Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Pi in Your Face 

Wednesday, Mar 7 2012
Mathematically speaking, pi is transcendental, irrational, and deliciously random. It is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. It never ends, and it never repeats, but only 39 decimals of pi are needed to calculate a circle the size of the known universe. Clearly, this never-ending number, used to describe rainbows, the double helix, general relativity, and capillary waves, is worthy of a fete. Responding to need, Exploratorium physicist Larry Shaw founded Pi Day 24 years ago on March 14 -- an appropriate date that represents the first three digits of pi and elegantly coincides with Einstein’s birthday. It wasn’t until 2009 that the U.S. House of Representatives recognized National Pi Day, but the celebration had already circumnavigated the globe. In 2004, Daniel Tammett, a British author diagnosed with autism and savant syndrome, took five hours to recite pi to 22,514 digits. He ranks only sixth in the world at this task (Akira Haraguchi delivered 100,000 digits in 2006). However, Tammett has a particularly vivid form of synesthesia, which attributes color, texture, and shape to every number, and he says that pi is beautiful. Join Larry Shaw for limericks, lectures, and demos before the annual Pi Procession, which circles the pi shrine 3.14 times, ending with a “Happy Birthday” singalong to Big Al, and, of course, the eating of pie.
Wed., March 14, 12:45 p.m., 2012

About The Author

Silke Tudor

Related Locations


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment


  • Phish at the Bill Graham Auditorium
    Phish is in the midst of a block of sold out shows at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium (October 27-29). The Monday night concert featured a rare first set opener of “Walfredo” with the band members switching instruments for the song. The evening’s highlights included John Fishman and his iconic vacuum cleaner solo and favorites such as Chalk Dust Torture, Slave to the Traffic Light, Axilla, Rift, 2001 Space Odyssey, and Maze. The show also featured Phish’s debut of a, seemingly impromptu, version of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” to with roaring approval of the, singing along, crowd. With Game 6 being tonight, partying Phish fans will join Giants fans in Civic Center Plaza where there will be a World Series viewing party on a large screen set up by the City. Photography by Jamie Soja.
  • The 4th Annual Masquerotica 2014 - NSFW
    The theme this year was Carnaval Mystique for the 4th Annual Masquerotica at The Factory. Attendees were entertained by strip dance, trapeze, and live music. Photographs by Calibree Photography.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular