Archive for March 25, 2012

A Life of Pi

I fell asleep on the couch last night while watching Modern Family. At 3:14 a.m., I woke up, left the couch, and stumbled to bed.

Several hours later, my son Eli came into our room and woke me. That was at 6:28 a.m. My wife agreed to take the morning shift, so I fell back asleep.

When I woke again, it was 9:42 a.m.

Then, at 12:56 p.m., I received an email from my friend Pat Flynn, and I was cheered by the silliness of the subject line: “My new favorite quadratic formula song.” I smiled thinking about the possibility that anyone would have a favorites list containing more than one song about the quadratic formula.

This was a rather uneventful sequence… except that the times were π, 2π, 3π, and 4π. Sort of. To two decimal places, 4π = 12.57, not 12.56. So my theory that my life is ruled by π was discredited.

All was not lost, however. The link in Pat Flynn’s email made me smile. It featured two teachers singing a song about the quadratic formula to the tune of Adele’s Rolling in the Deep. The lyrics are decent, and the teachers are pretty good vocalists. Here, give it a listen yourself…

And here are a few quotes about π you might enjoy.

If equations are trains threading the landscape of numbers, then no train stops at π. – Richard Preston

The primary purpose of the DATA statement is to give names to constants; instead of referring to π as 3.141592653589793 at every appearance, the variable PI can be given that value with a DATA statement and used instead of the longer form of the constant. This also simplifies modifying the program, should the value of π change. – FORTRAN manual for Xerox Computers

So here we have π2, which an engineer would call 10. – Frank King

March 25, 2012 at 10:22 pm 2 comments

About MJ4MF

The Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks blog is an online extension to the book Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. The blog contains jokes submitted by readers, new jokes discovered by the author, details about speaking appearances and workshops, and other random bits of information that might be interesting to the strange folks who like math jokes.

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Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks is available from Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, NCTM, Robert D. Reed Publishers, and other purveyors of exceptional literature.

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March 2012

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