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March 14th Officially Becomes National Pi Day

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the pi-in-the-sky-legislation dept.

Math 321

whitefox writes "The scoop from CNet is that 'The US House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a resolution introduced two days earlier that designates March 14, 2009 (3/14, get it?) as National Pi Day. It urges schools to take the opportunity to teach their students about Pi and "engage them about the study of mathematics."' The resolution is available online. I doubt it'll ever become a national holiday, but the Pi string in the article is pretty cool in a nerdy sort of way."

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Ladies and Gentlemen... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192243)

your elected officials...HARD AT WORK!

Let's have a GEEK Parade while we are at it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192431)

Because I love a parade! And those geeks are just so darn cute!!

Re:Ladies and Gentlemen... (4, Insightful)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192599)

Troll? Perhaps the above comment could have done with a little more content, I don't see anything wrong with the implication that elected officials are wasting time and money on trivialities and showmanship.

If they really were keen to improve to state of mathematics, there are some very good things that they could do to start fixing some of the problems with the education system.

However, those things require action to be taken, and thus, responsibility for that action. It is easier for politicians to engage in this sort of political showmanship, because they look like they care about math, they get the political points for "doing something", and don't risk their actions working out not as well as planned (a risk everyone takes when they do anything) and exposing themselves to criticism from the opposition.

Politics is the art of being gutless while beating your chest as loudly as possible.

Re:Ladies and Gentlemen... (4, Insightful)

penginkun (585807) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192777)

The more they occupy their time with frivolous stuff like this, the less time they have to plan their next rape of our rights and pocketbooks.

But March 14th is already taken! (5, Informative)

richy freeway (623503) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192249)

Steak and Blowjob day has already claimed March 14th.

http://www.steakandbjday.com/

Re:But March 14th is already taken! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192307)

Yeah everybody shut Your PI hole! This day trumps all others.

Re:But March 14th is already taken! (5, Funny)

The Clockwork Troll (655321) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192607)

If everyone shut their pie hole, Steak and BJ day wouldn't exactly be as much fun either.

Re:But March 14th is already taken! (2, Funny)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192697)

Well, there are still two other holes available. Should not pose any problems... :D

Re:But March 14th is already taken! (0, Redundant)

MooUK (905450) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192795)

It wouldn't be steak and BJ day. Both the steak and the BJ require the use of at least one pie hole.

Re:But March 14th is already taken! (5, Funny)

thestreetmeat (1055390) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192439)

It's likely that if you're celebrating one, you're not celebrating the other.

Re:But March 14th is already taken! (5, Funny)

azgard (461476) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192467)

Maybe they should claim June 9th.

Re:But March 14th is already taken! (1)

iced_773 (857608) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192555)

Yeah, and April 14th is Chicken and Lickin' Day, so the guy who made up S&Bj day wouldn't come off as sexist. (I saw it in a Facebook event last year)

Or it would be April 14th, except my birthday already claimed that spot.

Re:But March 14th is already taken! (2, Funny)

multisync (218450) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192593)

At least we know what to get you for your birthday

It's a Saturday (5, Insightful)

crow (16139) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192253)

Ahh, Congress. Finally get around to encouraging schools to use this for educational purposes on a year when it falls on a Saturday. Brilliant.

Re:It's a Saturday (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192419)

Well, it doesn't matter, because after you've taken care 3 and 14, you still have the rest of the decimal precision to consider: .0015926...

To be certain not to miss the critical moment, the students would have had to have been celebrating at some point between 137 and 138 seconds past midnight this morning.

no the celebration is at 4pm (2, Interesting)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192509)

Well, it doesn't matter, because after you've taken care 3 and 14, you still have the rest of the decimal precision to consider: .0015926...

To be certain not to miss the critical moment, the students would have had to have been celebrating at some point between 137 and 138 seconds past midnight this morning.

since the 3 and the 14 part are in different units one might as well continue that strategy. If you celebrate at 4 pm then on a 16:00 hour clock that is 15:16 to give
3:14:16

Re:It's a Saturday (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192533)

Turns out that was a deliberate choice. Usually 3/14 is the day out-of-work community actors show up at high schools in Roman dress and intone, "Beware the Ides of March". This year that bit will be done on Friday.

