Happy Pi Day everyone. If you missed it, Gawker tried to publish Pi to the 100,000th digit, but it crashed their system, so they (hilariously) settled for one digit. Pi to the one digit is 3. Thanks, Gawker. And since we always add value when we curate a story, we’ll give you one more. Pi to the 2nd digit is 3.1. You’re welcome.
But if you haven’t gotten the mental workout you hoped for from that exercise, you might want to check out Pi Day Challenge, a site created by former Hanover High School math teacher Matt Plummer three years ago, to highlight the fun of problem solving.
As a teacher, Plummer was always trying to find ways to get his students excited about math, especially on Pi Day. one year he even created a Pi Day scavenger hunt at the school. later, he gained access to the school’s website and started hiding fun math problems on random URLs.
Plummer makes all the puzzles himself – there are 27 this year, approximately half new and half the best ones from last year – and they go well beyond math to include anagrams and logic games as well.
“It’s just kind of an exercise in good thinking and deductive reasoning,” he told me.
The very first of this year’s puzzles instantly stumped me. that puts me well below average in the brains department, as the average user last year completed 11.17777 puzzles. (I believe I got at least 0.177777 of the way through the first one, so I hope that’s being recorded.)
More than 50,000 users have tried a puzzle on the site since it was founded, and it looks like there have been more than 1,500 registrations today. Of those who tried it in 2011 (and were logged in as users to enable data collection), here’s how far they got:
- 6% didn’t make it past the first puzzle. (We’re not stupid, we just learn differently.)
- 55% made it past Level 5 (show-offs)
- 38% made it past Level 10 (don’t you have something else to be doing?)
- 26% made it past Level 20 (show me your ways)
- 11% reached Genius Level (and must be sad Pi Day comes but once a year)
On a slightly more serious note, I love the idea of trying to make math fun and cool, though, I didn’t buy it on Pi Day back in Trig class in high school. we need more students studying math and science, and if these sorts of challenges can get students – or adults – excited about math, and competitive about how much of it they know, that’s a good thing.
And, yes, note the timestamp. Happy Pi Day.
Love community radio? help yourself to a slice of pie: Today is Pi Day, of course, and Emily Hilliard of Nothing In the House is seizing the opportunity to host a sweet benefit for Mt. Pleasant-based station Radio CPR. Grab a sliver, a cup of coffee, walk the Pi(e) Walk to win a tasty prize, and enjoy live old-time music and sets from Radio CPR DJs. oh, and bring your own fork and plate, please. 6 p.m. at St. Stephen and the Incarnation Church, 1525 Newton St. NW. $5 suggested donation.
Sure, pollster Scott Rasmussen might have a reputation for angling to get on cable television. And yeah, maybe his surveys hit only political junkies who don’t really represent American public opinion. but the ESPN co-founder’s new book, The People’s Money: How Voters Will Balance the Budget and Eliminate the Federal Debt, provides some insight into what’s likely to become a page in the Republican script this election season: Harnessing data from his own polls, Rasmussen draws a hard line between the myopic, self-interested Political Class and the wise, common-sensical People, who just want to see the deficit shrink. going beyond public opinion research, he proposes a detailed plan for how to reduce the national debt, and personally endorses what he’s found to be voters’ priorities—and hey, it’s hard to go wrong with populism. The author discusses his book at noon at the Heritage Foundation’s Lehrman Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE. Free. heritage.org. (202) 675-1752. (Lydia DePillis)
Local comic Vijai Nathan and spoken word artist Regie Cabico in one room? That should be entertaining. Tonight, the performers team up for the American India Foundation, a nonprofit that works toward social and economic progress in India. 7 p.m. at Busboys and Poets, 2021 14th St. NW. $25. Buy tickets at Eventbrite. (202) 387-7638.
Fans of local beer will be lapping it up tonight at Scion in Dupont Circle, where native brewer DC Brau is taking over the tap lines and the chef has prepared a special three-course menu to pair with all the indigenous suds. On the menu: a smoked salmon mousse with spent grain lavosh, a Mediterranean duck pasta paired with DC Brau Citizen, a blackened rockfish risotto matched up with DC Brau Corruption, and, for dessert, nutella wontons with spent grain biscotti. the sweets, too, come with beer, namely the DC Brau Penn Quarter Porter. the price is $30 per person and the three-course deal is available all night. Scion Restaurant, 2100 P St. NW, (202) 833-8899 (Chris Shott)
If you’d rather dodge the crowds this weekend, just get St. Paddy’s out of the way now: Tonight is “Quit Firkin Around,” an Irish-stout throwdown at Mellow Mushroom. $25 gets you pizza, appetizers, and at least one pint of Starr Hill’s dark Starr Irish stout or old Dominion’s Irish offering. That’s strong stuff. the party starts at 7 p.m. at 2436 18th St. (202) 290-2778.
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Photo by Flickr user St0rmz used under a Creative Commons license.