Tag Archives: Pi Day

A Pi-Day Weekend

Mmmm, pie on Pi-Day
Mmmm, pie on Pi-Day

Happy belated Pi-Day all y’all.

For those unaware, Pi-Day (March 14th) is the mathiest of math days; unless you also observe Tau-Day (June 28th) – which I do. Since tau is equal to 2 pi, Tau-Day must be equal to 2 Pi-Days, and 2 Pi-Days is better than 1 Pi-Day, so by definition Tau-Day would have to be the mathier of the two. Math!

I digress.

To celebrate Pi-Day I opted to spend my day enjoying as much pie as I possibly could. This meant that I attempted to have pie for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I’m all about healthy choices.

Sadly my breakfast pie was not to be as The Joint Cafe was out of their oh-so-delicious banana coconut cream pie. I settled for a bagel and apple juice – which is about as far from banana coconut cream pie as one can get.

To make up for my breakfast pie failure, I sauntered over to the Woolwich Arrow for lunch-pie. I had learned the night before that they were serving pie from The Williamsford Pie Company. And it was oh so delicious.

To round out my Pi-Day, I enjoyed a delicious peach-raspberry-blueberry pie with friends. I made a point of having just enough pie to be able to say that I ate half a pie on Pi-Day. Why would I eat that much pie? Because half a pie is equivalent to pi radians worth of pie, that’s why.

Pi radians worth of pie on Pi-Day. Yup – I’m just that nerdy.

Happy Pi Approximation Day

Dinosaur Comics – go there. Read them. Laugh. You shan’t be sorry. http://www.qwantz.com/


In honour of Pi Approximation Day, I thought I’d offer you this most awesomely awesome comic from Dinosaur Comics that approximately honours the approximately awesome awesomeness that is Pi Approximation Day.

Of course, I realize that I’ve offered this comic before but I enjoy the last panel far too much not to share it again.

“Failure is just success rounded down, my friend!”

Now if you don’t mind, I have some pie to rub on my face.



Fear The Spatial-Temporal Pie-Free Singularities

Oh sweet Natalie Dee - we were ready for some pie, but it was nowhere to be found. Why do you insist on mocking us?

Yes, yes, we get that yesterday was Pi-Day. When are you going to shut up about it?

Great question. Soon, I promise1.

Until then, let’s get back to this \pi thing. Specifically, let’s talk about the little Pi-Day adventure that Jasper and I went on yesterday in our never-ending quest to eat pie on Pi-Day. And let me tell you, it was a rather epic adventure. In fact, it was so epic that it left me wondering

Does any Guelph restaurant serve pie anymore?2

Because, based on the number of pie-related rejections that were thrown at us yesterday, it would seem to me that very few of them do. It made me wonder if all of the pie in Guelph had been consumed – a sure sign of a successful Pi-Day – or perhaps, if they had mysteriously vanished. Perhaps all pies were raptured and nobody noticed until now.

Anyway, since I’m off to another meeting I will leave the full details of the story to Jasper. So without further ado, I present to you Jasper and Dan’s Grand Pi-Day Hunt for Pie3.

1 Whereby soon should be assumed to mean never. HA! I love Pi!

Cleary the answer is yes. However, I think Jasper and I had stumbled onto some spatial-temporal pie-free singularity. I know – it is as scary as it sounds.

3 Live the epic struggle of our intrepid explorers. Identify the very moment they became \pi-abetic. See the Pi-Day miracle with your very own eyes. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. It will become a part of you.

The Mile π Club

Pie #1: Apple-cherry pie. YUM.

As my regular readers are likely already aware1, today – March 14th – is Pi-Day. If you are someone who has never heard of Pi-Day, know that it is only the most mathemagical days of the year. That is, today is the day when nerds and geeks from around the world unite to celebrate the much-loved and ubiquitous constant identified by the greek letter \pi. We celebrate on March 14 because the first three digits of \pi are 3.14 – which looks like the date 3/14.

To celebrate, it is customary to enjoy pie in all of its glorious forms – apple pie, lemon pie, pecan pie, cherry pie, blueberry pie, or any other fruit filled pie, pot pie, or pizza pie you can think of.

And not being one to go against such a delicious custom, today I opted for not one but two slices of pie – because if one slice of pie is good, then two slices of pie would clearly be better2. The first, an apple cherry crumble topped pie, was enjoyed while meeting with Justin, my Undergraduate Research Student extraordinaire3. The second, a basic apple pie, was enjoyed with Mr. Jasper Tey4, pi and pie lover, and also a fellow member of the Nerd Caucus.

Pie #2: Apple pie. I'm sure I now have π-abetes.

