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• #### Apparently moderators (Score:1)

are on more crack than usual today. How the hell was that off topic?
• #### Square Root of 2 (Score:1)

Sure, every one thinks of Pi day. I mean it's name is similar to that of a popular dessert item. In the mean time, however, poor old square root of 2 gets no attention! Is one lousy day for the square root of 2 that much to ask?
• #### Like your sig... (Score:2)

...but I've always wanted to make a shell command called 'iam' with weird command line options, just so people would type in 'iam --help|less'. But then I've always had a sadistic sense of humour ;-)
• #### Re: crackpot :-) (Score:1)

Pi is defined to be a constant, but the 'effective pi' in a curved space (even of constant curvature) varies according to the size of the circle, just as you noted. So the curvature of space could be found by comparing the different values of effective pi. But in any reasonable space, its value approaches 3.14159265358979323846... in the limit of zero radius, hence crackpot.

On a side note, in Greenland pi is only about 3.0 because everything shrinks in the cold ;-)

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• #### What pi means to me (Score:1)

Mathematicians say pi is the ratio of the circumfrence of a circle to its diameter.

Physicists say pi is about 3.14.

• #### Meanwhile in a world where phone#s begin with 1... (Score:2)

Picture, if you will my friends, an alternate universe: where local phone numbers can begin with the digit known as the 1 ...

***

Ben Filchim opened his eyes, startled by the sound. It took only seconds for him to realize that it was his telephone. But it wasn't until he picked up the phone -- looking at his watch, wondering who would call at this ungodly hour -- that he realized why.

A strange melody floated over the phone. Singing. Drunken engineering students, it sounded like. The third, tonic, the fourth, tonic, the fifth, the ninth. He'd heard it the year before, about a month after he moved to Missouri. Probably a dozen times before he simply took the phone off the hook, then figured it must be over, then was called by several members of the Modern Disciples of Pythagoras and asked random personal questions -- his birthday, his height, annual income, and if his middle name happened to be Archimedes. No? Any siblings with that name? Then he'd had several more phone calls with the melody. The second, the sixths, the fifth, the third, the fifth. There had also been several solo guitar performances, and an adaptation that might have been done by Vince Clarke.

Finally, he had gotten one of the Mystics of Fermat to tell him what this was about. His phone number. His bloody phone number. The Fermatian seemed hurt when he laughed out loud after a stunned silence. After a short pause, Ben hung up and laughed again. He took his phone off the hook, until he forgot, anyway, and then received the series of phone calls which he decided where the drunk engineering students. He went into work early that day.

So it was March 14th again. Apparently every year was going to be the same. Ben paused to miss spring break before reaching over and unplugging the phone. Maybe he'd put something special on his answering machine in the morning... but in the meanwhile, he was going to get some sleep.

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• #### learn pi (Score:5)

on Wednesday March 14, 2001 @10:02AM (#363674)
learn pi with the patent-pending PI TRAINER [mnemo.nu](tm)

i was angry:1 with:2 my:4 friend - i told:3 4 wrath:5, 4 5 did end.
• #### Memorization (Score:1)

I believe the trick is to make a story out of the problem. Say you wanted to remember:

3.14159

You then make a story out of that...for example:

The three of us went to pick up one of our other friends. Then there were four. We went to see that one movie. The theater's open from five to nine.

Just grab the Project Gutenberg text of Pi to some rediculous number of places and write a quick script to convert the numbers to words (1 -> one) and then include the words in a story. Then just memorize the story. [Later thought...] Actually, that might not be such a quick script.[/Later thought...]

On the other hand, you may find it easier to remember if you make up the story yourself.

Oh, another thing, picture the stuff you're memorizing as you make it up.

kickin' science like no one else can,
my dick is twice as long as my attention span.
• #### Voice XML (Score:2)

...Is very nice, in fact in my Sig for a while I've been listing my VoiceXML app that lets you execute your non-outputting maintainance scripts over the phone so long as they are accessable on the web. Go to http://phone.sourceforge.net [sourceforge.net] for that service.

It is very easy to program, and well, just plain fun. The possibilities are endless. You should all try it?

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• #### Re:Memorizing pi (Score:1)

Well, I only ever managed 150, but for all you Mac users out there:

The Humpage Pi Page [bris.ac.uk]

with CalcPi, a rather quick program that renders Pi out to as many places as you want.

Well, I like it!

- Oliver
"exp(i*Pi)+1=0" - Euler
• #### Tell-Me service from Canada (Score:1)

The 1-800 number doesn't work in Canada or I suspect overseas. Try this number instead:

1-408-678-0032 if you don't mind the long distance charges. Its cool to hear pi to 9000 digits (doh!).

