Hey, I wonder when Fibonacci’s birthday falls. π
Let’s rerun this one. I like the photographs. I may go search for a good piece of pie.
Of course you remembered that today is pi Day, right?
Oh, or maybe better, π Day.
We’ll start with the brief post from a few months ago, and then build on it with some activities and posts from around the WordPress-o-sphere.
Make (and Eat) a Pie – These pie recipes for Pi Day from NPR’s McCallister look incredibly tasty. But, there’s no shame in putting a frozen store-bought pie in the oven, or picking up a pie from your local bakery. Any kind of pie is great on Pi Day! If you’re making your own, get inspired by these beautifully designed Pi Day Pies. Tell us on Facebook: What’s your favorite kind of pie for Pi Day?
Hope your π Day is complete as a circle, and well-rounded!
How are others celebrating? A look around WordPress:
Today is March 14th, also known as “Pi Day” for us math geeks out there because March 14th (3/14) is the first 3 digits of π (3.14159…). To celebrate “Pi Day” I highly recommend doing something mathematical while having some pie at 1:59 pm. I recommend Yumology‘s S’mores Pie as it has 3 main ingredients (chocolate, marshmallow, and graham cracker) and about 0.14159 other ingredients like sugar, butter, and stuff. If you are not a math geek, its okay…you can still eat pie and count things like how many stop signs you pass on your way back to work from lunch. Or you could go to the library and take out a book on something fun like binary code. As we like to say, “There are only 10 types of people in the world: Those that understand binary and those that don’t.” Seriously, binary is as easy as 01000001, 01000010, 01000011.
So besides being the cause of much techie “irrational” exuberance, Pi Day is a great way to get some engagement with students.
Marymount High School has several activities, last year they had a design competition incorporating pi; the students then made and sold buttons of each design, proceeds going to the Red Cross.
Hmm- math subject matter, design, production, sales, accounting.
Sounds like what we do in manufacturing.
Maybe celebrating Pi Day is not so irrational as first thought.
Free said his pie is peach.
On March 12, 2009 your lawmakers passed a non-binding resolution (HRES 224) recognizing March 14, 2009 as National Pi Day. It is one of the more legit holidays we discuss here, and it is actually an homage to geeks everywhere who see the date as a reason to celebrate due to its mathematical implications. We say any reason to celebrate anything is just fine by us.
Since we are predominately about food we will suggest a few places to actually enjoy a pie.
If you followed us at all this week you may have seen the pie at Bowl and Barrel pop up on our pages. This is the uber delicious Butterscotch Pie served as the solo dessert at the bowling alley and restaurant. Go eat one of these.
He’s got more pi pie, if you click over there.
Gareth Branwyn at MakeZine offers more pie and a mnemonic:
By way of sci-fi author and mathenaut Rudy Rucker’s Facebook wall comes this:
One way to remember the first few digits of pi is to count the letters in the words of this phrase:
“How I need a drink, alcoholic of course, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics.”
[Image via FreakingNews]
b.love offers this clock image (is this clock for sale somewhere?):
Chirag Singh explains his “passion for pi.”
Daniel Tammet, “Different Ways of Knowing:
Geeks are really out in force today, flaunting pi for all they’ve got.
How many ways can we say happy birthday to a great scientist born on Pi Day? So, an encore post.
Happy Einstein Day! to us. Albert’s been dead since 1955 — sadly for us. Our celebrations now are more for our own satisfaction and curiosity, and to honor the great man — he’s beyond caring.
Almost fitting that he was born on π Day, no? I mean, is there an E=mc² Day?
Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879, in Ulm, Germany, to Hermann and Pauline Einstein. 26 years later, three days after his birthday, he sent off the paper on the photo-electric effect; that paper would win him the Nobel Prize in Physics in another five years, in 1921. In that same year of 1905, he published three other papers, solving the mystery of Brownian motion, describing what became known as the Special Theory of Relativity and solving the mystery of why measurements of the light did not show any effects of motion as Maxwell had predicted, and a final paper that noted a particle emitting light energy loses mass. This final paper amused Einstein because it seemed so ludicrous in its logical extension that energy and matter are really the same stuff at some fundamental point, as expressed in the equation demonstrating an enormous amount of energy stored in atoms, E=mc².
Any one of the papers would have been a career-capper for any physicist. Einstein dashed them off in just a few months, forever changing the fields of physics. And, you noticed: Einstein did not win a Nobel for the Special Theory of Relativity, nor for E=mc². He won it for the photo electric effect. Irony in history.
106 years later Einstein’s work affects us every day. Relativity theory at some level I don’t understand makes possible the use Global Positioning Systems (GPS), which revolutionized navigation and mundane things like land surveying and microwave dish placement. Development of nuclear power both gives us hope for an energy-rich future, and gives us fear of nuclear war. Sometimes, even the hope of the energy rich future gives us fear, as we watch and hope nuclear engineers can control the piles in nuclear power plants damaged by earthquakes and tsunami in Japan.
If Albert Einstein was a genius at physics, he was more dedicated to pacifism. He resigned his German citizenship to avoid military conscription. His pacifism made the German Nazis nervous; Einstein fled Germany in the 1930s, eventually settling in the United States. In the U.S., he was persuaded by Leo Szilard to write to President Franklin Roosevelt to suggest the U.S. start a program to develop an atomic weapon, because Germany most certainly was doing exactly that. But while urging FDR to keep up with the Germans, Einstein refused to participate in the program himself, sticking to his pacifist views. Others could, and would, design and build atomic bombs. (Maybe it’s a virus among nuclear physicists — several of those working on the Manhattan Project were pacifists, and had great difficulty reconciling the idea that the weapon they worked on to beat Germany, was deployed on Japan, which did not have a nuclear weapons program.)
