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pi, one of the most important mathematical constants, who can trace his recent lineage to Greece, made a visit to Alaska on his way around the world this week.
While he has many fans in Homer, mathematicians and non-mathematicians alike, he was unable to answer very many questions as he was on a tight schedule on his international tour. He was able to answer a few questions, however.
One of his many fans asked if pi was his real name, he answered quickly, saying, “Most people are not aware, but my original name was Archimedes’ Constant, a name given to me by Archimedes of Syracuse during the third century. More recently, I have been called the “Ludolphine number.” He was nimble to add, “But, currently, I prefer to go by just pi.”
Another of his many fans asked, “Are you married?” To this he curtly said, “No, they have always found me to be too irrational.” His fan asked then, “If you are irrational, why are you so important?” pi answered, “While I will soon be verified at 5 trillion digits, with just a mere 11 decimal places, one can calculate the circumference of any circle that fits within the earth to a possible error of a single millimeter.” He added, “And with a digital representation of only 39 digits, I can sufficiently estimate the circumference of the observable universe to the accuracy of the radius of one single hydrogen atom.”
A reporter in the crowd asked, “We don’t see many celebrities of your stature, tell us more about yourself, something of your history.” Pi answered, “I’ve been known for about 3500 years, I was in Egypt when the pyramids were built, as evidence, I can be found in the Rhind Papyrus, there is evidence of me in Indian text, the Shatapatha Brahmana, as well as the Bible, I was acquainted with Zu Chongzhi, who lived around 480 A.D., my true calculations were not evident until the 16th century, when I was calculated to 35 digits.” He continued, ”By the 19th century, I had been calculated to 200 digits, but it was not until the coming of computers, that my conceived extent has been close to understood.”As an after-thought, he added, “But, as you all know, I am endless and don’t repeat.”
“How do we remember you!” someone from the crowd shouted. Pi answered, “Just remember the Cadaeic Cadenza, “How I want a drink, alcoholic of course, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics.,” which reminds me, I have places to go.”
With that, pi sped away, he voiced that the piem had brought up a thirst he needed to slake. He said, “I have heard of the Salty Dawg, show me.” Pi made the trip down the Homer Spit, the longest road in the world into ocean waters, as well as the furthest point west that a person can travel on a continuous highway in the western hemisphere. Midway down, pi made a brief spot at the “Fishing Hole” for a photo op before continuing on to the “dawg” and a brew.
After this, pi made his way to the end of the spit, which is aptly named “Land’s End.” The moniker, is a fitting description for a location in a community that goes by the motto, “Where the Land Meets the Sea.”
The stay there was short, we turned around quickly, adhering to his schedule. We sped to the local airport to see pi off.
Afterwards, our driver asked, “Can we stop by Starvin’ Marvins? There is something about that guy that makes me want Pizza.”
More images at top right.