Have fun.
• #### I remember (Score:1)

working like hell to solve Eve's puzzles back when her home page was one of the more famous on the web. I belive I was 4th once.
• #### Re:Infocom games through VoiceXML? (Score:2)

by Anonymous Coward
75844 - (PLUGH) - old-fashioned Adventure
• #### Re:Memorizing pi - I got 650... (Score:1)

I memorized it to 650 places and was planning on going farther when I finally forced myself to break the habit. It all started when someone bet I couldn't memorize 100, and I just keep going. BE WARNED! It can be highly addictive. The number has a rhythm, you can hear it which is all you need to memorize it. It will pull you in...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~
Artificial intelligence or natural stupidity?
• #### Limerick in honor of Einstein's birthday (Score:5)

on Wednesday March 14, 2001 @10:07AM (#363682) Homepage
There was a young lady from Wight
Who could travel much faster than light
She departed one day
In a relative way
And arrived on the previous night.
• #### speaking of pi.... (Score:1)

i just saw that movie - that's some paranoid shit. check this out: wow. [mikegallay.com]

1. what the? [mikegallay.com]
• #### Other interesting things on this day (Score:1)

Today is also the birthday of G.F. Handel (composer) and Casey Jones (Railroad man). (It's mine too)

It is also the day that Microsoft went public (1986) and the Power Mac was introduced (1994).

• #### Pi, a mysterious and dangerous number. (Score:3)

<a@b.c> on Wednesday March 14, 2001 @10:08AM (#363685) Journal
Many people have become hypnotised by Pi. Philosophers, mathematicians, even ordinary God fearing people have been seduced by this most feminine and transcendental of numbers.

But what of the human cost? Think of the people who have been driven mad by Pi. Gaerdoluxa, and ancient Greek philosopher King, became entranced by the ratio, and committed suicide after unsuccesfully trying to square the circle for the 3141st time.

Hyppomineon, a Roman, did go on a killing rampage after he failed to convert Pi into Roman numerals.

I think the legacy of Pi is clear. Like many women, it hypnotises right thinking men, sucks them in and chews them up, before spitting out a wreck. Pi is a feminine number because it is like a cunt - it encloses and enfolds it's beholder, before destroying him.

I think our duty is clear. We must ban Pi completely, and declare that Pi=4. It is the only way to protect the innocent masses.

Think of the children. Think of the millions slaughtered by bombs whose trajectories were calculated using - yes - Pi.

All these lives could be saved. Lets abolish Pi today.
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• #### Re:Memorizing pi- carry it in your wallet! (Score:1)

I used to carry a folded page with pi to 5000 digits in my wallet just so someone couldn't do this to me, and so I could prove I wasn't doing it to them. Handy if you're waiting for the bus and you want to add a couple more on to the end, too...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~
Artificial intelligence or natural stupidity?
• #### Re:Excuse me (Score:1)

That's my arguemnt exactly - it's all in the way you perceive it. As the cliche states, it's all relative. It's just nice to have a little vindication/agreement from the community to show I'm not totally off my rocker ;)
• #### Re:Voice XML (Score:1)

Does it have some kind of good authentication? It would be really cool to be able to call my server and add a notice to the front page or something. If I have a web-interface for administration, it sounds possible.

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• #### Re:Hmmm, crackpot or possible? (Score:1)

Technically, the value of Pi doesn't change. It's the ratio of a cricle's diameter to its circumference that changes with the crvature of space.

-Ciaran
• #### March 14th? or April 31st? (Score:1)

Oh wait.....there is no April 31st. I guess we'll have to avoid all of the fun "USian-centric" date format comments.
But anyways, It's interesting that the post was actually posted at 3-14, 1:59. Just makes it that much more special, I suppose.
And while were on the subject of "date numerology" I seem to remember some time back in 1987 where the time and date matched up in some kind of whacky sequence -- something like: October 9th 1987, at 6:54 pm.
-ben
http://www.mitwebcam.com [mitwebcam.com]

With voxeo you get a direct number to your app and you dont have to go into any menus. It just works like it would if you deployed it.
• #### Pi equals 2! (Score:1)

take a look at my webpage here [nbci.com] to see why pi is equal to 2, not 3.1415926....

Didn't come up with the idea myself, I got it from the math program I am in. And I know that the image is a b0rken link, the real one is here [nbci.com] (take out the space)

Zero ads. 24*7 support -- free. Open Source VoiceXML and CallXML apps. ...and check out the bitchin' visual designer tool (also free).
• #### Re:late (Score:1)

Did I say slashdot was in America? Oh, I did. Who's the dumbass now?
• #### Re:If you can't remember much of Pi: (Score:1)

It's on an easier to remember day: 22/7.

