Tag Archives: Contact (book)

Here Today; Pi Tomorrow

pi pastry

It’s pi day! Be irrational!

Earlier this week I mentioned that “this coming Saturday is a doubly special date (especially this year).” One of the things that makes it special is that it is pi day — 3/14 (at least for those who put the month before the day). What makes it extra-special this year is that it’s 3/14/15— a pi day that comes around only once per century. (Super-duper extra-special pi day, which happens only once in a given calendar, happened way back on 3/14/1529.)

I’ve written before about the magical pi, and I’m not going to get into it, as such, today. I’m more of a tau-ist, anyway; pi is only half as interesting. (Unfortunately, extra-special tau day isn’t until 6/28/31, and the super-duper extra-special day isn’t until 6/28/3185!)

What I do want to talk about is a fascinating property of pi.

Continue reading


I Want Alien Contact!

I want aliens to come to earth.

It’s going to be a very long time (if ever) that we go traipsing around the galaxy visiting others. If we do, of course we’ll be the aliens (which has made for some good SF stories and a recent cute film). Our tech is a long way from a galactic bus, so that’s one thing. Another thing is that we have no idea where to go. So far SETI hasn’t SEEN; for all we know we’re alone in the local universe.

You may have heard of the Drake Equation, which starts with the huge number of stars and calculates that even if a fraction of a fraction of a fraction (and so on, several times) of them have the conditions necessary, there are still many possible worlds with intelligent life.

Continue reading