 3.1415. If you're really smitten with pi, you can go all the way to the 10th digit by observing Pi Day at precisely 9:26:52. Whether you celebrate to the 5th or 10th digit, this moment will not roll around again until the year 3015.

There's lots of fun to be had with pi across the web. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has a "Pi in the Sky" problem set, based on how NASA scientists use pi in their every day work with the Mars Rover, the Dawn and Voyager spacecrafts and other projects. San Francisco's Exploratorium, where Pi Day originated, is staging its 27th Pi Day celebration in the real world and virtually on Second Life. The New York Times has a special puzzle for its Numberplay blog that contends that two identical balls clicking together can calculate pi. The puzzle challenges readers to explain how this "Pi Machine' works. Believe it or not there's even a Pinterest page to commemorate the day with activities, t-shirt pictures and more. Plus, a bakery in Sioux City, Iowa is selling pies for $3.14 each. 

How did all this Pi Day exuberance come to be? Here's some background from our Pi Day post of last year. 

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How I need a drink, alcoholic in nature, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics.

If you’ve read that sentence before, you’re a better geek than I.

Read more...

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Thought This Might Be of Interest


Using your superhero powers for good. This week's happy news comes to us courtesy of actor Robert Downey Jr., who dressed up as his alter-ego Tony Stark (aka Iron Man) to present a seven-year-old boy who was born with a partially-developed arm with a 3D-printed bionic Iron Man arm. The prosthetic was created by Albert Manero, a doctoral student in mechanical engineering who builds and donates low-cost 3D-printed bionic limbs to kids around the world through his volunteer group, Limbitless Solutions. Here's the video. We dare you not to smile.

Woman up! If you haven't had a chance to see it, Disney's Big Hero 6 animated film is worth your time for a number of reasons -- not the least of which is because it's fun. But there are two other reasons to watch. First, it promotes diversity. As Junkee.com notes, "Every single character in the movie has a visibly diverse ethnic background. And that, for once, reflects the modern world we live in." And the other reason has to do with the fact that two of the main women characters are "geniuses: they are scientists at the top of their fields. They’re not anyone’s girlfriends and they aren’t used as a romantic plot device." And one of those geniuses, Gogo Tomago, gives us the new catchphrase: Woman up!  

Get your green on. March 17 is St. Patrick's Day, and if you're looking for a way to celebrate it, check out our story on how to make the perfect Irish coffee



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