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Archive for Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pi Day celebrates irrational thinking

Math, science fans gather for music, pie

Ron Callaway portrays Albert Einstein's ghost in a comedy skit during a Pi day celebration hosted by The Alferd Packer Memorial Band Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at the Lawrence Community Theater. The event featured music, comedy skits, an auction benefiting the Douglas County Science Fair, and a pie contest.

Ron Callaway portrays Albert Einstein's ghost in a comedy skit during a Pi day celebration hosted by The Alferd Packer Memorial Band Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at the Lawrence Community Theater. The event featured music, comedy skits, an auction benefiting the Douglas County Science Fair, and a pie contest.

March 15, 2012, 12:28 a.m. Updated March 15, 2012, 8:39 a.m.

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Two women, costumed in shiny belts and armed with plastic swords, begin a belly dance. Around a pie.

But something stops them.

Shawn Bowen, 15, Lawrence, thinks hard as he tries to recite pi during a Pi Day celebration Wednesday at Theatre Lawrence. The event featured music, comedy skits, an auction benefiting the Douglas County Science Fair and a pie contest.

Shawn Bowen, 15, Lawrence, thinks hard as he tries to recite pi during a Pi Day celebration Wednesday at Theatre Lawrence. The event featured music, comedy skits, an auction benefiting the Douglas County Science Fair and a pie contest.

Julie Kingsbury, left, and Linda Tilton perform a dance routine during a Pi day celebration hosted by The Alferd Packer Memorial Band Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at the Lawrence Community Theater. The event featured music, comedy skits, an auction benefiting the Douglas County Science Fair, and a pie contest..

Julie Kingsbury, left, and Linda Tilton perform a dance routine during a Pi day celebration hosted by The Alferd Packer Memorial Band Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at the Lawrence Community Theater. The event featured music, comedy skits, an auction benefiting the Douglas County Science Fair, and a pie contest..

“Forget to carry the two?” an audience member asks.

One of the dancers tells the crowd the sound system’s playing the wrong song.

It’s OK, one of the organizers says — that was just the “irrational” part of the performance.

Linda Tilton and Julie Kingsbury were two of 10 performers who took part in a quirky, science-and-math-loving celebration of Pi Day on Wednesday night at Theatre Lawrence, 1501 N.H. The night included mathematically minded skits and songs, a pie-baking contest (19 entered; three bakers got honored with aprons), a pi-reciting contest and its fair share of puns.

“I think we discovered something new on ‘pie-riodic’ table,” emcee Matt Kirby said after a pie-eating intermission.

The night was a celebration of the irrational number, rounded to two decimal places as 3.14, which is critical for finding the circumference of a circle. And it also not coincidentally happened to be the date. Kirby and other members of the Alferd Packer Memorial String Band organized the event, which they hope will become a new tradition. They’re famous for performing in the post office on Tax Day, April 15, but chose another “made-up holiday” to commemorate this year as the tradition of up-to-the-last-minute-filing is largely over, given restricted office hours.

This event, which Kirby called their “negative third annual,” also raised $385 for the Douglas County Public School District’s annual science fair with a “nerdmobilia” auction.

Clad in a pi-emblazoned T-shirt, Tiffany Harkins won the contest to see who could remember the most digits by a mile — or 51 decimal places to be more precise. Turns out, she’s a middle-school math teacher in Olathe and said her students would blow her performance away, some having memorized the number to some 200 decimal places.

“We all got really into it,” she said of Pi Day.

In the spirit of science and geeky fun, other performers gave odes to Albert Einstein, NaCl (better known as salt), conductivity and the big, big universe.

Gwyneth Sigmon performed a flute solo from four notes that she described as “changing every time I play it and therefore kind of irrational.” It runs in the family.

“My father is a computer engineer, so math was kind of like the running joke on that side of the family,” she said. “Pie was a big part of my mother’s side, too — you know, the round kind.”

Comments

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

3.14? That's hardly close! This is a little bit more accurate value for pi:

3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751058209 7494459230781640628620899862803482534211706798214808651 3282306647093844609550582231725359408128481117450284102 7019385211055596446229489549303819644288109756659334461 2847564823378678316527120190914564856692346034861045432 6648213393607260249141273724587006606315588174881520920 9628292540917153643678925903600113305305488204665213841 4695194151160943305727036575959195309218611738193261179 3105118548074462379962749567351885752724891227938183011 9491298336733624406566430860213949463952247371907021798 6094370277053921717629317675238467481846766940513200056 8127145263560827785771342757789609173637178721468440901 2249534301465495853710507922796892589235420199561121290 2196086403441815981362977477130996051870721134999999837 2978049951059731732816096318595024459455346908302642522 3082533446850352619311881710100031378387528865875332083 8142061717766914730359825349042875546873115956286388235 3787593751957781857780532171226806613001927876611195909 2164201989380952572010654858632788659361533818279682303 0195203530185296899577362259941389124972177528347913151 5574857242454150695950829533116861727855889075098381754 6374649393192550604009277016711390098488240128583616035 6370766010471018194295559619894676783744944825537977472 6847104047534646208046684259069491293313677028989152104 7521620569660240580381501935112533824300355876402474964 7326391419927260426992279678235478163600934172164121992 4586315030286182974555706749838505494588586926995690927 2107975093029553211653449872027559602364806654991198818 3479775356636980742654252786255181841757467289097777279 3800081647060016145249192173217214772350141441973568548 1613611573525521334757418494684385233239073941433345477 6241686251898356948556209921922218427255025425688767179 0494601653466804988627232791786085784383827967976681454 1009538837863609506800642251252051173929848960841284886 2694560424196528502221066118630674427862203919494504712 3713786960956364371917287467764657573962413890865832645 9958133904780275900994657640789512694683983525957098258 2262052248940772671947826848260147699090264013639443745 5305068203496252451749399651431429809190659250937221696 4615157098583874105978859597729754989301617539284681382 6868386894277415599185592524595395943104997252468084598 7273644695848653836736222626099124608051243884390451244 1365497627807977156914359977001296160894416948685558484 0635342207222582848864815845602850601684273945226746767 8895252138522549954666727823986456596116354886230577456 4980355936345681743241125150760694794510965960940252288 7971089314566913686722874894056010150330861792868092087 4760917824938589009714909675985261365549781893129784821 6829989487226588048575640142704775551323796414515237462 3436454285844479526586782105114135473573952311342716610 2135969536231442952484937187110145765403590279934403742 0073105785390621983874478084784896833214457138687519435

rockchalker52 2 years, 9 months ago

The nice white lab coat lends an extra air of reverence to it all.

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