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The History of Pi Day

pi day“In the beginning there were a bunch of berries and other assorted fillings…”

“Chocolate?” they asked.

“Yes, yes. There was chocolate, too. And the berries and other assorted fillings…”

“Like chocolate.”

“Like chocolate, all gathered in the kitchen and their numbers were many. One of the apples suggested that they count themselves…”

“Apples can’t talk.”

“This one did. This talking apple suggested that they count themselves, but between all of the berries, other assorted fillings, AND CHOCOLATE, the highest any of them could count was three, and even though they didn’t know how many more of them than three there were, they knew that they were out of luck as far as counting was concerned.”

“Did they use their fingers?” they asked. “Did they use their toes?”

“Berries, other assorted fillings, and chocolate don’t have fingers and toes.”

“But they have mouths?”

“Just listen to the story. The ber… all of the stuff, they didn’t know how to count to three, but someone, I think it was a bit of rhubarb, had heard of a decimal, which, as you know, is a form of numerical notation relating to currency, weights, and other units that use numbers and arithmetic to denote powers of ten.”

“We know,” they said.

“So this rhubarb suggests that they use a decimal to count how many berries, and the filling, and the chocolate, and whatever, that have crammed into the kitchen. Rhubarb explained it in great detail, which some found annoying but most just accepted as rhubarb is notorious for running on and being fairly gassy.

“The fruits and chocolates and whatever else agreed, and after counting to three, which as you may recall was the highest number they could collectively count to, they used a sleeping blueberry (who apparently dozed off during the long rhubarb speech) for a decimal and just started saying whatever numbers they could think of, down the line, around the kitchen, and out the door. In fact, some say that they are still counting today and that the number, 3.14159265359, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, goes on forever, or at least into the high thousands.”

“But why is today Pi Day?” they asked.

“Because the first two numbers after the decimal were one and four, which makes it 3.14, and that is also March 14, so they call it Pi Day and everyone makes pies to celebrate.”

“Why do they make pies?”

“Because that’s what happened to all of the berries, other assorted fillings, and chocolate that wandered into the kitchen. As soon as they said their number they went straight into the oven. They thought it was a sauna. In hindsight, the kitchen was a pretty silly place for a bunch of food items to have a meeting.”

“Why does the symbol for pi look like a brontosaurus without a head?”

“That’s a different story, and it isn’t pretty, but the lesson learned that day by the other dinosaurs was that pie should always wear a helmet, and that’s what Ý  la mode means.”

“You sure know a lot about pie, Daddy.”

“I know what I like, boys. I know what I like.”

 symbol pi

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Whit HoneaRead more from Whit Honea at his site Honea Express and the popular group blog DadCentric. You can follow Whit on the Twitter or Pinterest (his opinions are his own and do not reflect those of Babble or most rational people).

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