Happy Pi Day! You know, that über-cool holiday when math geeks from around the world (or at least from countries where the month precedes the day) gather to recite digits, gorge on pie, and fete that elusive number in all its irrational glory.
Here are our picks for Pi Day celebration:
1. Head over to San Franciscos Exploratorium in person or on Second Life for pi shrines and circumambulation starting at 1:59 (3.14159, get it?).
2. Check out Harvards 3.14-minute pie-eating contest.
3. Write a "piku" or, better yet, a "piem," in which each word corresponds to a digit (read Mike Keiths "Poe, E.: Near a Raven" for inspiration).
4. Memorize the first 1,000 digits.
Oh, and while youre at it, a round of "Happy Birthday" might be nice—today would be Einsteins 128th.
Working away here, I almost didnt notice the date: March 14, or 3/14. Its Pi Day, the offbeat holiday in celebration of our favorite mathematical constant, pi—a.k.a 3.14159, etc. Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler adopted the symbol, π, in 1737, but the concept has been in use since ancient Greece; its also known as Archimedes constant. Popular Pi Day activities include eating pie and listening to Kate Bushs song Pi, in which the singer musically recites 137 digits of the constant, leaving out the 79th through 100th decimal places along the way. The song is almost as difficult to listen to as pi is to derive. Heres a celebratory trivia question: Why was the Greek letter π chosen to represent this important mathematical constant, and who proposed it? Ill send an issue of Popular Science autographed by the soup vendor outside our office to the first person to answer correctly. (Enter your responses in the "Comments" section below, please.) —Joe Brown