Re:It's a Saturday (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192579)

Don't you mean Ahh, Congress. Wasting taxpayers time on useless shit that the government doesn't need to do.?

Seriously, I'm as much of a geek as anybody, but why does the government have to waste time on stuff like this, resolutions about the national anthem, pledge of allegiance, lauding Child's Play, and so on? Shouldn't they be spending their time on things that actually matter?

You want kids to do better in school? Quit it with the gimmicks like this and spend time actually fixing the educational system.

Re:It's a Saturday (1)

Khuffie (818093) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192665)

Didn't you hear? Congress is too busy these days. [chicagotribune.com] They don't have time to do any of the trivial stuff.

e Day (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192255)

What makes pi so special? Support making February 71st e Day!

Re:e Day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192433)

February 72th...

Re:e Day (4, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192501)

Why not celebrate both and call it pie day.

Re:e Day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192563)

My Bday january 27, in european date format starts off 27/1. I think that's the closest you'll get to e-day.

Re:e Day (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192699)

I was thinking February 7th.

Now a real tough one would be the fine structure constant 1/137

Pi Day in Europe... (5, Funny)

rHBa (976986) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192761)

In Europe we celebrate Pi on the 31st of April...

...oh!

Pi string (5, Funny)

tpheiska (1145505) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192263)

"Pi string in the article is pretty cool in a nerdy sort of way."

First thought: Ah, they have some kind of string representation of pi instead of just using a double. Excuse me, I'll kill myself now.

From across the pond (4, Funny)

Underholdning (758194) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192269)

I never get used to the MM/DD way of typing dates. If it wasn't for the sarcastic remark (3/14, get it?) I wouldn't have caught it. Unfortunately, we will never get a Pi day over here, as 3/14 doesn't exist. A sad day for the European lovers of Pi (a secret fraternity of which we do not speak)

Re:From across the pond (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192281)

But Pi approximation day - 22/7 is quite a holiday I hear.

Re:From across the pond (4, Funny)

JanneM (7445) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192423)

22/7 is quite a holiday I hear

Well - more or less.

Re:From across the pond (1)

fr4nk (1077037) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192551)

More.

Re:From across the pond (2, Informative)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192651)

Its also the anniversary of the summary execution of Jean-Charles De Menezes on a tube train. But hey, lets forget about police brutality and have a geeky day.

Re:From across the pond (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192283)

We Europeans will have to suffice with e day, (day two of month 7), which is OK since e outperforms pi in maths anyway.

Re:From across the pond (1)

hobbit (5915) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192767)

"Outperforms"? In what sense?

Pi = 22/7 [Re:From across the pond] (2, Insightful)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192289)

Unfortunately, we will never get a Pi day over here, as 3/14 doesn't exist. A sad day for the European lovers of Pi (a secret fraternity of which we do not speak)

No problem. Define Pi day to be 22/7.

That won't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192537)

We write 22-7 in the Netherlands, pi isn't close to 15.

Re:From across the pond (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192329)

We're planning a big party on 31 April 2015 (31/4/15), starts 9:26.

Re:From across the pond (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192643)

Whoever moderated this "insightful": you know April only has 30 days, don't you?

Re:From across the pond (4, Informative)

Volanin (935080) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192655)

Nice!
I am totally in!
Now we only have to manage the silly limitation that April only goes to 30!

Re:From across the pond (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192757)

You'll have plenty of time to lobby the European Parliament to change that years' leap day from 29th February then!

Re:From across the pond (1)

xaosflux (917784) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192801)

Everyone will be over it after our March 14th' 2015 party (3/14/15), also starting at 9:26.

Re:From across the pond (4, Funny)

OolimPhon (1120895) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192335)

Not a problem! We just declare 31st April European Pi Day instead!

Re:From across the pond (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192807)

Umm, April only has 30 days...

Re:From across the pond (2, Interesting)

mtmra70 (964928) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192355)

MM/DD makes more sense. How do you verbally say a date? Every person I know says "March fourteenth two thousand nine", not "fourteenth March two thousand nine".

