UNUSUAL HOLIDAYS: Pi Day

UNUSUAL+HOLIDAYS%3A+Pi+Day

3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592307816406286.

This is an approximation of the infinite number Pi, a favorite curiosity of nerds everywhere. Its infinite mystery spans the ages, its neverending stream of digits stretching into a blissful infinity of irrational numerology. For millennia, this elegant ratio between a circle’s circumference and its diameter has captivated the attention of scholars, mathematicians and thinkers everywhere, from crude circle measurements and division by hand designed to obtain the value of the wonderful number to sophisticated supercomputers running huge calculation algorithms in order to obtain more of Pi’s endlessly fascinating digits.

Given Pi’s transcendent status in the intellectual community, it makes sense that many of the more educated people in the world would celebrate the number’s existence by giving it a holiday. This holiday, known unsurprisingly as Pi Day, is on March 14 (3/14). Pi Day 2015 (3/14/15) will hold special importance for fans of nerddom’s greatest number (3.1415 being the first 5 digits of Pi).

Hardcore Pi Day fans sometimes celebrate the holiday with parties at 1:59 on Pi Day (3/14, 1:59). This coming year, 9:26 and 53 seconds will hold special significance as it will be 3/14/15, 9:26.53 — the first 10 Pi digits aligned like this for the first time in 100 years.

Many do not know about Pi Day or simply dismiss it as a trivial nerd obsession, but that is certainly faulty. Pi is present everywhere circles exist, as every perfect circle has Pi as the ratio of circumference to diameter. From the pupils of peoples’ eyes to the wheels on one’s car to the sun in the sky, circles are inescapable here on planet Earth, and therefore, so is Pi. The number is a large part of life, whether one chooses to acknowledge that or not, and therefore, at least one day out of the year should be spent in commemoration of its wonder.