In the US there is no such date, since we go by mm/dd/yyyy. Of course, this means that if Einstein's European birthday were used (he was after all European), it would be written 14/3, which of course wouldn't be Pi day. Ironic huh?

• #### PI (Score:1)

I don't know much about PI. I've only calculated it to 1 million decimal places. But, I reckon a cool slashdot project would be to make a dist net program to calc PI to beat the world record (64.5 billion places i think). Would be easy, and just think... would get /. in the guiness book of records. Speaking of which, /me has a guiness.
• #### Infocom games through VoiceXML? (Score:3)

on Wednesday March 14, 2001 @11:28AM (#363697) Homepage
I just came up with a wicked idea, though hardly have the time to implement it.... Infocom text-based games through VoiceXML, would make the ride to work far less boring. can't see any reason why it wouldn't work, and actually should be fairly easy to do....

Padishah Emperor of the Known Universe, IMHO
• #### Re:Pi for everybody. (Score:1)

-----
If Bill Gates had a nickel for every time Windows crashed...
• #### Re:Tell-Me service from Canada (Score:1)

How is this off topic?! It's an 800 number service that tells you PI that only works in America!
• #### The Best Part of the Article (Score:1)

Is the time. posted on 3-14 @ 1:59 3.14159..... *groan* gotta love the puns
• #### Re:Nice mnemonic (Score:1)

Whoever modded this down is a shithead, fuck you.
• #### Pi visually (Score:1)

Check this out:
http://www.engr.mun.ca/~holden/pi.html [engr.mun.ca]
That's a lot of Pi.
• #### Re:Memorizing pi (Score:1)

I got asked this a lot, but I always point out the fact that a person can't say random numbers as quickly as recite them from memory. Try it sometime. You tend to start out ok, but then you start to use some kind of pattern or digit over again too often. And if you don't, then you're probably not saying random numbers as fast enough (as fast as you could say a series of recalled numbers).

--
EFF Member #11254

• #### Re:Pi for everybody. (Score:1)

That I'm a karma-whore who saw an article about Pi, and ran over to dmoz to find an 'interesting' or 'informative' URL. :)
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• #### he he.. pi car (Score:1)

When I left the bilding before, there was a black car with the greek "pi" on the hood and rear quarter panels in gold paint. I think it was a 280. it looked like perm. paint not something for teh day. I'll have to see if I see it tommorow in the lot.
• #### Two for two, "baby"! (Score:2)

My first son was born on January 8 (1999)--Stephen Hawking's birthday. My second on March 14 (2001...yes, today!)--Albert Einstein's birthday.

I can hardly wait until 2040 when the Nobel Prizes start rolling in...
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• #### Hold on a second moderators... (Score:1)

You missed the disclaimer at the top of his post. Also, look at his website [michris.com]. His nickname is just a coincidence.

Also, the metric system has one signifigant advantage, it's base units of measure are derived from the size of the earth, and the weight and volume of pure water. Traditional units have the benefit of having lots of prime factors. But that's about it.
• #### Re:If you can't remember much of Pi: (Score:2)

"The guy who runs that page, Martin Rebas, offers other number treats, including the -2 club for people who can't even remember 2 digits of pi."

Look carefully at the names on the list. One of them is Simon Plouffe. Here's his web page: http://www.lacim.uqam.ca/plouffe/. Yep, with Bailey (who I just saw on a *random* mailing list) and Borwein, he created an algorithm to compute arbitrary hexadecimal digits of pi (without computing the previous digits). I wonder if there's anyone else famous on there.
• #### Re:The real advantage of the metric system... (Score:2)

Except that the Fahrenheit system is based on the freezing point of water. Zero degrees F is the lowest temperature at which water is liquid when saturated with sea salt.

And human body temperature is 100 degrees warmer than 0. Now that we have better and more exact calibration methods we've defined the scale with freezing and boiling of distilled water at one atmosphere with 32 degrees and 212 degrees being defined as 180 degrees apart (180 degrees means the exact opposite in plane geometry). The recalibration has resulted in human body temperaure being inconveniently adjusted to only 99 degrees F.

-Brian@all.your.base.mesaurements.are.belong.to. na ture

• #### Re:Infocom games through VoiceXML? (Score:1)

Someone please mod this AC up... he actually had something quite relevant and interesting to say. Although it's not exactly playable (can't get so far as "enter building" without being kicked back to the main menu), it's cool that somebody's started on it....