For those of you who might be curious, the verdict on slice number 1 – de-freaking-licious. Sadly, the second slice wasn’t nearly as good. Perhaps it was because I was suffering pie overload, or perhaps I’m just a pie snob. Also, I think it gave me \pi-abetes. Ha! I kill me. Seriously though, that second slice was mad sweet.

Now, I’m not one to normally eat pie on a regular basis, let alone eat two slices of pie. So, to offset this onslaught of extra and definitely empty Calories, I decided that a run was necessary. Given the awesome weather, a run was required.

The run was great. My legs felt good, the weather was fantastic, the sun was shining, birds were chirping, and I saw my first robin (a clear sign of spring).

Now because I’m really that much of a nerd, I decided that my run should reflect the Pi-y nature of the day. And what better distance to run on Pi-Day than Pi miles5. That’s right folks, Pi miles – approximately 5.05590329 kilometres (rounded to the nearest 100 millionth of a kilometre).

My Pi-Day run.

Put another way, my goal was to run 5 kilometres 55 metres 90 centimetres, and a little more than 3 millimeters. Of course, RunKeeper won’t give me that fine a measurement – only providing a resolution of 10s of metres. That meant I had to either run 5.05 or 5.06 kilometres. Clearly doing less than Pi miles would be unacceptable. As such, I had to run slightly more.

And that, dear readers, is why I am now a full-fledged member of the Mile \mathbf{\pi} Club6. Entrance to the club is easy – you just have to run Pi miles on Pi-Day. Add it to your lists. You know you want to.

Anyway, I hope your Pi-Days were filled with whatever it is that gets your nerd juices flowing. Because that is what Pi-Day is all about – embracing and celebrating your inner nerd.

Happy Pi-Day all y’all. Happy Pi-Day indeed!

1 Because perhaps I won’t shut up about it.

2 This also should placate those that would rather celebrate \tau which is equal to 2\pi. Check out here for more details regarding the \pi/\tau controversy.

3 From With the Grain. Sooooo freaking good.

Jasper was also the mad mind behind the awesome PiDays website. Check it out and figure out how old you are in Pi Years. Seriously nerdy business.

I would have opted for Pi kilometres, but figured that distance was too short for such a beautiful day. Also, I need to get my butt in gear for the 30k Around the Bay race that happens in 11 days. Eep!

I may be the only member. I Googled “Mile Pi Club” and found nothing, except for the following joke:

What do really rich mathematicians all have in common?

They’re all part of the “Mile Pi Club”.

Nerd Wars

Sweet glayven - it's almost Pi-Day.

Some of you might recall that last year a war was brewing. A war of such epic proportions that historians would surely – in years to come – refer to it as one of the greatest battles in the history of ever.

In the history of EVER.

Or, perhaps, it will be known as the date when a bunch of nerds decided to be extra nerdy in their own unique way, so as to celebrate the awesomeness that is Pi-Day. Either way, if it’s recorded anywhere other than this blog, I’ll be amazed and nerds around the world will adjust their pocket calculators and perhaps their glasses in celebration.

Ya, that’s probably more like it.

The war (and I use the term very loosely) was known as the First Ever Interweb Ganster Pi-Off. As I wrote last year, the purpose of the battle was, of course, bragging rights and the title of Nerdiest & Gangsta Pi-iest Coast, because it was a battle between the East and West Coasts of Canada.

On the West Coast, we had the team of Dr. Beth, and Rick. On the East Coast, there was me. Now, you might be thinking Two against one isn’t fair. And you’d be right. I mean, how possibly could the two of them take on me? It just wasn’t fair. Regardless, war isn’t fair and the battle ensued.

The West Coast brought their version of the Gangsta Pi symbol:

The très sexy Dr. Beth, showing off the West Coast Gangsta Pi salute...
...and Rick - trying his best to look sexy while performing the West Coast Gangsta Pi salute.

Amazing, right?

But hold on – the East Coast hadn’t spoken yet. In fact, if you recall the East Coast brought this:

Your's truly, demonstrating the proper Gangsta Pi symbol.

Clearly the superior version of the Gangsta Pi symbol was from the East. And, my dear readers, if you haven’t had a chance to review the most recent version of Canadian History, let me just say that the East Coast kicked ass. We brought it, and we brought it large. The West Coast was forced to admit defeat.

But this post isn’t about rubbing salt into old and clearly still raw wounds1. It’s about simply reminding the West Coast of our dominance when it comes to all things Gangsta-Pi. Sure, they have their mountains, oceans, natural splendor, adventure, sexy doctors named Beth, and that guy I like to go adventuring with named Rick, but – and this is a huge but – we have our Gangsta-Pi pride. And that’s something.

With that in mind, I offer you this photo of my current class of students who jumped at the opportunity2 to show the West Coast how it’s done.

