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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Pi is of the Devil? Celebrate "π" Day?

A young friend, middle 30s, approached me with a bit of spooky (to him) information. It seems that when pi  ( "π")--3.14--is written on a piece of paper and held up to a mirror, it reads "pie." Now, this information was presented in the same vein as listening to music played backwards, some sort of satanic or mystical message. ???

Pie/pi/ "π" Day is March 14--3.14

I wrote 3.14  and held it up to a mirror. No, it approximates "pie."

I wrote 3.14159, held it up to the mirror, and it was nothing. This was just silliness on my part.

First of all, 3.14 is not all of pi. It is a shortened version that we just use so we won't have to use 67,000+ numbers in a simple calculation. I use 3.14159 or 3.1416 for  "π". So far, no one has found that pi ( "π") is a repeating number, just still an irrational number.

I really worry when religion  tries to make a mystical connection to John 3:14 (For God so loved the world...), the ratio of a circumference to diameter of a circle, pi, and pie viewed backwards. That is hard work and lots of mental gymnastics--the world is round, the center of the circle for the radius is God, 3 is the trinity.

Rant over.

Your turn
Did you celebrate Pie Day? I love it. Kids will at least talk math for one day.


  1. Except for here in the blogosphere Pi day passed me by. And I agree with you about the gymnastics involved in making mystical connections. Unnecessary, often silly, and sometimes dangerous.

  2. EC,
    I suppose being in school or having children helps to keep up with Pi day. A guy with two children alerted me. Okay, so I am not just overly critical. Thanks for the comment.

  3. I know nothing about Pi day and I'm the mom of a mathematician.


    1. Janie,
      Ask the mathematician and get back to me.

    2. I daren't ask her anything. She's too busy.

  4. John 3:14
    English Standard Version (ESV)
    14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
    The verse you quoted was John 3:16 :-)

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