1. Weird

    The “Pi Is Wrong” Movement Thinks Pi Day Is the Columbus Day of Math-Based Holidays

    We know you love Pi Day, Internet. March 14th = 3.14, and it's an excuse to eat pie. Trust us: we're on board, but not everyone is. Some people think pi is "wrong" and that celebrating it is therefore wrong. Some of those people think we should celebrate Tau instead, but then what dessert do we eat on June 28th?

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  2. Weird

    Bubble Genius Sent Us Some Soap And It Smells Mathmatically Delicious

    If you're a regular listener to the Geekosystem podcast, you might remember that this week we received a package in the mail from Bubble Genius, a LA-based Vegan soap company that makes geeky products. We think they look and smell pretty awesome, so we wanted to show you what they sent us, because we like soap. And also showing off. It's sort of a perk.

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  3. Weird

    It’s Pi Day! Here Are 100,000 Digits of Delicious Pi


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  4. Science

    4,000,000 Digits of Pi Represented in a Single Image, Here’s 500,000 of Them

    If you're on this site, you already know that Pi is an irrational number that goes on and on forever without repetition. This fascinating property has led many to present the numbers of Pi in different ways, blurring the lines between mathematics and art. The New York design firm TWO-N has presented their own twist on the irrational number, presenting 4,000,000 digits of the number as a single image. What you see above is just a tiny piece of this impressive project.

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  5. Tech

    In High Stakes Patent Auction, Google Bids Mathematical Constants

    The last vestiges of telecommunications company Nortel were sold off in an auction this week, encompassing some 6,000 patents and patent applications for various technologies. Several big name tech companies were involved in the marathon 4-day bidding process, but Google turned some heads with its unusual bidding strategy. They began with an initial $900 million "stalking horse" bid, which they upped to $1,902,160,540 and then to $2,614,972,128 and finally $3.14159 billion. Normally, bidders opt for rounder numbers, but the mathematically inclined quickly identified a pattern in Google's bids. Their opening shot was Brun's constant, followed by Meissel-Mertens constant, and finally pi. Reuters quotes a source commenting on Google's bidding, saying "either they were supremely confident or they were bored." Sadly, their whimsically mathematical bids weren't enough to carry the day. The final price for the patent materials was $4.5 billion, purchased by a coalition of companies comprised of Apple, EMC, Ericsson, Microsoft, RIM, and Sony. (Reuters via Techmeme, image via Jorel Pi)

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  6. Science

    In Celebration Of Tau: A Musical Ode [Video]

    In what might be one of the nerdiest debates of all time, mathematicians are divided about the use of Pi (which starts 3.14) over Tau (which starts 6.28) in geometry. The ongoing debate about Pi vs. Tau is colored by the popularity of Pi, which has its own "day" celebrated on 3/14, most often with the consumption of pies. But while Tau might not have any baked goods to offer, today (6/28) is its turn in the spotlight.

    Mathematician Michael Hartl, writer of the Tau Manifesto, has created a musical composition based on the digits of Tau to celebrate what makes this number so much better than Pi. According to Hartl's Manifesto, one of the main arguments for why Tau is better than Pi is that Tau is the ration of a circumference to the radius of a circle, and defining circles by their radius is much simpler for equations. Pi is also a 2-factor number, but Tau is based on a single unit, which is three quarters of a turn around a Tau-defined circle or simply three quarters of a Tau radian.

    (via How To Geek)

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  7. Science

    No, Republicans Are Not Trying to Make the Value of Pi “Exactly 3″

    One of the most popular articles on The Huffington Post right now is about a Republican Congressional proposal called "HR 205, The Geometric Simplification Act," which aims to make the value of pi "exactly 3." Reading the article carefully, it's pretty clear it's satire: "'It’s no panacea, but this legislation will point us in the right direction. Looking at hard data, we know our children are struggling with a heck of a lot of the math, including the geometry incorporating pi,' Roby said. 'I guarantee you American scores will go up once pi is 3. It will be so much easier.'" And Ron Workman has traced its origin to an ancient Internet rumor that was debunked by Snopes in 1998. (The real HR 205 under consideration by Congress now is actually about Native American tribal land-leasing.) But here's the thing: Thanks to the A.D.D.-enabling power of social media, all it takes is a truncated Facebook headline and excerpt for people to form an opinion about a story, and many of them don't actually read it.

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  8. Science

    Happy Pi Day! (Or Is That Half Tau Day?)

    By geek tradition, 3/14 is widely celebrated as Pi Day, because, well 3.14 and all of that. Hardly just the mathematical constant used to define various key properties of circles, pi is symbolic of the enigmatic power of math. The symbol is teasingly simple, yet the number goes on forever; truly, a most poetic idea. And it sounds like "pie," and everybody loves pie. OK, we'll admit it: A big part of Pi Day's appeal is that geeks want to stuff themselves with baked goods, but hey, you deserve it. Here's the thing: Though everyone likes pie, not everyone likes pi. Vi Hart, whose work we've featured in the past, is one such person: In the video above, she allies herself with tau (τ), the mathematical constant defined as 2π. For reasons outlined in the video, Hart and tau proponents (Tauists?) argue that if history and schools had worked together to ensure that tau rather than pi was adopted as the circle constant of choice, math education would be a lot less confusing and many equations would look much more elegant. All fascinating stuff, but if that sounds a little dry, Hart bakes two delicious pies in the video, so we all win. (via TDW)

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  9. Science

    Pi Made Into Music Musician Michael Blake provides the most winning musical rendition of pi to 31 decimal places that you've heard today. Who knew pi was so indie? (via Reddit | Artist's page)

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  10. Science

    12:34:56.7 PM, 08/09/10 – Happy Sequential Day!

    The long-awaited date is upon us: At 12:34:56.7PM on August 9th, 2010, we mark the most hallowed of geek holidays -- Sequential Day 2010! This sacred moment is up there with Sysadmin Appreciation Day. Ready your video game-themed alcoholic drink canteens, because in honor of this annual occasion we've decided to count down 3 of the most beloved sequences in geek history!

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  11. Science

    Japanese Engineer and US Student Claim to Calculate Pi to 5 Trillion Digits

    Shigeru Kondo and Alexander J. Yee, a Japanese systems engineer and an American computer science student, respectively, claim to have calculated the value of pi to five trillion digits.

    If their work stands up, they will have shattered the pi calculation record set earlier this year by Fabrice Bellard, who calculated the value of pi to 2.7 trillion digits.

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  12. Science

    Happy Pi Day!

    It's 3/14, 1:59am, and you know what that means: Pi Day is officially in session.

    Not that pi doesn't get respect throughout the year -- it's certainly a higher-profile constant than Avogadro's Number, the Boltzmann Constant, or even the Golden Ratio -- but Pi Day is the one day of the year we set aside to celebrate everyone's favorite ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter: (In Euclidean space, natch.)

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