From left to right: Awesome, Awesome, Awesome, Awesome, Awesome, Awesome, Awesome, Awesome, Awesome, Awesome, Awesome, Awesome, Awesome, Awesome, Awesome, Awesome, Awesome, Awesome, Awesome, Awesome, Awesome, Awesome, Awesome, Awesome, Awesome, Awesome.

How does that taste West Coast?

Ha! I kill me.

Anyway, tomorrow is Pi-Day, and I’m about as excited as a Pi loving math nerd can be. I hope your Pi-Day is full of whatever gets your nerd-juices flowing. And of course, since it is Pi-Day, I hope your day is also full of pie.

1 Ha. Ya it is.

2 Even after I told them there were no bonus marks associated with participating in the photo.

Squee – It’s Almost Nerdmas

Mmmmm, pi.

For those thinking I might have forgotten, don’t worry, I didn’t.

You might be wondering What exactly could Dan have forgotten? Well, it’s highly unlikely – although I guess within the realm of possibility1 – but I could have forgotten the most sacred and holy of all math days in the entire year. That day of course is Pi-Day. The day when nerds of all sorts unite and celebrate that most awesome of numbers – \pi.

Pi-Day officially arrives on Wednesday March 14, but I figured since we are already well into Pi-Eve (which actually started on the evening of the 10th – also known as the International Day of Awesomeness2), that I should probably remind all y’all, just in case you need to go out and do any necessary last-minute shopping.

You know – shopping for all the good little mathy nerds and geeks out there *cough*.

And because I’m extra thoughtful, I thought I’d provide you with a list of the best types of gifts to buy any and all mathy nerds and geeks in your lives. You are welcome.

  • chocolate
  • wine
  • scotch
  • pie

Might I add that this list is in no way biasedOkay, maybe it’s a little biased.

Don’t fret though. If for whatever reason you can’t get out to pick up a gift for that special math nerd/geek in your life – because you are perhaps too busy preparing the Roast Beast for the giant Pi-Day feast, or perhaps because you are finishing up the traditional dessert of chocolate covered pie-in-a-cake, or perhaps because you are putting the last trimmings of Koch Snowflakes on the mantle, or even perhaps because you are in the middle of decanting the special Pi-Day wine into the Pi-Day Klein Bottle – know that hugs are also customary, and most definitely welcome.

Happy Pi-Eve everyone.

To prep you for Pi-Day, I offer you the following links. Enjoy.

1 You know – like it’s plausible that a child might forget Santa coming to visit on Christmas morning. It’s technically possible that a child might forget, but really highly unlikely.

2 Yes, Pi-Eve and the International Day of Awesomeness occur on the same day. Your mind should be blown.

3 Yes, I really am this much of a nerd. I can’t believe you’re still surprised at this.

4 I know! Could this day get any more mathemagical?

You know – the Sierpiński triangle guy.

Happy Pi-Approximation Day

Being the nerd that I am, I feel compelled to celebrate Pi-Approximation Day.

That’s right folks, today, July 22nd is known to some as Pi-Approximation Day. The reason is quite simple: the ratio 22/7 is a pretty good approximation to \pi.

So how does one celebrate Pi-Approximation day? Well, by eating pie of course. Granted, you could celebrate as suggested in the following comic, but personally I think eating pie is a far better way to embrace the nerdiness of the day. Regardless, celebrate in whatever freaky manner you feel is appropriate – just make sure to hug a nerd if the opportunity presents itself. Better yet, do something to encourage the opportunity to present itself. You know, like hang out with a bunch of nerds.

Faith And Begorrah, They’re After Me Lucky Charms

Happy St. Patrick’s day.

So some of you may have noticed that this post went up and there wasn’t much to it.  Ya, that’s because a meeting that was supposed to be 1 hour-long turned into a 2.5 hour marathon.  Seriously, what’s up with that?   Honestly, meetings generally drive me insane1.  They take up far too much time and very little is typically accomplished.  Today was a bit of an exception though, so I guess I can’t complain too much.   Anyway, long story long, the late running meeting meant that I was not able to get back to my desk to turn off the auto post since I had yet to compose what I wanted to write for St. Patrick’s day.  GAH!  Epic post fail.  Correction.  Epic St. Patrick’s day post fail.  I apologize profusely.

Regardless, Happy St. Patrick’s day all y’all.  I hope your day is filled with all thing green, all things pot-o-gold, all things leprechaun (except for those of you that might have a fear of leprechauns – you know who you are), all things Guinness, and all things Irish.  Today is the day where old and young don green apparel, consume green beer, and if they aren’t lucky enough to be Irish, wish that they were.

Look out. He's after your lucky charms!