Padishah Emperor of the Known Universe, IMHO
• #### Re:VXML (Score:1)

The voxeo community site is at : http://community.voxeo.com The site has a bunch of open-source VoiceXML and CallXML applications, open-source, and professionally recorded open-source audio prompt libraries.
• #### Re:Tell-Me service from Canada (Score:2)

The 1-800 number doesn't work in Canada or I suspect overseas.

So maybe we should call it American Pi.

• #### Re:DARN YOU!! (Score:1)

Er, preview. I even looked up rivalled, knew that rivaled WASN'T a word. Wherever you got this is wrong! Maybe reviled??

Yech!
• #### Menu for Pi Day (Score:1)

Appetizers
BBQ Chicken Wings Pie
Nacho Cheese and Chips Pie

Main Course
Blackbird Pie
Meat Pie(Pasty)
Pot Pie(Beef or Chicken)
Quiche(for the vegetarians)

Dessert(Nerdy, of course!)
Boston Cream Pie
Mom's Apple Pie
Cherry Pie
Lemon Meringue Pie
Chocolate Cream Pie
Key Lime Pie
Any other pie you can think of...

• #### Pi Day - Pi search upgrade (Score:1)

In honor of Pi Day (thanks for reminding me. :-) I've upgraded the Pi searcher [angio.net] to 100 million digits, so folks who couldn't find themselves last year have a better chance this year:

http://www.angio.net/pi/piquery [angio.net]

-Dave

• #### If you can't remember much of Pi: (Score:5)

on Wednesday March 14, 2001 @10:12AM (#363717) Homepage
Why not celebrate Pi approximation day [chalmers.se] instead? It's on an easier to remember day: 22/7.

The guy who runs that page, Martin Rebas, offers other number treats [chalmers.se], including the -2 club [chalmers.se] for people who can't even remember 2 digits of pi.
• #### Pi for everybody. (Score:3)

<slashdot@neil.f3 ... er.name minus pi> on Wednesday March 14, 2001 @10:15AM (#363718) Homepage
Dmoz has a bewildering array of links on the topic of Pi [dmoz.org]. If ever there was an argument for people having *way* too much free time on their hands, this is it.
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• #### Oh, Boy! We get to /. the phone system! (Score:1)

It's mighty nice of them to post a phone number that we can call to try things out. I wonder how many simultaneous calls they can accept?

--
Dave: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.
HAL: Screw you, Dave!

• #### Re:Pi, a mysterious and dangerous number. (Score:1)

Think of the children. Think of the millions slaughtered by bombs whose trajectories were calculated using - yes - Pi.

All these lives could be saved. Lets abolish Pi today.

Abolish pie? How un-american! ;)

<ducks the 3,141 flames about pi not belonging to just America>
• #### Re:learn pi (Score:2)

pi using photos through eve through ars digita.
Go there now... [photo.net]

(Do it. Do it now. It is what Einstein's Brain [echonyc.com] would want you to do!)

WebWord.com [webword.com] -- Industrial Strength Usability
• #### Re:If you can't remember much of Pi: (Score:2)

How is 7/22 (22/7, whatever) easier to remember than 3/14?

-- Dr. Eldarion --
• #### Re:Hmmm, crackpot or possible? (Score:2)

I stand corrected of course. Pi IS constant and can be calculated as the limit to infinity of an infinite sum. Still, the device in the book (for measuring 'local' pi) sounded pretty cool.

I hope that's clearer now :-)

• #### Slashdot via VoiceXML (Score:2)

Well, I'm sure someone has already mentioned it somewhere (Bob's Corollary to Murphy's Law: all possible useful comments you can make have already been posted to Slashdot), but I didn't see it in this thread: Slashdot is available over one of TellMe's [tellme.com] user-created extensions [tellme.com]. In particular, extension 1-19789 seems to work fairly well. I just "read" the headline and description of this topic over my phone. :-)

And if you scroll to the bottom of the TellMe Extensions site, you'll see their slogan: "Hack the Phone". I'm waiting until someone creates an interface to a Kevin Mitnick [freekevin.com] site. *g* There's something wonderfully self-referential about that....

• #### You're right, it's ambiguous.... (Score:2)

Hmm. Webster's [m-w.com] says that either rivalled or rivaled is correct. Bummer.

The rhyme came from one of Martin Gardner's most excellent Scientific American Books of Mathematical Puzzles and Diversions. I'll have to look and see what spelling he used. :-(
• #### Happy Birthday Dear Albert (Score:2)

Here's hoping you, Galileo Galilei, Alan Turing, and Enrico Fermi are enjoying a quiet informal gathering on this, your birthday. You may have had a funky haircut, but you changed our view of the universe beyond belief.

-drin