A mathematical constant that is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, π can be found all around us, sometimes to a surprising extent. The number’s storied past is matched only by on-going research into its depth, reaching 1 million digits back in 1973. It is used in mechanics to give time period approximations to pendulums, in cosmology as a theoretical basis for the Theory of Relativity, and even in electromagnetism to describe the electric field between two electric charges separated by distance.
To celebrate this impressively omnipresent number, we submit for your consideration eight methods of exploring the figure this coming Pi Day, March 14.
You knew this would be our first recommendation, not that anyone needs an excuse to eat pie. You can make your own, or let one of Downtown’s many local eateries go through the toil and trouble for you. We’re speaking, of course, about Carmen’s Lunch Bar, Adonna’s Bakery, Seville Quarter, or any of the numerous other hot-spots to grab a bite of delicious pie for under $5.
Run 3.14 Miles
Whether it’s along Bayfront or winding through the Historic Village and up to Gregory, there’s lots of options to run what roughly equates to a 5K. If you’re in decent shape, you don’t even need to build up to this length. Your legs may regret running it cold, but it will serve as a great jump-start to Pensacola’s springtime running season!
Rock Out to Kate Bush
Have you ever listened to this 90s rocker? Neither have I! But her song Pi, about a man who loves numbers only slightly more than he loves Bush, seems like a great place to start. Bush sings dozens of the Pi digits, so this song also serves as a great associative memorization tool!
Watch Life of Pi
Sure, it has very little to do with the famous mathematical ratio, save for the main character’s name, but its story of discovery, survival and new beginnings are as essential to life as 3.14. Celebrate the themes that make us all human with this movie, as you celebrate an equation ubiquitous in nature.
Find Your Life in Pi
Write out as many digits of π as you care to (there is literally an infinite amount, so you could be at this for quite a while), and then try to find your own life reflected in the numbers. I only had to go about 220 numbers deep to find my birthday, then about 270 to find my address. If I had the patience to keep going, I would probably also find my PIN, the last four of my Social Security number, and other numbers of import in my life.
The weather is beautiful and the city is brimming with life, so why not take this opportunity to stroll around Downtown and try to find pi represented in our cityscapes? Can you find Pi Cottage on 314 Alcaniz or Gumbo Art Gallery on 314 DeVilliers? We bet you can, because we just told you where to find them!
Eat All Manner of Pi-Shaped Goodies
How much pie-related food can you think of to eat? There’s the obvious choices: like pizza and pancakes. But what about the wonderful world of puns? Eat some pine nuts, try some pineapple, imbibe a pina colada (or seven). Let your creativity soar as your belly expands.
Do It All At 1:59
The numbers 1, 5 and 9 follow in succession after the most popular pi digits, so for an added challenge, see how much of the above you can do within the 60 seconds that is 1:59 pm, (or am, if you’re a purist). Listen to Pi while Life of Pi is playing on a nearby television. At the same time, consume some pizza. I don’t recommend attempting to run during all this, but maybe you can do it at a street address beginning in 314.