Why do we do this?  Honestly, I have no idea really.  Mainly I think it’s an excuse to get together with friends to drink.  It might also be a good way to ring in the coming season (don’t forget folks, Spring is just around the corner).  Although, perhaps the true reason we celebrate is to appease the Leprechauns.  We wouldn’t want them coming out of their dank dark caves to consume our brains, and make off with our lucky charms, now would we? Leprechauns do that, right?  I might be misinformed.

Whatever the reason, it’s always fun to see people dressed up to celebrate this particular day-o-the-Irish.  And today it seems the weather is cooperating as well.  It’s a balmy 12C here; the sun is shining, the birds are singing.  It’s almost magical.  One might even say that it’s somehow the Luck of the Irish that has brought us this awesome day.

Anyway, in honour of today’s festivities, I offer you this parametric 4-leaf clover2.  I hope it brings you the Luck of the Irish.  But really, with a parametric equation defining a 4-leaf clover, I don’t see why you would even need the Luck of the Irish.


You might be asking yourself

How can you make this holy day of all-things-Irish about Math?

Well, the most obvious reason is because I’m a nerd.  Did you really need to ask?  The not so obvious reason, dear reader, is as follows: St. Patrick’s day falls approximately Pi days after Pi-Day.  It’s almost like today is the Pi-boxing day of Pi-Day.  AWESOME!  Clearly the question should have been

How can you not bring math into it?

I will also celebrate today by heading to Toronto in my green garb, enjoying a tasty pint of Guinness, and then seeing Sarah McLachlan in concert.  I’m pretty stoked.  I’ve seen her once before, and she was EPIC.  You are right to be jealous.

Anyway, I leave you with this shirt that I really want to get, although it isn’t completely applicable for my situation as I’m part Irish and Scottish.  Clearly the statement would be misleading :)

1 Meetings make me lose my sexy.

2 For those interested, the parametric equation is

\left[\begin{array}{c}r\\ \phi\end{array}\right]=\left[\begin{array}{c}2\sin{(2t)}\\t\end{array}\right], t=0\ldots 4\pi

Why Aren’t Scientists Working On The Pie/Cake Dilemma

So as everyone is probably aware at this point, Monday was Pi-Day.  To celebrate, a subset of the Nerd-Caucus descended on Williams Fresh Cafe to enjoy some tasty pie.

I opted again for a delicious slice of bumbleberry pie, heated of course, and paired with a coffee (black, thank you very much).  Lorna went with a slice of cheesecake topped with a brownie.  Jasper also had a slice of cheesecake covered in strawberries and almonds (if I remember correctly).  For a full recap of the eve, check out Jasper’s Vlog1.

Cheesecake - a pie or a cake?

Anyway, during the course of the eve we were trying to decide what characteristics separate a pie from a cake.  Essentially, we were trying to determine whether or not the selection of cheesecake was allowed on a day in which the customary celebratory choice would be pie.  I suggested that a pie only required a crust on the bottom and some sort of filling, be it fruit, meat, or custard.

The debate continued on Facebook.  There it was suggested that a Key Lime Pie was not in fact a pie.  And that dear friends is just crazy talk.  Or at least, that was my gut reaction.  It got me thinking, did Key Lime satisfy the definition of pie?  If cheesecake could be a pie, why couldn’t Key Lime Pie be a cake?

I continued to ponder this problem.  And then it dawned on me.  I realized that cakes rise due to the action of a leavening agent.  Pies don’t.  At least not in this way.  Don’t get me wrong, if a pie has a crust on top, the steam produced by the filling as it cooks can cause the crust to rise, but the process is different.  It does not require a leavening agent.  I also realized that cakes are typically made from a batter that includes flour.  While cheesecakes have a batter-like filling, they do not typically include flour as its inclusion would thicken the already cheese-thickened batter too much.

Pie at Pi-Time on Pi-Day! w00t!

Despite these revelations, I decided to search the interwebs as they are all-knowing. In this particular case I could find no definitive answer.  Some argued that cheesecake was a cake, because it isn’t filled with fruit and the crust isn’t necessarily a pastry type crust.  Others argued it is a cake simply because it contains the word cake2 in its name.  Wikipedia sidesteps the controversy by calling cheesecake a dessert.  Personally, I would like a definitive answer.  Bakers and Food Scientists – I’m looking at you.

What characteristics determine whether or not

a dessert can be classified as a pie or as a cake?

I opted to email some people in the know.  Specifically, the culinary experts at Chudleigh’s.  I worked at Chudleigh’s making pies for many years through my teens and early twenties, and I knew that if anybody could settle this debate, they would.  And given that they’ve been in the baking industry for about a billion years, I take their word as gospel.

The email I sent read:

Hey [contact]

Given that it was Pi-Day on Monday, a debate began that I thought only you, or someone at Chudleigh’s could end.

We are trying to decide what defines a pie.  I have suggested that a pie is any round pastry that has a crust on the bottom, and is filled with either fruit, custard, or stew type things (i.e., meat).

