March 15, 2006

Reductio ad Absurdum: Pi(e)

Being friends with a whole bunch of scientists and engineers gives me an interesting take on the world. No restaurant dinner is complete without some algebraic equations scrawled on a paper napkin; matches exist solely as tools for building geometric, free-standing 3D shapes. My kitchen equipment is more interesting than my high-falutin’ recipes: my tiny, cute crème brûlée torch is the subject of much mockery (“I’ll borrow the butane flame thrower from the lab and then you’ll see what compressed gas can do!”), biochemists offer to grow me real yeast when they see my stubborn, apathetic sourdough concoctions, and there’s always that one person who cuts off one corner of my silpat to examine the internal structure of silicone. And if I say “pie”, the response is always ‘3.14159265’. So it came as no surprise to be told that yesterday was pi day. I mistakenly responded by saying that the American Pie Council celebrates January 23rd as National Pie Day, only to have someone smarter than me point out that in the American system, where the date is written month/day, yesterday was 3.14.

Pi Day Q.E.D.

So for my scientific readership, and especially my computer scientist friends who are sweetly supportive of my puny battles with infantile, program-generated java script (no, that’s not coffee, food friends), I hereby celebrate Pi Day.