And My Pi Day Stuff


The 14th of March offers many things. A chance for calendar nerds to get all excited about the meaning of “ides”. A chance to bring out Pi-related content on mathematics blogs. I’ll take advantage of the latter. There’s not a lot in public dispute about the ides of March. The ides of February, now, that I’m not sure I can talk about coherently. But, for Pi:

  • The End 2016 Mathematics A To Z: Normal Numbers which is relevant because π is probably a normal number. We don’t know, but it would be really weird if it weren’t. Normal numbers are weird, but most numbers are normal.
  • Calculating Pi Terribly was my first, big, and basically sour essay about π. It describes the Buffon needle drop experiment, which is a real experiment you could do with actual physical objects if you wanted to eventually, someday, calculate the digits of π. You should use basically any other approach before this if you actually need to know them.
  • Calculating Pi Less Terribly is a follow-up, about finding the digits of π using way less work. It gets into alternating series, which are mathematically interesting enough and very useful.

Enjoy, I hope!

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Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there. He/him.

6 thoughts on “And My Pi Day Stuff”

  1. Haven’t come across yet with an example of your flypaper producing a torrent of flies joke, but I did see a similar idea in a B.C. Comic .One ant asks another about a door at the bottom of the ant hill. Second Ant says “That’s my storm cellar”First Ant opens the door and is blown away by a torrent of rain and wind. Second Ant calls after him and says “Wanna see my lightning rod?” And in a completely unrelated incident I’m having pizza pie (Which isn’t actually a pie ) for PiDay (Which isn’t actually a holiday).

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    1. That’s a pretty good joke. It’s easy to say it’s surprising to see one like that in B.C. but, well, every comic strip that’s been around since the invention of movable type got there by being really good for a long while originally. More action than an average example of the strip, at least.

      I could get behind a good pizza. Or an average pizza. … Actually I just discovered they sell pizza by the slice at the hipster farmer’s market on the west side of town, the one with the free coffee and all the flavored popcorn and so many odd little candies.

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  2. I’m loving the line, “Normal numbers are weird, but most numbers are normal.” People with little math background, who don’t know what “normal” or “most numbers” mean will think the latter half is obvious while the former is curious. Meanwhile, those who do know those terms will agree with the former while wondering how one proves the latter.

    It’s the little observations, like these, which make me realize how much I love mathematics

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        1. You would think! But they do some amazing things with glow puppies these days and soon, it’ll be possible to even read the black-print-on-red-text security-question sheets they sent out with video games in the 80s when Amiga was trying to slow down the rate at which everybody pirated their games.

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