Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Happy Pi Day!



Pi Pie
...from San Francisco

Today (well, yesterday by time you read this) is a paean in praise of Pi, the number  3.14159265358979323846264338327950 (stopping after all 10 digits have been included) or, as it's commonly known among us lay folk, 3.14.  Hence Pi Day is 3/14, March 14. Crucial for measuring circles and circular objects, pi is an irrational constant and so it keeps rolling on, digit after digit, never resolving.

March 14 is a verrrry popular birthday (three folks in my family own it, for example), but there are fewer famous folk with it than on some other days of the year.  However, one hugely famous Pi Day celebrity--for whom March 14 is a most appropriate birthday--is Albert Einstein (1878-1955). 

Warning: shoals of a famous mathematical formula ahead, but the digression is brief. If desired, skip the next paragraph to avoid possible eye glazing.

(Einstein's special theory of relativity is represented mathematically with another constant, c.That famous formula? E=mc2, where E means energy, m means mass, and c means the speed of light in a vacuum, which is then squared. The constant, c, is NOT pi, but rather a little less than 300 million (299,792,458) meters/second, i.e., pretty darn fast!)

There are many great quotes attributed to Einstein, many nearly aphorisms. I find Einstein, his story, and his words infinitely inspirational--and I hope you will, too. 
Albert Einstein

Here are a half dozen:
            
             Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

            Try not to become a man [or woman in today's more egalitarian verbiage] of success, rather try to become a man of value.

            Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the universe.

            Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.

            We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.

            Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.

Interested in more Einstein quotes? Visit Brainy quotes.com.

Who are a few other less-scientific Pi babies?  Quincy Jones, Billy Crystal, and among musicians of olde, George Telemann.

Happy Pi Day, everyone!

What I'm reading: I just finishe Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (recommend by Lee Wind's excellent blog). It's a great book, even though or especially because--depending on your perspective--the title immediately causes the Styx song to stick in one's ear like an earworm. Speaking as one, mind you.

What I'm listening to: When "Come Sail Away" isn't running through my head....I was able listen to Schubert's Winterreise recently.

What I'm working on: David Garner's Mein blaues Klavier, for my next concert (April 4)--it's also on our CD that's coming out on April 8!!!--and songs by Hans Winterberg for May 31 and June 2.


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