3 Neat Facts About Pi Day

Mmm ... pi T-Shirt by Nathan Mazur over at the NeatoShop | More Pi Stuff

Happy Pi Day, Americans, Micronesians, Palauans and Belizians*! To help you celebrate, here are 3 of my favorite facts about Pi Day:

*Why only these people? Because of the rest of the world logically adopted the Little-endian calendar date format (day, month, year) which would make today 14/3/2013. Americans, just because we're different, use the Middle-endian date format (month, day, year). I don't know how we convinced the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, and Belize into thinking that doing the same thing would make 'em cool like us.

1. It Was Started by the Prince of Pi, Larry Shaw

Pi Day founder Larry Shaw leads an Exploratorium pi parade of museum staff and bemused visitors (Photo: Exploratorium)

In 1988, San Francisco Exploratorium staff physicist (now retired) Larry Shaw started the very first Pi Day. Five years before, Larry was having an evening-long conversation with his mathematician/musician friend Jim Horton, and the two thought that the "mysterious irrationality" of pi should be celebrated. After an all-staff retreat in 1988, the idea came to fruition: 3/14/88 was celebrated as the first Pi Day. (Source)

2. There's a Pi Shrine

To commemorate Pi Day, the San Francisco Exploratorium commissioned a "Pi Shrine" - a round bronze plaque embedded in the floor of the Exploratorium's mezzanine. Most of its visitors, however, walked right over it without noticing so it's now located in front of Pier 15, the Exploratorium's new location.

3. It's also Einstein's Birthday.

How fitting! Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879. Read more about Einstein:

- 6 Things Inspired by Einstein
- 10 Strange Facts About Einstein
- Four Things Einstein Got Wrong
- 13 Photographs That Changed t

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