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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Happy National Pi Day. How About a Slice?

Posted By on Sat, Mar 14, 2015 at 10:41 AM

Every March, math nerds enthusiasts celebrate the mathematical constant pi, the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Pi is used for calculations involving volume and surface of sphere-like objects like wheels and planets, and it is an infinite string of numbers, usually represented as 3.14. Today, March 14, 2015, can be written as 3.14.15, leading some to near hysteria—it is, after all, a once-in-a-century occurrence.

“On Pi Day, I will think about the nature of a day, as Earth’s rotation on its axis carries me on a circle 34,000 km in circumference, which I calculated using pi and my latitude,” said Marc Rayman, chief engineer and mission director for NASA’s Dawn spacecraft.

In the meantime, there are a number of ways to have fun with pi. For example, there's the Find Your Pi Day website, which can determine where in the string of pi numbers your birthday falls.

There is also a Pi Day Challenge on a website from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory that invites the public to map a distant planet using pi.

Then there are the delicious food-related celebrations, with more than a few pi-zzerias are getting into the act such as Eagle's Blaze Fast-Fired Pizza, which is selling whole pi-zzas today for ...  $3.14.

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And Marie Callender's Restaurant and Bakery is celebrating with this infographic, illustrating how their Pi Day fusion involves taking a pie out of a 400-degree oven, walking to a counter at 3 mph and slice one-ninth of the pie at a 40-degree angle.

Today is an official U.S. holiday: The House of Representatives passed House Resolution 224 in 2009, designating March 14 as National Pi Day. 
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