Many years ago I found an article about how dates SHOULD be written. Since time is always largest to smallest, HH/MM/SS, dates should be formatted the same way. Likewise, UNIX time is the same way with the smaller values to the right and larger ones to the left.

Knowing all of this, and to be a slight pain, when I purchased my home I signed all dates in YY/MM/DD format. The mortgage company said that the person that had to review and file the paper work was going to be driven nuts ;)

Re:From across the pond (5, Insightful)

DerPflanz (525793) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192387)

Euhm, there are more languages in the world than English, many of them also use dates; I say "veertien maart tweeduizend negen". Which makes 14/03/2009. Besides, this way, the smallest (day) comes first, then the bigger (month), then the biggest (year). There is a reason that ISO dates are yyyy-mm-dd (big-to-small), so they sort correctly.

Re:From across the pond (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192521)

In Japanese they use YY/MM/DD which also makes sense as GP said. Plus you can use a simple sort that way which saves lines of code :p

Re:From across the pond (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192413)

Yes, everyone who uses the MM/DD system may speak like that.

In the UK "most people" (anecdote) say 14th March.

It's not like it's "backwards" for a joke.

Re:From across the pond (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192459)

Knowing all of this, and to be a slight pain, when I purchased my home I signed all dates in YY/MM/DD format. The mortgage company said that the person that had to review and file the paper work was going to be driven nuts ;)

I will have to remember to do this when I buy a home, especially if the loan agent is as much a pain as my parents' loan agent was last time when he got impatient because they wanted to read the entire loan document prior to signing it.

Re:From across the pond (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192461)

MM/DD makes more sense. How do you verbally say a date?

I know just a few Europen languages, but here are some examples: "el 4 de julio", "4. juli" or "4th of July". We use either little endian (4th of July, 2009) or big endian (2009-07-04), but not middle endian (September 11th, 2001) like you do.

Re:From across the pond (1)

JanneM (7445) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192463)

In Swedish you do say "fourteenth of march" ("fjortonde mars"), making 14/3 a natural way of expressing the date. I believe a number of other European languages use the same order.

We do sometimes use the order you describe of year-month-day, but only in forms and such when you actually express the whole thing, with year, leading zeros and all: 09-03-14 for 14th march, 2009 is fine, but 3-14 is not.

Re:From across the pond (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192561)

09?? that's not a valid octal number!

The world is bigger than the USA alone... (2, Informative)

Langfat (953252) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192475)

Every person I know says "March fourteenth two thousand nine", not "fourteenth March two thousand nine".

This means that every person you know speaks English. This is not the case in Europe...

Re:From across the pond (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192479)

Actually, in some places they do say "fourteen March two thousand and nine." Either one is clear. It's using month numbers to represent names that creates problems.

The ISO 8601 recommends that interchange formats for date representations go from most significant to least significant, in which case NEITHER MM/DD/YYYY nor DD/MM/YYYY suffice. It should be YYYY-MM-DD. The UK convention is arguably consistent in that it goes from least to most significant, but then you're screwed when you try to add time because nobody specifies time with minutes before hours.

Re:From across the pond (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192691)

I always do dates like '14 Mar 2009.' While not in a logical sorting order, it at least immediately eliminates the confusion of what's the month and what's the day.

Re:From across the pond (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192481)

No. MM/DD/YY makes NO sense. Its not in any logical order. Write March 14th if you want. But shorthand should follow some logical pattern. smallest to largest is fine. If you did it biggest to smallest you would be sticking the year in front. Which unless you are talking about something long term doesn't really make sense. If I ask when is that meeting? dd/mm/yy makes the most sense. Also ... you CAN say 'the 14th of March'

Re:From across the pond (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192485)

ISO date format makes the most sense.

YYYY/MM/DD

Why?

Take a list of dates in that format, remove the separators, and sort them as if they were integers. You now have a chronologically sorted list (either ascending or descending). Genius!

(Captcha: hyphens)

Re:From across the pond (2, Informative)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192779)

Everyone you know must be American.

