Sunday, March 15, 2015

Yesterday was Pi Day, but there is still time to celebrate Approximate Pi Day™

I neglected to say one word about Pi Day yesterday, although I did write a post about it last year.

Pi Day. Get it? March 14 (3.14) .

It only works in countries in which most of the people write the month before the day. Countries in which most of the people write the day before the month (14 March, 14.3) find the whole idea rather curious.

But this year’s Pi Day was a more interesting one than usual. In fact, the sort of Pi Day this year’s Pi Day was happens only once every century.

It didn’t happen on 3/14/12 or 3/14/13 or 3/14/14 and it won’t happen on 3/14/16 or 3/14/17 or 3/14/18. Only on 3/14/15 do the month, day and year match the first six digits of pi (because pi is not 3.1416, it’s 3.14159, don’t you know.

Furthermore, at a certain moment Saturday morning it was 3/14/15 at 9:26 a.m. (first eight digits of pi) and not only that, at a certain second in that minute yesterday morning it was 3/14/15 9:26.53 (first 10 digits of pi). This phenomenon, pi expressed as a month, day, year, hour, minute, and second happens only once every hundred years. The last time it happened was in the year 1915, and the next time it will happen will be in the year 2115.

And I missed it.

I suppose you could say it happened twice (9:26.53 a.m. and 9:26.53 p.m.) , but let’s just go with the 24-hour clock, in which 9:26.53 p.m. is expressed as 21:26.53 and say it happened once, and be done with it.

I’m posting today because some people say better late than never.

Some people also say a stitch in time saves nine.

Some people say faint heart ne’er won fair maid.

Some people say pride goeth before a fall.

Some people say absence makes the heart grow fonder.

I fear I am drifting off topic.

Where was I? Oh yes, Pi Day.

If you live in a country where most of the people write the day before the month and are content with approximations rather than insisting on multiple decimal places of accuracy, you can still celebrate Approximate Pi Day™, which I think I just invented.

You can celebrate on July 22nd instead of March 14th because 3.14 is approximately 22/7. Moreover, it doesn’t happen just once every hundred years. You can celebrate Approximate Pi Day™ on July 22nd every single year if you like.

So the moral of the story is that while one man’s meat may be another man’s poison, one man’s Pi Day is March 14th and another man’s Pi Day is July 22nd.

The balance of the cosmos is now restored.

Now if only the water in toilets would swirl in the same direction in both the northern and southern hemispheres, humankind might achieve a true and lasting peace in the world.

This post will be continued tomorrow.


  1. Pie Day is usually a Tuesday. My favourite pie is steak and ale though I don't mind either chicken and mushroom or minced beef. For dessert my favourite pie is an apple one - preferably with vanilla custard. And that is pretty much all I have to say about pies.

  2. Balance of the cosmos restored? How about ~ why does Australia observe the US date for Mother's Day rather than UK date ~ hmm?

  3. Thank you for explaining to my slow witted self why pi day has never crossed my radar.

  4. Yorkshire Pudding, as usual, you take the cake.

    Carol, I don't know, but I happen to think that in spite of the way they speak, Australians are more like U.S. folk than U.K. folk.

    Elephant's Child, you are very welcome, dear lady!