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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Pi Day

Three days ago was Pi Day (3/14). Or maybe I should say 3.14 days ago, since that was Pi Day. Anyhow, a lot of the Weston math teachers celebrated it one way or another with our classes, and Kelly of course baked Pi Day brownies (why not a pie?), and two of my sophomores promised to visit my classes at 3/14 1:59 — but they forgot — and one of my physics colleagues sent around the beginnings of a pi mnemonic in the form of a parody of the beginning of Poe’s “The Raven”...

Just a routine Pi Day so far — not that any Pi Day is truly routine.

But then today I received an email from one of my 11th-grade students, in which he provided a link to the entire mnemonic. The full explanation reveals that the text includes an amazing 3835 digits of pi, all in the form of various literary parodies that more-or-less make sense and more-or-less scan. This example of constrained writing is quite a tour de force! Do check it out.

Oh — one more thing. One of my colleagues is eager to hear how it ends. What’s the last digit? Well, it turns out that the mnemonic ends with “The End,” of course.

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