On why today isn’t a day for pi

Many around the world spent today celebrating the widest known mathematical constant, that share’s it’s name with a tasty treat:

π

The celebrate today because as March 14, or 3.14, it is a representation of ?.

However this is wrong.

π in decimal (base-10) is 3.14159…, however, the calendar is not based on a base-10 system. So when is the real “pi day?”

We could consider a year to be like a circle, in that at the end (December) it connects right back to the start (January). In this representation we could represent the total number of days in a year (365.25) equal to the total angle of a circle (360 degrees, or 2π radians). This system would make “pi-day” to be approximately July 1st (or 2nd on a leap year, which also helps deal with rounding errors). This would also give us a 2π day on New Year’s Eve.

Or perhaps we should use the year’s total number of days as a base of counting, in which case π would have to be converted to that base and that would be the date. (Check my math perhaps) I think this date works out to April 24th or 25th (depending on leap years again).

However, explaining to people why you’re calling April 25th, or June 1st pi day and eating pie (which I did indulge in today), might take longer than the brief amusement provided by the idea.

On why today isn’t a day for pi

Many around the world spent today celebrating the widest known mathematical constant, that share’s it’s name with a tasty treat:

?

The celebrate today because as March 14, or 3.14, it is a representation of ?.

However this is wrong.

? in decimal (base-10) is 3.14159…, however, the calendar is not based on a base-10 system. So when is the real “pi day?”

We could consider a year to be like a circle, in that at the end (December) it connects right back to the start (January). In this representation we could represent the total number of days in a year (365.25) equal to the total angle of a circle (360 degrees, or 2? radians). This system would make “pi-day” to be approximately June 1st (or 2nd on a leap year, which also helps deal with rounding errors). This would also give us a 2? day on New Year’s Eve.

Or perhaps we should use the year’s total number of days as a base of counting, in which case ? would have to be converted to that base and that would be the date. (Check my math perhaps) I think this date works out to April 24th or 25th (depending on leap years again).

However, explaining to people why you’re calling April 25th, or June 1st pi day and eating pie (which I did indulge in today), might take longer than the brief amusement provided by the idea.

The uncut interviews

After posting the FSM Expelled video, it was obvious to some (and hopefully all) that several quotes were taken out of context, and certain views were shown in a biased way.

This was all intentional!  The point of the video was satire, and the target was Ben Stein and the Discovery Institute‘s upcoming Expelled trailer.  They take clips from leading”darwinists” and show nice long interviews from IDers.  In the spirit of satire I chose to do the same, giving pro-FSMers a long speech and quote-mining the “darwinistic” supporters.

However, I choose to do one more thing to poke at Expelled – I’ve now released all the interviews to YouTube completely UNCUT!  Let’s see the Discover Institute’s full interviews online (with the false premises exposed).

So here they are (in order of most to least misrepresentation):

Dr. Denis Lamoureux

Dr. Warren Gallin and Dr. Brad Magor

Dr. Zbigniew Gortel

Dr. Michael Caldwell 

New theory on the origin of presents

The classic debate among children has been that of the scientifically sound parentism vs. santa-clausism, with many older, more intellectual children favouring the the former. Now a new theory has been put forth supporting External Delivery as the source of Christmas presents. I’ll let you decide what you believe. Many blogs have already had their say (see more).

Special Note: I created that initial Wikipedia article, using the Intelligent Design article’s intro as a guide.

cdesign proponentsists

From the Nova special last week on the Dover trials, it was shown that in an early draft of “Of Pandas and People” (the ID-friendly “biology” textbook from the Discovery Institute) there was a slip up in one of the edits where “cdesign proponentsists” where mentioned (as a change from “creationists” to “design proponents”). This was one of the key pieces of evidence that ID was just religious creationism relabelled.

Now the definition has shown up on UrbanDictionary.com as follows:

The missing link between “creationists” and “design proponents”, as used in the textbook Of Pandas and People. Used to refer to creationist dumbfucks who are all to generally confused by science theology or even common sense.

Science says man evolved from other apes. Cdesign proponentsists say apes smell and prefer the scientific explanation “Goddidit”.

Predicting People

Blogging on Peer-Reviewed Research There are many trends that you can track with people and how they respond to different situations.  Anyone who’s planned an event has probably realized that the majority of people RSVP in the last time frame, which can make predicting expected numbers of registrants difficult.

A recent paper in Nature Physics examines data from several recent physics conferences and determines the rate at which people register.  The data initially begins linear, but spikes logarithmically near the deadline.  They summarize that you can predict the total number of registrants by extrapolating the linear registration data to the deadline and tripling that number.

Citation:

Conference registration: how people react to a deadline

Valentina Alfi, Giorgio Parisi & Luciano Pietronero

Nature Physics 3, 746 (2007)

If you don’t have access to this journal you can still view the graph (the article is only a page so you get most of the info from the graph).

Atheist poetry

When I say I am an Atheist by Dave Mason

When I say, “I’m an Atheist,” I’m not saying, “There is no god”
All I’m really getting at is faith is just a fraud

When I say, “I’m an Atheist,” I’m not criticizing you
I’m critical of bad beliefs — The things that can’t be true

When I say, “I’m an Atheist,” I sigh and shake my head
I’m the one responsible for things I did and said

When I say, “I’m an Atheist,” I like what can be proven
My feelings do not dictate me — Emotions aren’t that movin’

When I say, “I’m an Atheist,” I believe in evolution
To chalk this up to one great dude is not a good solution

When I say, “I’m an Atheist,” I must treasure every day
This life is all we’ve really got — Can’t let it waste away

When I say, “I’m an Atheist,” I’m not saying that I’m bad
The fact that many think we are is really very sad