Basically we are trying to decide if key lime pie, and cheesecake are pies.

I say they are both pies.  Cheesecake is not a ‘cake’ in that it doesn’t contain flour (at least, not to my recollection) or any leavening agents.

Please help!


Within minutes I had a reply!  I knew they wouldn’t let me down.

Merriam Webster defines it as such:

Cake: a sweet baked food made from a dough or thick batter usually containing flour and sugar and often shortening, eggs, and a raising agent (as baking flour).

Pie: a meat dish baked with biscuit or pastry crust – compare to potpie.  Or a dessert consisting of a filling (as of fruit or custard) in a pastry shell or topped with pastry or both.

I would agree that the key word is “leavening agent”.  Key lime and cheesecake do not rise, nor contain a leavening agent.  I would agree they should be considered pies.

Have fun:)

So there you have it folks.  The debate is over.  Cheesecake and Key Lime Pie are in fact pies.  And with that, we also have proper definitions.  While both are generally considered desserts (meat pies being an obvious exception):

  • a pie requires a crust (on the bottom, top, or both), a filling that could consist of fruit, custard, nuts (i.e., pecans – yum), or meat, and it does not rise due to the action of a leavening agent, whereas
  • cake is typically crust-less, may contain fruit, or custard, and it does rise because it includes a leavening agent.

I hope that puts this debate to rest once and for all.  And if it doesn’t, I’m sure we can all agree that pie and cake are pretty damn delicious.

Suddenly I want some pie.  And cake.  Mmmm, pie cake.


From the Hogpath Bugle (hogpathbugle.blogspot.com): The Cherpumple pie cake is a three-layer cake with a pie baked inside each layer. There’s a pumpkin pie in that spice cake bottom layer, an apple pie inside the yellow cake middle layer, and a cherry pie oozing out of the white cake layer on top.

1 Or you could just watch the video below :)

2 To those who would argue that the inclusion of cake in the name necessarily makes cheesecake a cake, I offer the following things to think about:

  • Do we consider ladybugs ladies, because lady is in the name?
  • Do we consider Strawberries made of straw, because straw is in the name?
  • Do we consider Multivariate Conditionally Autoregressive Random Effects cars because they contain the word Auto?3

I rest my case.

3 To be perfectly honest, Multivariate Conditionally Autoregressive Random Effects are known as MCARs, but that doesn’t mean they are cars.

Let’s Get Ready To Nerd-Rumble

Several days ago I put forth a challenge to the interwebs. Specifically, it was a challenge for nerd supremacy known forevermore as the first ever Interweb Gangster Pi-Off. The contenders: West Coast, and East Coast. Up for grabs: bragging rights, and the title of Nerdiest & Gangsta Pi-iest Coast. That’s right folks, the battle was on. With a simple post, a veritable cross-country royal rumble of epic nerdliness was launched. The world would never be the same.

Anyway, without further ado, I present to you all of the pictures that I received in the first ever Interweb Gangster Pi-Off (up until Midnight on Pi-Day).  Thank you to all who participated (whether coerced or not).  The level of nerdery that is displayed here is almost too much for this man-nerd to handle.  Almost!

Oh, and given that this was a challenge, there clearly needs to be a winner (although everyone is a winner on Pi-Day1).  The final tally:

  • East Coast Gangsta Pi: 28
  • West Coast Gangsta Pi: 2
  • Special Mentions: 2

Clearly, the East Coast reigns supreme.  Better luck next year West Coast.

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Pi-Day.  And an extra High-Pi to all who sent in photos.  Much appreciated.

West Coast Version
East Coast with a smile :)
East Coast version of Gangster Pi. Mmmm, Pi.
West Coast
Jenn's extra happy East Coast Gangsta Pi
East coast Gangsta Pi from Almost Dr. Lorna
Victoria and Gerarda: tag team East Coast Gangsta Pi.
More East Coast Gangsta Pi.
The other half of a full gang of math nerds showing off their East Coast Gangsta-Pi.
Half of a full gang of math nerds showing off their East Coast Gangsta-Pi.

Special mentions: these are creative entries that didn’t quite satisfy either East or West Coast Gangsta-Pi styles. However, that does not mean that they aren’t still awesome.

Warren incorporates some chop sticks for his Gangster Pi.
Alan's version of Gangster Pi.

1 Because Pi-Day is all about celebrating our collective awesomeness. Okay, maybe I just made that up. But it sounds like something people can rally behind. w00t!

Happy Pi-Day All Y’All

Oh my FSM, it’s here. It’s finally here. You wait all year, maybe patiently, maybe not-so-patiently, and it is FINALLY HERE! That’s right folks, it’s Pi-Day. Today is the day we celebrate the nerd in everyone. Today we celebrate the amazing and ubiquitous constant known as \pi.