Re:From across the pond (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192363)

New Zealand also uses british date format but what really makes this worst is that by the time this article was posted it is actually 15th of march.

Re:From across the pond (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192381)

I use stardates you insensitive clod! Right now is stardate 62666.2. Our last pi day, stardate 31415.9, was over 30 years ago.

Re:From across the pond (4, Insightful)

Vadim Makarov (529622) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192427)

Slash-separated date formats are ambiguous, varying between countries. If you want to avoid confusion, use the ISO date format: YYYY-MM-DD. E.g., 2009-03-14.

Mod Parent Up (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192511)

It's probably a personal problem, but the representation of dates has always confused me. Once I found out about the ISO format, I was like "That's it!" Now I only ever use ISO, because it's as close to self-explanatory as you can get - everybody knows it's not their native cultural format because it starts with the year, and if follows logically with the next smaller time measurement in each position. I'd like to see us forget all date formats but ISO.

Re:From across the pond (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192435)

Here in Hungary it's 2009. 03. 14. I don't see the problem.

Re:From across the pond (1)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192569)

You can approximate it on 22/7.

Re:From across the pond (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192789)

I still don't get it. 3/14 is 0.2(142857). That's nowhere near pi!

Day of the week (3, Insightful)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192271)

It urges schools to take the opportunity to teach their students about Pi and "engage them about the study of mathematics."

On a saturday!?

Someone didn't think this through...

Anyways, I hereby reappropriate this holiday as National Pie Day. I'm having strawberry-rubarb.

Re:Day of the week (1)

krswan (465308) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192391)

On a saturday!?

Someone didn't think this through...

It wasn't that hard to engage my 5th grade students with deriving pi yesterday - pi day eve - instead. Please find something reasonable to complain about!

Not every year... (2, Informative)

ameline (771895) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192273)

The last one was March 14, 1592. There will be another in 13917 years.

Re:Not every year... (3, Interesting)

GospelHead821 (466923) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192313)

Naw, not really. They should just make it like Mol Day, in October. Avogadro's Number is 6.02 x 10^23, so Mol Day is celebrated on 10/23 from 6:02 a.m. to 6:02 p.m.

You could celebrate Pi Day on 3/14 from 1:59 a.m. until 1:59 p.m. I suppose that means that children with late-afternoon math classes miss out, though. Maybe it could be like New Year's Eve and the kids are encouraged to spend the day preparing and then at 1:59 p.m. everybody shouts "Happy Pi Day!" and that's when the real [math] party starts.

Caldendar check (2, Informative)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192383)

The last one was March 14, 1592.

If we are going to use the Gregorian calendar, then we should probably see what Europe knew about Pi in 1592. According to Pi History [wikipedia.org] , there was no significant contribution to the understanding of Pi in Europe after Archimedes until Ludolph van Ceulen [wikipedia.org] came up with a 20-digit approximation, in 1596. I'm afraid he was 4 years to late for Pi day.

Typical good timing.... (1)

CWRUisTakingMyMoney (939585) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192279)

[curmudgeon]

Good work on declaring a National Pi Day on 3/14, for whatever significance a Congress-designated "National * Day" has, but they had to do it when it falls on a Saturday? Methinks that schools won't do much to teach about Pi and math on a Saturday, and a lot of the significance of the date would be lost if they taught about it on Friday or Monday, neither of which are 3/14.

[/curmudgeon]

Re:Typical good timing.... (2, Funny)

fmobus (831767) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192471)

Yeah, because March 14th will always be on Saturdays.

Choice Choices! (1)

adosch (1397357) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192285)

What a better reason to be caught in the perplexity of deciding what do get for celebration: Boston creme or Apple?

Yeah, for all the kids at school... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192291)

On a SATURDAY! Clearly we need to change the value of Pi to something like 3.13 or 3.16.

Pie! (3, Funny)

conureman (748753) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192303)

I just told my girlfriend it was National Pi Day, and she asked me what kind I wanted ;)

Re:Pie! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192441)

And you said blueberry, right?

Re:Pie! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192469)

Cream pie?

