No, I didn’t misspell the word pi. Although coffee and pie are a great combination any time! Let me start with some background. If you dust off the cobwebs in your brain you will recall that pi is the ratio of any circle’s circumference to its diameter and is always the same number 3.14159. Pi is an irrational number which means it cannot be expressed as a simple fraction and its decimal place goes into infinity without ever repeating!
On my desk I have a small book titled 201 weird true facts WTF [science] written by Harry Bright & Jakob Anser (2015). It is one of those volumes which contains many fascinating and predictably useless facts! I seem to gather and retain a lot of useless information but often forget the simple things like where I left my car keys! However, I digress. Back to coffee and pi!
According to Bright & Jakob if you remember the mnemonic, “May I have a large container of coffee? Thank you!” you can also remember the number for pi. If you substitute the number for each of the first letters in each of the mnemonic phrase words you will come up with the first 10 digits of pi 3.141592653. Fascinating but useless information, well to me anyway!
If you yearn for more information on pi, the Internet is full of tidbits such as the ones listed below:
- Pi day is celebrated on March 14 every year. It represents 3.14, which is pi value. The first widely-attended pi day celebration was organized by Physicist Larry Shaw, also known as Prince of Pi, in the year 1988.
- In 1995, Hiroyoki Gotu memorized 42,195 places of pi and is considered the current pi champion. Some scholars speculate that Japanese is better suited than other languages for memorizing sequences of numbers.
- Comedian John Evans once quipped: “What do you get if you divide the circumference of a jack-o’-lantern by its diameter? Pumpkin π
And my favorite for all you Trekkies!
In the Star Trek episode “Wolf in the Fold,” Spock foils the evil computer by commanding it to “compute to last digit the value of pi.”
I hope you enjoyed reading this with your cup of coffee! Come back next time for some thoughts on sustainability and coffee of course!