For those who haven’t been following along the last few weeks, I’ve been prepping for this day for some time.   I can’t help myself.  It’s just too nerdy for me not to celebrate.

As I post this, I will be sharing some great Pi-Day related things with my class (read mathematical geekery). Later, I have plans to meet up with some of the members of the Nerd-caucus1. Our mission: to geek out and enjoy some pie in the company of good friends. Because beyond the celebration of all things nerd, Pi-Day is just like any other holiday; a time to gather with those you love, eat, chat, talk mathematics and statistics, and laugh. Okay, maybe not every one of your holidays involves math or stats, but mine generally do.

Last year I celebrated with a slice of pie.

For those keeping track, last year I celebrated Pi-Day at Williams with a delicious slice of bumbleberry pie; a pie filled with a mixture of blueberries, rhubarb, blackberries, and apples.  YUM.  Sadly I had to celebrate around 5pm in the eve as I was in meetings when Pi-Minute arrived.

Wait, what?  Pi-Minute?  Are you crazy? Well yes, but that’s not the point.  While Pi-Day is celebrated on March 14th (3/14), true nerds also hold Pi-Minute very sacred.  Pi-Minute falls either at 1:59am or for those that aren’t awake, 1:59pm on March 14th.  And then there are those that would go the extra distance and identify Pi-Second.  Pi-Second occurs on March 14th at 1:59 (am or pm) and 26 seconds.

So to recap:

  • Pi-Day = March 14th (3/14 \rightarrow 3.14),
  • Pi-Minute = March 14th at 1:59 (3.14159),
  • Pi-Second = March 14th at 1:59:26 (3.1415926),

which represent the first 3, 6, and 8 digits of \pi, respectively.  This level of nerdery speaks to me.

And for those that wish to celebrate \pi on a daily basis, they need only look to Pi-Time.  That is, 3:14 am or pm each and every day.  Of course, I’m not recommending that you celebrate 3:14 every day with a slice of pie, but once in a while wouldn’t hurt.

Anyway, what follows are some random Pi related things that I think you might enjoy.  Stay tuned for updates regarding the winner of The Interweb Gangsta Pi-Off.

Happy Pi-Day all y’all.  Happy Pi-Day long time!

  • I found this online and thought it was hilarious. It’s a comic about the other Pi-Day, which is really Pi-Approximation-Day. Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely celebrate Pi-Approximation-Day too. I don’t think there is anything wrong by approximating \pi with \frac{22}{7} (hence the reason Pi-Approximation-Day is on July 22). Regardless, this cartoon is HILARIOUS. My favourite line is the last line by the T-Rex.  I think I want that on a T-shirt.

  • Want to know when a certain sequence of numbers first appears in \pi? Check out this site.  My birthday first appears at the 9,792,936 position after the decimal.  The digits 31415926 first appear at position 50,366,472 after the decimal.  The sequence 12345678 first appears at position 186,557,266.  And finally, the first 7 Fibonacci numbers (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13) appear at position 48,300,974.
  • Want to know your age in Pi-Years (where a Pi year would be ~3.14159 regular years)?  Check out my friend Jasper’s most excellent website.  Today I am officially ~11.32 Pi-Years old.  That has a much nicer ring to it than 36 :).  I will be 12 Pi-Years old on April 26, 2013.
  • Can you determine the next 3 sets of digits?  111 1111 99999 66 33333 88888 777777777 333333333 33 88888888 222222
  • Follow @ChrisLikesPie on Twitter.

    If you are on Twitter, you should follow @ChrisLikesPie, because he’s quite hilarious and as he writes “My name is Chris. I like pie. I also like pi. And pie charts made of the pies I like.”

  • Celebrate Pi-Day by singing the Approximately Four Pi days of Pi-Day.
  • To fully celebrate Pi-Day, you should enjoy any or all of the following foods/drinks (or foods that contain these foods as a main ingredient): Fruit Pi, Meat/Veggie Pi, Pizza Pi, Pi-tini, Pi-stachio, or Pi-ckle.
  • I also recommend watching the movie Pi, or the television show Magnum P.I.  If you do watch Magnum P.I., be sure to wear a Hawaiian shirt and short cut off jean shorts.
  • For a great Pi related read try The Joy Of Pi.  Seriously – it’s great.  I’ve owned this book for many years and I often look through for some nerdy fun.

1 Check out this video regarding Nerd-caucus. It really will explain it all.

The Approximately Four Pi days Of Pi-Day: Pi Day 4

Can you feel the excitement in the air as we get ever closer to Pi-Day?  Just 2 more sleeps.  I’m so excited!  But you know, I always spend so much time prepping for the event that I forget to just sit down and reflect on the meaning of this most mathiest of all mathy holidays.

