I’ve been thinking about an aspect of modern life that bothers me at least as much — if not more — than the anti-intellectual, anti-science, anti-thought, bias of our culture.
It’s bad when emotions are elevated above rational thinking, that what matters most is how one feels. It undermines our future when that is not guided by understanding and thoughtfulness. And all too often those feelings don’t involve compassion and acceptance, but fear, hate, and rage.
What’s worse, what makes we wonder if we’ll ever find a decent path again, is that we’ve become a culture of lies.
I hadn’t really planned to, but it’s both Pi Day and the birthday of Albert Einstein. As a fan of both the number and the man, it seems I should post something.
But I’ve written a lot about pi and Einstein, so — especially not having planned anything — I don’t have anything to say about either right now. In any event, I’m more inclined to celebrate Tau Day when we have double the pi(e). I do have something that’s maybe kind of vaguely of pi-ish. It’s something I was going to mention when I wrote about Well World.
It’s a little thing about hexagons.
Happy Pi Day! Order some pizza and use pi to make sure you get the most pie possible! I made a handy chart that may change how you order pizza.
Or not. It’s something I heard about early in the year that caused a minor tweet storm (I’m not on the Twitter, so never saw nothing, which I’m fine with). It centered around how it was often better to order two smaller pizzas than one large one (depending on pricing and assuming your goal is the most pizza possible per peso).
Since pi is involved in this pizza pie probe, I thought it would make a fun topic for Pi Day (not to mention March Mathness).
Well, it’s Pi Day once again (although this date becomes more and more inaccurate as the century proceeds). So, once again, I’ll opine that Tau Day is cooler. (see: Happy Tau Day!)
Last year, for extra-special Pi Day, I wrote a post that pretty much says all I have to say about Pi. (see: Here Today; Pi Tomorrow) That post was actually published the day before. I used the actual day to kick off last Spring’s series on Special Relativity.
So what remains to be said? Not much, really, but I’ve never let that stop me before, so why start now?
Okay. I’ve been teasing doubly special Saturday and (especially this year) since last Monday (and planting hints along the way). If you haven’t figured it out by now, today is Albert Einstein’s birthday. It’s also pi day, and how cool is it that a guy like Al was born on pi day?
So: Happy Birthday Albert! The (especially this year) part is because it’s extra-special pi day (3/14/15) and because this year I’m finally going to do what I’ve been wanting to do here to commemorate Einstein’s birthday since I started this blog back in ought-eleven.
I’m going to write — at length — about Special Relativity!
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.
This might seem like another math post… but it’s not! It’s a geometry post! And geometry is fun, beautiful and easy. After all, it’s just circles and lines and angles. Well, mostly. Like anything, if you really want to get into it, then things can get complex (math pun; sorry). But considering it was invented thousands of years ago, can it really be that much harder than, say, the latest smart phone?
Even the dreaded trigonometry is fairly simple once you grasp the basic idea that the angles of a triangle are directly related to the length of its sides. (Okay, admittedly, that’s a bit of a simplification. The (other two) angles of a right-angle triangle are directly related to the ratios of the length of its sides, but still.)
However, this isn’t about trig; this is about tau!