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Happy Pi Day!

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Tomorrow, March 14, is World Pi Day. For those not in the know, pi (π) is the Greek letter that stands for the ratio of the circumference (distance around) of a circle to its diameter (width). Pi is an irrational number, which means that it can't be expressed as a fraction. That also means that its decimal representation never ends or repeats - it continues on, and on, and on. Forever.

Here's the first few hundred digits of pi:
3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751058209749445923078164
062862089986280348253421170679821480865132823066470938446095505822317253
594081284811174502841027019385211055596446229489549303819644288109756659
334461284756482337867831652712019091456485669234603486104543266482133936
072602491412737245870066063155881748815209209628292540917153643678925903
600113305305488204665213841469519415116094330572703657595919530921861173
819326117931051185480744623799627495673518857527248912279381830119491298
336733624406566430860213949463952247371907021798609437027705392171762931
767523846748184676694051320005681271452635608277857713427577896091736371
787214684409012249534301465495853710507922796892589235420199561121290219
608640344181598136297747713099605187072113499999983729780499510597317328
160963185950244594553469083026425223082533446850352619311881710100031378
387528865875332083814206171776691473035982534904287554687311595628638823
537875937519577818577805321712268066130019278766111959092164201989380952
572010654858632788659361533818279682303019520353018529689957736225994138
912497217752834791315155748572424541506959508295331168617278558890750983
817546374649393192550604009277016711390098488240128583616035637076601047
101819429555961989467678374494482553797747268471040475346462080466842590
694912...

Why is Pi day on March 14? Because, if you round, then Pi = 3.14, which of course is March 14. March 14 at 1:59 is known as "Pi minute" (3.14159) and 1:59:26 is "Pi second."

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Want to impress your friends at your Pi Day celebrations tomorrow?

Here are a few random tidbits that we scraped together:

(1) The Guinness-recognized record for remembered digits of π is 67,890 digits, held by Lu Chao, a 24-year-old graduate student from China. It took him 24 hours and 4 minutes to recite to the 67,890th decimal place of π without an error.

(2) March 14 also happens to be Albert Einstein's birthday.

(3) The first Pi Day celebration was held at the San Francisco Exploratorium in 1988, with staff and public marching around one of its circular spaces, and then consuming fruit pies; the museum has since added pizza pies to its Pi Day menu.

(4) The coordinate (Pi, Pi) in latitude and longitude is in the sea just off the west coast of Africa, in the Gulf of Guinea. Check it out on Google Maps.

But you don't have to have a particular (or peculiar) love for math to celebrate Pi Day in style! We here at LAist headquarters plan to celebrate with Pi's homophonic sibling, pie. (check out Citysearch's list of five LA pies to try). Even better, Marie Callender's is giving away free slices of pie (with the purchase of any entree) on the 14th.

We may even take our pies home, and watch Pi (the movie).