Anyway, I know you’ve been dying to get the last verses of the Approximately Four Pi Days Of Pi-Day, so here it is along with Pi days #1#2, and #3.  And since you still have a couple of days until the big day, you have that much time to practice the song, and then teach its verses to all of your friends.  They will thank you for it.

Don’t forget to check back here on Pi-Day (March 14th) for more Pi related awesomeness.  Further, if you truly want to celebrate this holiday in style, you should make sure to serve yourself a slice of pie at 3:14pm.  With a coffee, tea, or other beverage of your choice.  I’m thinking strawberry rhubarb pie paired with a nice dark roast, or perhaps a latte.  YUM!

  • On the first \frac{1}{3} Pi day of Pi-Day, Euler gave to me, |e^{i\pi}|1.
  • On the second \frac{1}{3} Pi day of Pi-Day, a Statistician gave to me, a bivariate Gaussian distribution2.
  • On the first full Pi day of Pi-Day, a Physicist gave to me, three lectures on quantum physics at the P.I.3.
  • On the fourth \frac{1}{3} Pi day of Pi-Day, a Biologist gave to me, four Fibonacci sequences4.
  • On the fifth \frac{1}{3} Pi day of Pi-Day, an Artist gave to me, five Golden Ratios5.
  • On the second full Pi day of Pi-Day, Gauss gave to me, the Pi function of 36.
  • On the seventh \frac{1}{3} Pi day of Pi-Day, a 1989 St. Patrick’s day baby gave to me, seven pi-birthdays7.
  • On the eighth \frac{1}{3} Pi day of Pi-Day, a Mathematician gave to me, an eighth order Taylor Series expansion of \sin{(x)} about \pi8.
  • On the third full Pi day of Pi-Day, Dirac gave to me the first nine scientific notation decimal digits of h-bar9.
  • On the tenth \frac{1}{3} Pi day of Pi-Day, a musician gave to me, ten notes to hear the music of Pi10.
  • On the eleventh \frac{2}{3} Pi day of Pi-Day, a computer scientist gave to me, the first 2 digits of the binary representation of Pi11.
  • On the fourth full Pi day of Pi-Day, a chemist gave to me, twelve molar of tetrahydrocannabinol12.

1 e to the i pi absolute.

2 where f\left(\mathbf{x}|\mathbf{\mu}, \mathbf{\Sigma}\right)=\displaystyle{\frac{1}{2\pi|\mathbf{\Sigma}^{\frac{1}{2}}|}}\mathrm{exp}\left\{\left(-\frac{1}{2}(\mathbf{x}-\mathbf{\mu})^{t}\Sigma^{-1}(\mathbf{x}-\mathbf{\mu})\right)\right\}

3 The Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.

4 click here for a link between Fibonacci numbers and Pi.

5 click here for a link between Phi and Pi.

6 where \Pi(z)=\Gamma(z+1)=z\Gamma(z), and \Gamma(z) being the Gamma Function (obviously):


which simplifies to \Gamma(z+1)=z! if z is an Integer.  It also simplifies to \sqrt{\pi} if z=\frac{1}{2}. w00t!

7 That’s correct, a 1989 Green-baby will celebrate their 7th pi-birthday on Pi-Day 2011.

8 \sin{(x)}\approx-(x-\pi)+\frac{(x-\pi)^{3}}{3!}-\frac{(x-\pi)^{5}}{5!}+\frac{(x-\pi)^{7}}{7!}.

9 Where \bar{h}=\frac{h}{2\pi}\approx 1.054571628\ 10^{-34}\mathrm{J}\cdot\mathrm{s}.

10 Click here to make your own music.
11 Where \pi=11.00100100001111110110... in binary.
12 Molar mass of tetrahydrocannabinol ~ 314g. Commonly referred to as THC. Yes, that THC. Isn’t Pi awesome?

Oh, you might also want to practice the following drink for Pi day.

I've not tried this yet, but I think I might be attempting it on Monday.

It’s Pi-Eve: Only One More Pi Day Until Pi-Day

As of right now, it’s approximately 1 Pi day until Pi-Day.

That’s right, March 10, 2011 at 8:36pm marks the point when there are roughly 3.14 days until the stroke of midnight indicates the end of the 13th and the beginning of March 14, 2011 (also known as Pi-Day).

What does this mean?  It means that it is now officially the Pi-Eve of Pi-Day.  Happy Pi-Eve everyone!

To honour this occasion, I present to you a Pi-ku, which can be either a haiku about Pi or a poem with the syllable pacing of 3-1-4 instead of the haiku tradition of 5-7-5.  I have opted for the latter.  I also think everyone should heed the advice of this particular Pi-ku.

