Pi Day 2018

March 14 — 3.14 — is Pi Day, a day to celebrate the irrational number 𝜋. The usual pun for Pi Day is as Pie Day — restaurants have specials on pies — or some play on the adjective irrational — but the Mental Floss site has gone further afield:


Meanwhile, bon appétit magazine has gone the pie route:


As for irrational puns, they turn on these two senses of irrational:

adj. irrational: 1 not logical or reasonable … 2 Mathematics (of a number, quantity, or expression) not expressible as a ratio of two integers, and having an infinite and nonrecurring expansion when expressed as a decimal.  (NOAD)

(both senses tracing back to the Latin stem ratio(n)- ‘reckoning, reason’).

pythons and Python. Bonuses in #1. First, the snake depicted there, from Wikipedia:

The Pythonidae, commonly known simply as pythons, from the Greek word python (πυθων), are a family of nonvenomous snakes found in Africa, Asia, and Australia. Among its members are some of the largest snakes in the world. Eight genera and 31 species are currently recognized.

… Pythons use their sharp, backward-curving teeth, four rows in the upper jaw, two in the lower, to grasp prey which is then killed by constriction; after an animal has been grasped to restrain it, the python quickly wraps a number of coils around it. Death occurs primarily by cardiac arrest.

Yet people keep them as pets.

Then there’s Python, the programming language. From Wikipedia:

(#3) The Python logo

Python is an interpreted high-level programming language for general-purpose programming. Created by Guido van Rossum and first released in 1991, Python has a design philosophy that emphasizes code readability, and a syntax that allows programmers to express concepts in fewer lines of code, notably using significant whitespace. It provides constructs that enable clear programming on both small and large scales.

Python features a dynamic type system and automatic memory management. It supports multiple programming paradigms, including object-oriented, imperative, functional and procedural, and has a large and comprehensive standard library

(My network of friends includes a large number of Pythonistas. And, of course, Monty Pythonistas.)

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