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How I Wish I Could Celebrate Pi

People with an interest in date coincidences are probably already getting themselves slightly over-excited about the fact that this month will include what can only be described as Ultimate π Day. That is, on 14th March 2015, written under certain circumstances by some people as 3/14/15, we’ll be celebrating the closest that the date can conceivably get to the exact value of π (in that format).

Of course, sensible people would take this as an excuse to have a party, so here’s my top $\tau$ recommendations for having a π party on π day.

Domputer: the movie

If anyone remembers October 2012 (ahh, those were the days) you might recall we wrote about Aperiodipal Matt Parker, and his crazy project to build a computer out of dominoes. Well, it happened, but not much has happened since – sorting out a video of the event has taken a while. But it’s ready now! And it’s great!

3.142: a π round-up

Pi pie by Robert Couse-Baker. Photo used under the CC-BY 2.0 license.

π pie by Robert Couse-Baker. Photo used under the CC-BY 2.0 licence.

‘Tis the season to celebrate the circle constant!1 Yes, that’s right: in some calendar systems using some date notation, the day and month coincide with the first three digits of π, and mathematicians all over the world are celebrating with thematic baked goods and the wearing of irrational t-shirts.

And the internet’s maths cohort isn’t far behind. Here’s a round-up (geddit – round?!) of some of our favourites. In case you were wondering, we at The Aperiodical hadn’t forgotten about π day – we’re just saving ourselves for next year, when we’ll celebrate the magnificent “3.14.15”, which will for once be more accurate to the value of π than π approximation day on 22/7. (Admittedly, for the last few years, 3.14.14 and so on have strictly been closer to π than 22/7. But this will be the first time you can include the year and feel like you’re doing it right.)

  1. Pedants would have me revise that to “circle constant”. []

John Conway on Numberphile!

Numberphile, the supremum over all YouTube channels, has scored a bit of a coup – Brady has sat down and recorded an interview with the famously Internet-reclusive John Conway.

In this first video (there’s a bonus one linked at the end of this one, and I hope there’ll be more) John talks about his love/hate relationship with his Game of Life.

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By the way, I notice from the video’s description that the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute is paying for Numberphile these days. Thanks, MSRI!

An infinite series of blog posts which sums to -1/12

Many of you who are aware of the internet will have noticed that some mild controversy has surrounded a recent Numberphile video, posted last week:

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Translate Numberphile, please / Traduisez Numberphile, s’il-vous-plaît / Bitte übersetzen Numberphile…

Numberphile is that cool YouTube channel with the videos about the numbers and the philes. You might remember them from the time they did that ace video about our integer sequence reviews. But if you’re unlucky enough not to understand the English as she is spoke, then that’s no use to you.

But it could be! Chief Numberphile Brady Haran has set up a page asking for translations of the videos, so everyone can enjoy them. As long as you’re fluent in one of the languages for which a video already has subtitles, the process is pretty simple: you download a caption file in one language, translate it into another, and upload it back to the site. And then you’ve done a good deed!

Brady’s just posted on Twitter that he’s already approved 24 translations since starting the project yesterday evening, so join your fellow Frenchmen/Flemings/Faroese and get translating. (I suggest you start with “Six Sequences”…)

Submit a translation: Translations for Numberphile at

via Brady Haran on Twitter