One Should Eat


To Honour Pi

In other-but-completely-related news, it’s also International Day of Awesomeness. Is it any surprise that this day-o-awesomeness coincides with our celebration of Pi-Eve? So not only do we celebrate the Pi-Eve of Pi-Day, we celebrate all the awesomeness that comes with it. If this isn’t an excuse to go out and eat pie, I don’t know what is.

The Approximately Four Pi days Of Pi-Day: Pi Day 3

And now dear readers, I present to you Pi day #3 of the Approximately Four Pi Days Of Pi-Day (with Pi days #1 and #2 reprinted for your convenience).

The final day of the Approximately Four Pi Days of Pi-Day (that being day #4) will be released March 12 at 3:14pm. Set your clocks!

  • On the first \frac{1}{3} Pi day of Pi-Day, Euler gave to me, |e^{i\pi}|1.
  • On the second \frac{1}{3} Pi day of Pi-Day, a Statistician gave to me, a bivariate Gaussian distribution2.
  • On the first full Pi day of Pi-Day, a Physicist gave to me, three lectures on quantum physics at the P.I.3.
  • On the fourth \frac{1}{3} Pi day of Pi-Day, a Biologist gave to me, four Fibonacci sequences4.
  • On the fifth \frac{1}{3} Pi day of Pi-Day, an Artist gave to me, five Golden Ratios5.
  • On the second full Pi day of Pi-Day, Gauss gave to me, the Pi function of 36.
  • On the seventh \frac{1}{3} Pi day of Pi-Day, a 1989 St. Patrick’s day baby gave to me, seven pi-birthdays7.
  • On the eighth \frac{1}{3} Pi day of Pi-Day, a Mathematician gave to me, an eighth order Taylor Series expansion of \sin{(x)} about \pi8.
  • On the third full Pi day of Pi-Day, Dirac gave to me the first nine scientific notation decimal digits of h-bar9.

1 e to the i pi absolute.

2 where f\left(\mathbf{x}|\mathbf{\mu}, \mathbf{\Sigma}\right)=\displaystyle{\frac{1}{2\pi|\mathbf{\Sigma}^{\frac{1}{2}}|}}\mathrm{exp}\left\{\left(-\frac{1}{2}(\mathbf{x}-\mathbf{\mu})^{t}\Sigma^{-1}(\mathbf{x}-\mathbf{\mu})\right)\right\}

3 The Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.

4 click here for a link between Fibonacci numbers and Pi.

5 click here for a link between Phi and Pi.

6 where \Pi(z)=\Gamma(z+1)=z\Gamma(z), and \Gamma(z) being the Gamma Function (obviously):


which simplifies to \Gamma(z+1)=z! if z is an Integer.  It also simplifies to \sqrt{\pi} if z=\frac{1}{2}. w00t!

7 That’s correct, a 1989 Green-baby will celebrate their 7th pi-birthday on Pi-Day 2011.

8 \sin{(x)}\approx-(x-\pi)+\frac{(x-\pi)^{3}}{3!}-\frac{(x-\pi)^{5}}{5!}+\frac{(x-\pi)^{7}}{7!}.

9 Where \bar{h}=\frac{h}{2\pi}\approx 1.054571628\ 10^{-34}\mathrm{J}\cdot\mathrm{s}.

My friend Michael sent me this link on the Facebook (Test Your Pi-Q).  Check it out, if you dare.  It will come as no surprise that I rocked this quiz.  Rocked it long and hard.

Pi challenge accepted!

It probably helped that I worked at Chudleigh’s as a kid where we made pies.  Lots and lots of delicious and oh-so-tasty pies.

Additionally, here is another Pi song for your listening pleasure.

The Interweb Gangster Pi-Off

To celebrate Pi-Day, I am challenging you, dear readers, to the first (as far as I’m aware) Interweb Gangster Pi-Off. What is an Interweb Gangster Pi-Off? A competition for bragging rights?  Perhaps.  A battle of east vs. west supremacy?  Maybe.  A huge waste of time, energy, and productivity?  Most likely.  But most importantly, it’s a battle and celebration of immense nerdery.  Clearly, the most important battle that has ever been battled in the history of all battles.  You don’t want to miss out on this.

To join the battle, you need only take a picture of yourself performing either the East Coast or West Coast version of a Gangster Pi symbol (see examples below). Send your picture to me, or post your picture on some online photo service (such as TwitPic or Picasa) and send me the link.  I’ll add it to this wall-o-awesomeness with all the other Gangster-Pi bitches. You know you want to.

Tally to date:

East Coast: 1

West Coast: 2

West Coast version of Gangster Pi.
Rick doing the West Coast version. Clearly the eye brow raise and the shirt make him uber gangster. Uber. Gangster.
East Coast version of Gangster Pi. Mmmm, Pi.