3.14.2006

The infinite number

3.14159265358979323846... blah, blah, blah

If you hadn't heard before, March 14 is Pi Day.

Today at the office two colleagues, curriculum specialist in mathematics, celebrated this day by bringing apple pie to our team meeting. I ate heartily with overwhelming guilt because, in truth, I am not a fan of Pi, the infinite decimal which has been around since the age of the Egyptians.

You don't have to be a math specialist to remember that Pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Teachers made damn sure they drummed the number 3.14 and its purpose into the brains of impressionable young minds, making junior high school students everywhere want to scream a line from another worn out, over-memorized, scholastic classic--Patrick Henry's "give me liberty or give me death" speech.

Maybe this is one reason I loathe Pi--I haven't been able to purge it from my brain thanks to Mrs. Schwarts, my 7th grade math teacher and brainwashing expert.

Pi also disturbs me for its infinite character. I don't like numbers or anything else for that matter to be so long and drawn out. Keep it simple--that's my motto in fashion, that's my motto for communicating, that's my motto in deciding which mixer goes best with raspberry vodka. Keeping it simple ought to be a rule for numbers, including decimals.

What's so special about going on and on? I mean, really, beyond a certain point why not just round up and be done with it? Who wants to even think about a never-ending number? The way I see it, a number's primary purpose is to mark a beginning an ending. That's why clocks and calendars use numbers. That's why by September major league baseball teams figure their "magic numbers"--because aside from the Mets, the magic number is pretty finite and understandable.

Just remember, no matter what scientists and mathematicians try to suggest to you, Pi (and any decimal like it) goes against nature. In other words, rank Pi up there with the likes of the number 666, which at least has an ending. Pi is the Charlie Manson of numbers. Evil.

I hate to go on and on about Pi, but I needed to make my feelings clear. However just thinking about the infinite nature of Pi, about Ms. Schwartz, Charlie Manson, 666, and Patrick Henry's speech (which I can still quote verbatim today) is giving my one heck of a headache. I need to go lay down.

My hope for all of you is that you have a happy, round day!

2 comments:

JustJunebug said...

wow. who knew? glad i was home sick today...although i dont think there are too many people at my work that would have known that today is Pi day...

oh and i certainly didnt remember exactly the formula. just that Pi is 3.14

3rdtimesacharm( 3T ) said...

I must have day dreamed through the Pi lecture. From the sounds of it, I'm glad I did. ;-)

Now all I know about Pi, I learned from you Diane! Hope you have a great day!

3T