Today is Pi Day

Culture
by Marvin Olasky

Posted on Saturday, March 14, 2015, at 9:26 am

While many media focus on next Tuesday’s St. Patrick’s Day, mathematicians concerned with higher things than green milkshakes and a green-colored river in Chicago are today celebrating a once-in-a-century event: an extra-special Pi Day.

The number that begins 3.14 goes on for infinity. It’s the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, but it also allows for annual celebration on March 14. And today is the one time this century we can toast the next two digits: 3.14.15, for March 14, 2015. The truly dedicated can check their clocks, recite pi to 10 digits—3.141592653—and dive into a piece of pie today at 9:26 and 53 seconds.

In other news, MIT announced it would send out acceptance letters to next fall’s freshmen at precisely 9:26 a.m. A Las Vegas chapel is offering a marriage ceremony for $314.15. Chicago runners will relish a Pi K, and because March 14 is also Albert Einstein’s birthday, runners named Albert or Alberta get $5 off the registration cost. Since Salvador Dali often put the pi symbol in his artwork the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Fla., has a $3.14 admission.

Still more: Princeton University is featuring a pi recitation contest in which contestants will try to recite the most digits of pi. Marc Umile, the 2007 Pi Recitation North American Champion—he reportedly recited more than 15,000 digits of pi—will be the official judge. Mathematicians may attempt to conceive children at exactly 9:26 p.m. And I wouldn’t be surprised if videos of the 1998 movie Pi, which features a paranoid mathematician, are particularly popular.

News you can use: Pi is an irrational number that will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern. You can go to a website and see where the digits of your birthday occur in Pi (mine are at place 501137). By the way, in Exodus 3:13, Moses asks God what His name is, and then comes 3:14: “God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am.” Think about it. 

Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. His latest book is World View: Seeking Grace and Truth in Our Common Life. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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