Thursday, March 14, 2013

Today Is For Pi

To my son Tommy,

March 14th of any year is pi day.  The date 3-14 reminds us of the first three numbers of that famous irrational number that begins 3.14159265 (which is as far as I memorized the digit).   Of course I guess it is only pi day in the U.S. as many countries put the day before the month which goes before the year.  So no pi for those crazy Europeans for whom it would be 14-3 and since April never has 31 days there is never a pi day in Europe.  I guess on July 22nd they come close but that is a bit of a stretch and can be considered "C/d" (that pun was supposed to stand for seedy, but may have only been funny in my mind)

Pi day is actually all about nerds being nerds and your father revels in his nerdiness.  I love math filled with mysteries and numbers and amazing sequences and algorithms that can accomplish amazing tasks.  Math is the major contributor to my profession.  It created the whole computer world by simply lending it two numbers, one and zero, out of the infinite number possibilities that math had to lend.

So today the geeks of the world unite in a fake holiday based on the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter and approximated by dividing 22 by 7.  This number has befuddled the greatest thinkers of the world yet many still flock to its power and mystery.  I personally am waiting for the big celebration for pi which I assume will be on March 14th in 2015 aka 3-14-15.  What a blowout this will be!  If you take after your father, on the fourteenth day of the third month of the year you will get out your compass and circle just about everything or you might go chasing after the end of a continual fraction instead of a rainbow.  But never, and I repeat never, try to square the circle.  It will only drive you to madness and if you ever claim you have succeeded it will only prove your lack of comprehension of the power of pi.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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