piToday is Pi Day, pi being the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. But you knew that. You probably were even aware that pi was a very old number, and, of course, an infinite decimal, roughly equivalent to 355/113.

But did you know: “Pi (rather than some other Greek letter like Alpha or Omega) was chosen as the letter to represent the number 3.141592… because the letter π in Greek, pronounced like our letter ‘p’, stands for ‘perimeter’.”

Of course, this is really only Pi Day, and a very special one this year, to those somewhat backwards countries who post the date in neither descending nor ascending order of significance, but rather Month, Day, Year.

The primary country using this system is the United States, so it gets noticed. The others, as far as I can tell, are Belize and the Federated States of Micronesia, though Canada, Kenya and the Philippines use multiple designations, including MMDDYYYY.

Since pi and pie are homophones, some people seem to think that today is Pie Day. But Pie Day in 2015 was January 23.

Still, all sophisticated folks, understandably, recognize the pie as the perfect food, available as dinner (pot pie, e.g.) or dessert, and will use any excuse to eat, or get hit in the face with, pie.

Here’s Dustbury’s pi post from last year, which shows that I’m very pi; either I go on forever, or I’m irrational. Take your pick.

Born this date: Albert Einstein in 1879, who undoubtedly used pi in some calculations; and Quincy Jones in 1933, who recorded and produced many albums that were shaped like a circle.

Both my sister’s boyfriend Mike and my friend, artist Stephen Bissette, turn the big SIX-OH today. Happy natal day to them.

One Response to “3.1415”

  • Although New Zealand mostly uses day/month/year, it’s not uncommon for people here to use the month/day/year. I think that’s partly because of the influence of the US and its news/pop culture, but also because people often say “March 14th”. On the other hand, they’re also likely to say, “the 14th of the 3rd”, meaning the 14th of the third month. This can be very confusing to newly-arrived Americans…

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