March 14 (3/14) is Pi Day, a celebration of the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter — one of the most beautiful and confounding numbers in mathematics. It’s technically written as 3.14159, or 3.14 for short, but Pi is an “irrational and transcendental number” whose decimals “continue infinitely without repetition or pattern,” according to PiDay.org, the holiday’s official website. But just like the hordes of young people who flocked to get married on 12/12/12, we can’t resist the opportunity to celebrate a fortuitous coincidence on our calendars. Here’s our favorite quirky celebrations for Pi Day 2013.
(MORE: Pi Day By The Numbers)
- In the past, MIT has posted its acceptance letters to high school seniors on Pi Day.
- Attention, Chicago residents: First Slice Pie Café will be giving out free slices of pizza today at 3:14 pm. For readers in the Southeast, pizzas cost $3.14 at Your Pie‘s 16 locations across Georgia, Tennessee and Florida.
- The Microsoft store is offering 3.14% off on Dell tablets.
- At Mission High School in California’s Bay Area, students are composing “piems” — poems that have “the same number of letters as the corresponding digit of pi.”
- Pi Day is also, amazingly, Albert Einstein’s birthday. At the San Francisco Exploratorium, math lovers can parade around a “Pi Shrine” 3.14 times while singing “Happy Birthday” to the German physicist, KQED reports. Retired physicist Larry Shaw leads a “Pi Procession”, in which “Pi partiers will get a yardstick mounted to a pie plate, each with a single digit of pi on it. Then all 500 of them will line up in pi-order” and trot around the “Pi Shrine.”
(MORE: 8 Notable Pi(e)s in History)
- It’s OK if all of this talk about pi is making you crave pie. Last night, students at Cal Tech hosted a late-night pi-themed pie-eating party. The Pasadena Sun reports: students “dug into 130 pies laid out for them outside student housing. There were 26 each of five different pies. Follow that? So on 3/14 at 1:59 a.m. there were 26 each of five kinds of pie. None is by chance. The first digits of Pi are 3.14159265.”
- After pigging out on pies, you can go on a 3.14 mile bicycle ride in Milwaukee.
- And by the way, if you think all this pie-eating on Pi Day is merely an exercise in bad puns, prepare to have your mind blown.
- In France, British writer Daniel Tammet has kicked off “France’s first Pi Day celebration” at the Palace of Discovery, Paris’s science museum, CNN reports. In 2004, the then-25-year-old recited “22,514 digits of pi from memory” — breaking the European record.
- A student and aspiring math teacher at the University of New Mexico honored Pi Day 2010 by solving a Rubik’s Cube while simultaneously reciting the numbers of pi and hula hooping — putting all multi-taskers to shame. Rachel Maddow featured a video clip of the feat on her Mar. 16 show: