Happy Pi Day

Question: What is the value of pi?

Answer: For a fair approximation of pi, first look at the Google trends search for pi and detect when the annual spikes occur. Call this SpikeDay. Then take SpikeDaymonth + SpikeDayday/100.

Question: How many polygon sides would you need to get this accurate with the approximation used by Archimedes?

Answer: 96 (more or less).

Question: What do you call a 96-sided polygon?

Answer: Round (more or less).

Question: What do you call the period between Square Root of Christmas on March 5th (the square root of 1225 is 35) and Pi Day on March 14th?

Answer: Nerdigras, of course.


(Pi ice cubes spotted on Inspire Me Now)

One thought on “Happy Pi Day”

  1. This is only very thinly and obliquely related, but I never let that stop me from spewing a story, hey?

    Couple of nights ago, I was watching the Meredith Viera version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” — don’t know whether it was a repeat or not — where they brought back some zero-dollar winners for another crack at the money. So this guy has answered the $125K question and I think he’s used up all of his lifelines. The $250K question is:

    What is the speed of Earth’s orbit around the sun? (or some similar wording to that effect.)

    The answers are 670,000mph, 67,000mph, 6700mph, and 670mph.

    So the guy says “I don’t know that” and walks with his $125K, about that quickly.

    I should tell you at this point that my wife is deathly afraid that I’ll get onto the show sometime, because I’ll talk too much through answering the questions and she’ll just die of embarrassment.

    But for $125K (plus whatever the implied odds are in the possibility that I’d get a $500K question that I know well enough to take a crack at), I’d darn well sit there and talk through figuring it out.

    So while the guy is saying he gives up, I’m thinking I don’t know the answer directly, but I do know that earth’s orbit is as near a 93 million mile radius circle as dammit, so I’d be a nerd and talk through it for a minute for that much money. So here’s the calculation the way a teacher in an MIT astronomy class (“if you’re doing order-of-magnitude calculations, you can do stuff like five-cancels-the-three”) would put it:

    93 million mile radius = 200 million mile diameter, times pi is about 600 million mile circumference. 600 million miles a year divided by something more than 300 is about, oh, a million and a half miles a day, divided by about 20 is like 75,000 miles an hour. So it’s 67,000 miles an hour and ship me the money!!

    Yours sincerely etc.,
    p.s. my office group (core software developers – the head geeks of this company) went one-for-four on this question with three abstentions, and the one was a particular geek who remembered the answer directly. Sigh.

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