To find the area of a living room you simply ask a realitor, and then subtract 10%. But to find the area of a circle you nust multiply pi times the radius of the circle squared, or to put it another way, the radius of the circle times the radius of the circle. In the shorthand of math-speak that beomes, A(rea)= piR squared. This is true math-media.
About the year 480 CE the Chinese mathematician Zu Chongzhi figured out that pi was a little more than 3.1415926 and a little less than 3.1415927. After that the decimal point zealots took over. The German mathematician and fencing instructor Ludolf van Ceulen worked out pi to 35 decimal places. And in 1873 the amateur geek, William Shanks, worked it out to 707 decimal places. But William made one tiny little mistake in the 528th number and that threw everything else off. But it was such a good try that nobody noticed his screw up until 1944. Today computers have figured pi out to one trillion digits to the left of the decimal point and still no repeatable pattern has been detected. It is still a little bit less than 3.15 and a little bit more than 3.14. All that has changed is the definition of “a little bit”. It keeps getting smaller and smaller but it will never be zero.
Unfortunately, in the Indiana Senate some wiseacre showed the bill to a visiting Purdue party pooper, Professor of Mathematics C.A. Waldo. And now we at least know where Waldo was in 1897. The lawmaker asked if the professor would like the honor of meeting the amazing Dr. Goodwin, and Professor Waldo replied that he already knew all the lunatics he cared to know, thank you very much. And with that comment Dr. Goodwin’s brief bubble of fame was burst. On February 12, 1897 any further vote on the bill was postponed indefinitely.
It was not a victory for logic so much as an avoidance of a victory for ignorance, which is pretty much the same thing that happened in Tennessee about 30 years later when they tried a man for teaching evolution.
Just trust me, and always trust pi. It lifts your spirit, gives you a sense of security and keeps your circles on the square. To share it just try singing..."Pi, Pi, Me oh my, Nothing tastes sweet, wet, salty and dry, all at once, ...oh my, I love pi!
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