Re:Pie! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192623)

you should have told her it was steak and blowjob day.

ok no chance of a... (1)

McNihil (612243) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192337)

National e day....2/73 which could be 2/((28|29)+31+(14|13) -> 13/4 or 14/4

Heh.... in that way it can have two... trumping Pi!

Re:ok no chance of a... (1)

McNihil (612243) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192359)

argh... it is 2.7182 => 2.72 .... 12/4 or 13/4

Exception in module (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192339)

Well, except in Alabama, where pi day is 03/01. :D /yes, it's been debunked //it says something that people believed it ///i still think it's funny

House has nothing better to do? (1)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192341)

Th US has so many serious problems that need addressing and they waste their time on this?

Re:House has nothing better to do? (1)

richy freeway (623503) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192357)

I'm sure they haven't stopped working on all other issues just to focus on this.

Re:House has nothing better to do? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192505)

anything that distracts them from their ongoing wealth transfer to fat cats is welcome

A modest proposal (5, Insightful)

azaris (699901) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192361)

How about teaching children about all the ways mathematics is useful in the sciences, engineering, public policy making, risk analysis, investments etc. rather than advocating pointless numerology that makes "mathematicians" look more like deranged Pythagoreans who worship numbers?

Re:A modest proposal (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192629)

+1 insightfull

MIT Undergrad Admissions (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192385)

Two quotes from MIT admissions correspondence:

"MIT Regular Action admissions decisions will be made available online on Saturday, March 14 at 2:00 PM EDT... actually, we'll probably have decisions posted a minute before 2pm."

"Receiving your decision online is as easy as pi."

Pi day? Really? (0, Redundant)

Reality Master 301 (1462839) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192397)

As if your culture isn't already obsessed enough with food.

That's... good? (1)

the_arrow (171557) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192453)

Actually, I don't know what to say. Really, no idea at all. Although I have to admit that anything that raises math-awareness in school is good, but will it lead to that?

one and a half months till uk pi day (1)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192489)

us brits have to wait till 31st of april

Re:one and a half months till uk pi day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192519)

That's a bit more than one month and a half though....

Re:one and a half months till uk pi day (1)

Milamber_Cubed (949767) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192673)

Well, if 3 significant figures is (as it seems) enough, we could celebrate on the 22nd of July.

Re:one and a half months till uk pi day (1)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192737)

unless you can find/define a calendar such that this year is 1592

In related news,Intelligent Design advocates urged (1)

D4C5CE (578304) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192493)

schools to instruct maths classes that "Pi is a theory, not a number", give equal time to all 10 alternatives of its last digit (the value of which they invited their critics to "simply prove") and make sure all books contain respective warnings as drafted by the Landover Education Board [landoverbaptist.org] .

SCNR ;-)

Oh for the love of (1)

pdusen (1146399) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192497)

It's bad enough that I had to put up with pointless shit like this from the idiot teachers in High School, and now this is becoming official?

Pi day? Really? You just happen to celebrate the alignment of a set of three numbers? Who the hell cares?

Re:Oh for the love of (1)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192575)

Not just 3 numbers, festivities peak at 1:59.

Re:Oh for the love of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192631)

Who the hell cares?

If you're not interested in the Pi day promotion for official replica sundials, just go to the "cancel" url provided by any of our emails.

National Day of Slayer is June 6th (1)

hessian (467078) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192507)

I wish they'd approve holidays for subcultural groups, like the "National Day of Slayer" (National Day of Prayer needed a counterpoint). It's for metalheads and anyone else who appreciates that Slayer is like Dvorak with balls.

National Day of Slayer [nationaldayofslayer.org]

Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27192587)

Come on, seriously, this is what the house of representatives is doing? Wow, just wow.

The song to the day (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192611)

If pi was a country this would be the national anthem : http://pi.ytmnd.com/ [ytmnd.com]

NATIONAL PI MOMENT! (1)

Chas (5144) | more than 5 years ago | (#27192717)

3.1415926

March 14th, 26 seconds past 1:59 AM!

I could rip it all the way down to picoseconds, but I'm fscking lazy. DO YOUR OWN DAMN MATH!

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