Einstein was a not-great father, and probably not a terribly faithful husband at first — though he did think to give his first wife, in the divorce settlement, a share of a Nobel Prize should he win it. Einstein was a good violinist, a competent sailor, an incompetent dresser, and a great character. His sister suffered a paralyzing stroke. For many months Albert spent hours a day reading to her the newspapers and books of the day, convinced that though mute and appearing unconscious, she would benefit from hearing the words. He said he did not hold to orthodox religions, but could there be a greater show of faith in human spirit?
When people hear clever sayings, but forget to whom the bon mots should be attributed, Einstein is one of about five candidates to whom all sorts of things are attributed, though he never said them. (Others include Lincoln, Jefferson, Mark Twain and Will Rogers). Einstein is the only scientist in that group. So, for example, we can be quite sure Einstein never claimed that compound interest was the best idea of the 20th century. This phenomenon is symbolic of the high regard people have for the man, even though so few understand what his work was, or meant.
A most interesting man. A most important body of work. He deserves more study and regard than he gets.
- American Institute of Physics (AIP) on-line exhibit on the life and work of Einstein — good stuff!
- Einstein’s biography at the Nobel Foundation website
- NPR’s Talk of the Nation show on Einstein’s birthday in 2005, featuring New York Times science correspondent Dennis Overbye, author of Einstein in Love
- Effect Measure at SciBlogs had a nice tribute today
- History Channel’s series, 10 Days that Unexpectedly Changed America featured a film on the letter Einstein wrote to FDR, “Einstein’s Letter.” Here’s a teachers guide
- The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History in Albuquerque will hold its 15th Annual Einstein Gala Dinner on March 17, at the Hotel Albuquerque; “Dr. Lisa Randall has been named the recipient of the 2012 National Award of Nuclear Science and History, which is presented annually by National Atomic Museum Foundation to a prominent person that has had an impact on nuclear issues.”
- How Einstein Proved the Size and Existence of Atoms [Video] (gizmodo.com)
- 11 Unserious Photos of Albert Einstein (mentalfloss.com)
- Happy Birthday Einstein (nextbigwhat.com)
- Einstein > π (mathjokes4mathyfolks.wordpress.com)
- Celebrating Einstein’s birthday on Pi Day (sciencelens.wordpress.com)
- Of course, there is Einstein on the Beach, “an opera in four acts (framed and connected by five ‘knee plays’ or intermezzos), scored by Philip Glass and directed by theatrical producer Robert Wilson.”
- 15 quotes from Einstein, on his birthday, from the Christian Science Monitor (these should be accurate, if we go by the reputation of this venerable old paper-gone-electric; however, the feature does NOT include citations . . . see any problems?
- New York Times article on Einstein’s death, April 18, 1955 (the paper is from April 19)
- HuffPo list of 10 facts about Einstein; accurate?
- Einstein’s desk and office in Princeton, New Jersey (no typewriter; can you find a telephone?)
- Quote of the moment: Einstein on nature’s secrecy
One might wonder when a good sociologist will write that book about how our vexing and depressing times push people to extreme measures, dwelling on one particular manifestation: The invention of new celebrations on the calendar.
In my lifetime Halloween grew from one short dress-up night with candy for kids, to a major commercially-exploited festival, from an interesting social event to a religiously-fraught night of bacchanalia with a weeks-long buildup. Cinco de Mayo grew into a festival of all things Mexican, though very few people can explain what the day commemorates, even among our Mexican neighbors. (No, it’s not Mexico’s Independence Day.)
St. Patrick’s Day grew in stature, and Guinness products now are freely available in almost every state. Bastille Day gets a celebration even in Oak Cliff, Texas. I’ve pushed Hubble Day, and Feynman Day; this weekend I’ll encourage people to celebrate James Madison’s birthday — and in January, I encourage the commemoration of Millard Fillmore’s birthday.
It could be a fun book, if not intellectually deep.
It will explain why, on Einstein’s birthday, March 14, we celebrate the number π (pi).
That book has not been written down, yet. So we’re left simply to celebrate.
Down in Austin, at SXSW, some performance artist used the sky as his canvas on π Day Eve; The Austin American-Statesman captured it:
Read more about San Francisco-based artist ISHKY’s project on MyStatesman: http://atxne.ws/1cWLF1e
Photo by Austin Humphreys / Austin American-Statesman — with Joseph Lawrence Cantu.
There’s too much good stuff, on Einstein and on pi, for one post.
Happy pi Day!
Here’s to Albert Einstein, wherever you are!
- Last year’s olla podrida on pi Day here at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub (a lot of links, and great photos of pies)
- Happy Birthday, Albert Einstein; the traditional post here
- The 4.999… Best Pi Pies
- Pi Day 2014, at Maryland Math Madness
- The Tau of Pi, at PM Coltrane
- NASA’s 2014 set of middle- and high-school math problems, in infographic form, for pi Day.
A photo at Life in a Pecan Guild caught a much more informative photograph of the Austin skywriting:
There will be some great photos of that Austin skywriting, I predict. Will you point them out to us, in comments?