Pi in the Sky

March 16, 2009

I was staring and dreaming eight thousand feet up, when a beeping noise interrupted my reverie. Hey Dad, said my twelve year old son from the seat next to me on the chair lift, Happy Pi Day ! It was 3/14/1:59. Ha, said me, I know all about Pi Day. It was on Tom’s Astronomy Blog already.

Son smirked. He was teasing me for being a dork, just because I happened to mention that when I was his age I passed the time by memorising Pi to a hundred places. But I am not even that good. A kid at his school managed five hundred and three. And all this pales into insignificance next to Michael Rowan-Robinson’s Stakhanovite achievement. When Michael was ill as a child, he memorised the entire book of log tables, and to this day uses his arcane knowledge for the Force of Good. Or was it for amusing parlour tricks ? One of those.

Ah. If only one still had the patience and the lesiure for such beautiful pointless labours.

Pardon the drivel. I’m plum tuckered after a long drive. Maybe by about Wednesday I will serve up a sharp analysis of the State of Science. If I can find time in my schedule.