ST. GEORGE — One of the more unusual observances that has cropped up in recent years is Pi Day, which takes place Saturday.
Pi (π), the mathematical constant that every mathematician and student knows, is celebrated every year on March 14. This year, however, is extra special for the math community. While most people can recall the first two significant digits of pi, 3.14, if you extend it out to nine digits, it is 3.141592653. By logical extension, this year will be of special significance in the morning and evening hours Saturday, as “Pi second” will occur on 3/14/15 at 9:26:53 a.m. and p.m.
Physicist Larry Shaw began the celebration of Pi Day in 1988 at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, California. Twenty-one years later, in 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a nonbinding resolution, House Res. 224, recognizing March 14 as National Pi Day.
Local pie shops are not really gearing up for Saturday. Workers at Croshaw’s Gourmet Pies, 175 W. 900 South in St. George, said no special orders have been placed for Pi Day. Devaney Lomenick, a worker at Veyo Pies, 24 S. Main St. in Veyo, said the shop sells so many pies in a weekend that it really wouldn’t matter.
Observances of Pi Day range from serious to silly, according to the official Pi Day website. Application decision letters for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are often strategically mailed to students for delivery on Pi Day. The city of Princeton, New Jersey, hosts events to commemorate both Pi Day and Albert Einstein’s birthday, which also takes place March 14; festivities include an annual Einstein look-alike contest. Activities like eating pie, throwing pies and competitions to see who can recite pi from memory to the highest number of decimal places frequently occur on Pi Day, including at the San Francisco Exploratorium.
Serious or silly, real holiday or not, this unique date and time confluence will undoubtedly be enjoyed by those who look for significance in numbers.
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