Because it’s Pi Day

Apparently, I’m behind the curve in terms of people who think it’s neato to celebrate the awesome mystery that is the number Π. Provided, that is, that behind the curve is a euphemism for doesn’t understand what’s so damn exciting about it. I mean, you don’t see people getting all excited about the date being the square of 12 on January 44th, now do you? No, I didn’t think so.

Still, I did love the movie Π, and bow in awe to Darren Aronofsky’s ability to find something freakish and conspiratorial in everything he points the camera at. So, in honor of you, Mr. Aronofsky, I’d like to toss out a couple of interesting Π factoids I discovered today:

  1. Some fellow named Hiroyoki Gotu memorized Π to the 42,195th digit. Of similar intrigue is the number of websites that report this fact with the phrases “Hiryoki Gotu (21 years old)” and “an amazing 42,195 digits” in close proximity. Because, you know, it would be so much more difficult to write that “21-year-old Hiroyoki Gotu memorized Π to the 42,195th digit,” instead of copy/pasting something somebody else wrote. Separate rant on plagiarism sure to follow at some point.
  2. Another fellow named Yasumasa Kanada calculated Π to the 1,241,100,000,000th digit in 2002, purportedly using a Hitachi SR8000/MPP. For anyone interested, that model is not currently available on either Ebay or Amazon.
  3. Interestingly enough, Drew Olbrich reports that, “if you had a circle the size of the observable universe, and you wanted to compute its circumference with an accuracy equal to the size of a proton, the number of digits of pi that you’d need is only 43.”

Still, it’s good that bachelors no. 1 and 2 are able to put their spare time to good use. And that if I ever need the raw, visceral computing power of a Hitachi SR8000/MPP, all I’ll need to do is track down Mr. Kanada and plead my case.


4 Responses to “Because it’s Pi Day”

  1. Apparently, we all missed out on even more pi goodness at 1:49 PM. Wil Wheaton appreciates the significance of it all.

  2. So I take it you won’t be celebrating October 23rd. Scrooge.

    Maybe I just have too many chemist friends. Geek pressure.

  3. Actually, M, I was thinking about lighting a fire under 3:16 . You know, to give the Bible literalists an outlet for their anti-Pi Day frustrations. And not at all because I’m a rabble rouser.

  4. You’re the geratets! JMHO

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