Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Pi = 3.0

I've always enjoyed telling people that various state legislatures had passed bills making pi equal 3.0.  I usually pick on Kentucky or Mississippi.  I usually place Kentucky's boneheads as acting in the 1890s.  Mississippi's date varies with my mood, but it is always a recent year.  Come on, if you heard a report that yesterday Mississippi 's legislature enacted a law making the value of Pi equal to 3.0 in it's schools, would you or anyone else would bat an eye?

Setting Pi to 3.0 by law is urban myth.  It does reflect what we think of some states and their elected officials.  For those of you who have forgotten about Pi, here's a bit from Wiki:

"The number π is a mathematical constant, the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, approximately equal to 3.14159. It has been represented by the Greek letter "π" since the mid-18th century though it is also sometimes spelled out as "pi" (/paɪ/). Being an irrational number, π cannot be expressed exactly as a common fraction, although fractions such as 22/7 and other rational numbers are commonly used to approximate π. Consequently its decimal representation never ends and never settles into a permanent repeating pattern. The digits appear to be randomly distributed although no proof of this has yet been discovered."

I don''t remember which King tried to order the tide to recede, but setting the value of Pi to 3.0 is as effective as giving an order to the sea.  In that recognition of idiocy, I have decided to institute the Pi=3.0 Award.  

The first award goes the all the elected officials and dedicated folks in North Carolina who cannot quite cope with global warming and the rising sea level.

On N.C.’s Outer Banks, scary climate-change predictions prompt a change of forecast

Perhaps the Republican Governor of NC could tell the Atlantic to bug off and leave the Tarheels alone.

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