Posted by: bkivey | 14 March 2015

Pi Day

“Computer. Compute to the last digit the value of pi.”


The Ultimate Computer

Not even the M-5 could complete this impossible task, but a fitting quote for this century’s Pi Day. Every 14 March is ostensibly Pi Day, but today is the only time this century when the date approximates the value of pi to four digits. If one were to round up the fifth digit, then 14 March next year would qualify as a centennial Pi Day, but that’s just sloppy, although not as egregious as some attempts to set the value of pi to 3. The belief that pi could be set to 3 is based on another mathematical impossibility: squaring the circle. Irrational and transcendental pi may be, but it’s not 3.

Quote of the Day

I’m currently reading Plutarch’s Lives, and the first paragraph of the section on Pericles got my attention, perhaps because it so succinctly describes the vast number of people who waste their time (and other’s) on irrational matters.

Caeser once, seeing some wealthy strangers at Rome, carrying up and down with them in their arms and bosoms young puppy-dogs and monkeys, embracing and making much of them, took occasion not unnaturally to ask whether the women in their country were not used to bear children; by that prince-like reprimand gravely reflecting upon persons who spend and lavish upon brute beasts that affection and kindness which nature has implanted in us to be bestowed on those of our own kind. With like reason may we blame those who misuse that love of inquiry and observation which nature has implanted in our souls, by expending it on objects unworthy of the attention either of their eyes or their ears, while they disregard such as are excellent in themselves, and would do them good.

Not much has changed in 2000 years.


The other day I was afflicted with an earworm, this time Glen Campbell’s Wichita Lineman. It’s a decent enough song, but not when it won’t get out of your head. Since I couldn’t get rid of the tune, I decided to have some fun with it by imagining how it would sound in different styles.


I am the county’s bitch

And I drive that m —–f —–ing road

Lookin in the sky

For a suckass overload

That wire be tuning hard

Like some punk midevel bard

And now you know it’s time

To end this lame-ass rhyme

Social Justice Warrior (spoken word poetry)

I am public infrastructure repair person

And I drive my ecosystem destroying vehicle

Across lands taken from native peoples

I search in the Sun

For another example of imperialistic aggression

I hear the voices of the dispossessed in the wire

And it burns in my soul

About the injustices of capitalism

And power made by coal

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