History of Pi Day: 3.14

Pi Day HISTORY OF PI DAY

This holiday is often overlooked by those who do not speak Greek or those who do not speak Geek… but for the science major, this is a special celebration. Each year, on March 14, or 3/14, or 3.14 — we have the first three digits of “Pi.” If one wanted to be precise, and why not, it would be at 15:92 o’clock, or 4:32 pm… and 65.35 seconds, or slightly after 4:33 pm. You get the idea.

pi dayOrigin of Pi Day

The origin of this geek holiday has been traced to a celebration led by Larry Shaw at the San Francisco Exploratorium in 1988 where he was a physicist. No less than the US House of Representatives boldly stepped out and passed a non-binding resolution recognizing March 14 as Pi Day in 2009. Your tax dollars at work.

Food

Pi Day is gaining traction with purveyors of the circular food.

  • Pi BarIn my neighborhood, there is a shop called 3.14 Sweet and Savory Pi Bar. They serve, ironically, sweet and savory pies. They celebrate┬áPi Day as if it were their day.
  • Il VicinoThe local pizza establishment in the┬ávicinity, Il Vicino is offering a special price on the basic pie, $3.14
  • Village Inn offers a quiz to find out how much you know about Pi.

Physicists

Two famous physicists have associations with Pi Day:

  • Albert Einstein was born on PI Day, March 14, 1879.
  • Stephen Hawking died on PI Day, March 14, 2018.

Music

Pi SongThe life of Pi, (no relation to the Academy Award-winning movie) has evolved to the point that Engadget has featured the music of Michael John Blake who turned the first 31 decimal places into a song:

 

…played at 157 beats per minute, no less (or half of 314). As it turns out, however, Blake wasn’t the first to come up with the idea — composer Lars Erickson wrote his own “Pi Symphony” a few years back, and has now sparked a bit of a copyright spat on YouTube over who actually owns the rights to Pi in musical form.

You can find the Pi Symphony here.

Bill Petro, your friendly neighborhood historian
www.billpetro.com

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About billpetro

Bill Petro is a technology sales enablement and marketing executive with extensive experience in IT Service Management, Cloud Computing, SaaS, Virtualization, Automation, Storage, and Social Media.

3 Comments

  1. […] simple number relationships like squares and primes. You’re probably aware of holidays like Pi Day on March 14 (3.14), or Star Wars Day on May 4, “May the Force (May the 4th) be with […]

  2. Mandy on March 20, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Did you notice that if you squint 3.14 (take some license with the 4) and read it backwards that it does (kinda-sorta) spell PIE? Did you eat some on Pi Day?

    • Bill Petro on March 20, 2014 at 11:53 am

      It works in a mirror. It’s like stepping through the Looking Glass.

      -Bill

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