pi

Activities for Pi Day

Oh, I know you missed it. Really, it wasn't your fault. Pi day fell on a Sunday, so how are you supposed to have pi-day activities in class? Don't let it stop you. You are better than that. Do the activity anyway. What to do? Here are some suggestions. (Suggestions aimed mostly at the high school level) Plot Diameter vs. Circumference This is a great one. Let your students find as many round things as they can (cylinders work the best - or flat stuff). Measure the circumference (you can use a string or a tape measure) and the diameter. Since the relationship between these two is…

We're Gonna Need More Pie

I'm back from my northeast travels - I had a great time at both NOFA and NESEA, and am slowly recovering from a glazed state of sleep deprivation to something sort of coherent enough to finish the book (3 weeks to go!). But I'm still sleepy and tired, so to remind you that Pi day is coming, I include my classic (ok, if I have any classics ;-)) essay on why the world can be saved with Pie. If you are inspired to follow up with a submission to the Pi-day contest, that would be awesome. The other day I got embroiled in one of those endless discussions/debates/headbangings about what the best…

Scratch version of Pi estimation

I already went over a Monte Carlo method for estimating Pi - you know, for Pi-Day (March 14). Well, here is a small addition. This is the same thing done in Scratch. If you create an account on Scratch, you can download the code of any project. I like Scratch.

Pie is a constant in my life

For the 2010 Pi day bakeoff, I baked a Swiss chard-Gruyere pie. Shown here is the backdrop to our garden:a mural on the side of our barn, painted with California poppies, rice plants, sunflowers and (look closely) a red double helix. Artist: Jim McCall, Elastic Media. Here is the recipe: First, gather as many ingredients as you can from your garden. In our garden, I found multi-colored swiss chard, Kale, chives, thyme and parsley. Next, prepare the crust: 1 cup barley flour2 cups white flour 1 tsp salt 1 cup unsalted butter 1/2 cup unsalted margarine, frozen grated rind of 1 lemon 1…

Getting it Right In the Pi-Hole

I'm not going to be beating PZ Myers any time soon on readership, Dr. Isis in hot shoes or Comrade Physioprof in elegantly phrased obscenity, but I think I've found something that this blog can kick fellow-science blogger patootie at - the baking of awesome pies. After all, how many of those other blogistes actually have a food and cooking book to their credit? How many famously brought our nation together in the pursuit of pie (I'll be re-running the famous "We Need More Pie" essay tomorrow, since it is pure, ennobling, and well, because I'm off doing other stuff and need some gently used…

Imaging a Superior Mnemonist

In neuroscience, we spend most of our time trying to understand the function of the "normal" brain -- whatever that means -- hence, we are most interested in the average. Under most occasions when scientists take an interest in the abnormal neurology, it is usually someone with who has something wrong with them -- has brain damage or a disorder of some kind. In these cases, we try and understand what brain functions they have difficulty performing as a way to understand what each part of the brain does (and hopefully to someday be able to help them). The point is that when neurologists…

Last chance to vote for the Pi Day Pie Contest!

March 14, we here at ScienceBlogs celebrated the universally important ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter—the number that has now been calculated to over a trillion digits—the mythical, the irrational Pi. On this highly-regarded mathematical day, ScienceBloggers turned in their final submissions to the Pi Day Pie Bake-off Contest, in which ScienceBloggers were invited to submit a picture and recipe of their favorite home-baked pies by posting an entry on their blogs. The contest is open until 10pm (EST) tonight, so if you haven't cast a vote for your favorite ScienceBlogs pie…

Vote Early, Vote Often

Vote for Mrs. Pontiff's entry into the Scienceblogs pie contest here "Bacon made me do it."

The only Pi video you need to watch today

Musical parody duo Hard'n'Phirm are best known for their bluegrass medley of Radiohead songs, but also conjured up this nugget of surreal joy, a song about everyone's favourite irrational number, Pi.

Happy March 14th, or 3.14…

Happy Pi Day! Even the BBC has a nice article on this one. Maybe someday, the US will, too. And yes, it's nerdy, I know, but what's frightening is that I actually have the first line of that image memorized somehow...