Pi Day March 14th has been Recognized by Congress - Here's A Salute to Pi Day

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Pi Day is the uber-holiday of cyberspace, a holiday which grew up from the grass roots and which has now been recognized in a resolution introduced in Congress March 9, 2009. Here's a salute to Pi Day!

NationalPiDay.org, the website of Pi Day, salutes the coming of age of Pi Day, the uber-holiday of cyberspace, a holiday which grew up from the grass roots and which has now been recognized in a resolution introduced in the US Congress March 9, 2009.

Pi is the ratio between the circumference of a circle and its diameter. Symbolized by the Greek letter "Pi", it is an infinite irrational, transcendental number.

March 14th is Pi Day because the first 3 digits of Pi - 3.14 - equate to the date March 14th.

The celebration of Pi Day, a day whose observance grew from the bottom up, at a time when a dearth of interest in math and the sciences is popularly bemoaned, represents a counter-intuitive trend that is slightly the opposite. At a time when popular books on the mathematics are becoming, well, popular!

While Pi Day is characterized by 'fun' events like eating pi, pi digit memorization contests,. 'needle throwing' - or hot dog throwing - to approximate Pi (a technique which actually finds its basis in real math), and scavenger hunts, it remains an event centered not on a rockstar, but on a number. Albeit the 'rockstar of numbers" - Pi.

The resolution recognizing Pi Day will be cheered by tens of thousands - or hundreds of thousands - or perhaps millions of Pi aficionados. No-one actually knows how many, and that's the beauty of it. They are the people who make Pi Day happen, year after year, rain or shine. They share a common affection of Pi, and knowledge, and fun. It might not be too strong to say they 'love' pi - one of the most popular Pi tshirts says just that - "I Love Pi"

The celebrants include teachers, and students, and professors, mathematicians, and physicists, and quants, geeks and non-geeks of all stripes, and also perhaps, unbeknownst to you, the person in the next cubicle, and maybe even your neighbor.

The website NationalPiDay.org provides a variety of Pi Day resources (free), among them:

The illustrated history of Pi provides a record of Pi from the early mention of the ratio between a circle's diameter and its circumference in the Bible, and in the Rhind Papyrus of Egypt, through the ancient Greek mathematicians' fascination with Pi, through the Renaissance, and up to and including the computer age.

Pi Day activities are provided, including an interactive demonstration of "Buffon's Needle" method of calculating Pi, and a Pi search engine, which enables you to search the first four billion digits of Pi and find out where the digits that represent your birthday - or your name - occur.

The Pi-O-Matic, in the Pi Diner, will dispense a million digits of Pi - up to 200 million digits of Pi if you're really hungry - at the touch of a button.

And there's an invitation to a Pi Day Party in cyberspace - where the ritual annual drop of the Giant Pi takes place. It's like the New Years Eve drop of the ball in Times Square, and the arrival of Santa at Macy's, all rolled into one. It takes place on Pi Day, March 14th, the date represented by 3.14, at precisely 1:59 pm - because 3.14.1:59 are the first six digits of Pi.

So at a time when big numbers are developing a lot of pro or con, often becoming a source of controversy globally, here's to a really big number - Pi! Here's to all the people who work tirelessly to make Pi Day happen each year, the people who've recognized and honored the hard work and creative energy that make it happen in a resolution, and all the people who may in the future join in!

Happy Pi Day!


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