Tomorrow is March 14 … 3/14 … So naturally it’s Pi Day. And to take it down to six significant figures, the tradition has become to take a break at 1: 59 for a slice of pie.

So natch I should include a pie recipe right here … only somewhere in the transition from Blogger to WordPress and/or when my hard-drive fried, I lost my pix my from attempt to recreate my Great-Grandma’s world famous apple pie.

So, I’m going to tear through my back-up drive, which seems to be unplugged and therefore about as much help in backing things up as a door knob, yoga mat, or Molly the Wonder Dog. And since I more than likely won’t find anything, the apple pie will have to be a priority in the near future.

Until then …

How about some Strawberry-Rhubarb? (Not quite in season, so save it for later.)

Bourbon Sweet-Potato? (Always in season!)

Or Salmon-Leek Pie in Phyllo?

And Pi Day is never complete without a math puzzle, so here ya go: If you bake a pie in a 9 inch pan, then cut the pie into eight equal slices, what is the arc length of each slice’s crust?

Cheers!

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I hate math quizes…HATE them. 3.39

I have a confession. With the exception of a Key Lime Pie, I’ve never made a pie. I never made a down-to-earth Midwestern pie. This should be my goal tomorrow.

The big question is: What is the quintessential pie of the Great Plains?

Purple sweet potato?

http://www.k-state.edu/media/newsreleases/nov10/purplepie112210.html

My brain just exploded trying to figure out your math riddle. I’m gonna eat a slice instead.

Happy Pi Day! Oh and Happy Birthday to Einstein too. I have no idea the arc, I would rather eat it than measure it all out! Hope to “see” you on Wed night, I need some groupies in my corner!

If I can go off on a math rant for a second … when someone says that you’ll need math your entire life, that doesn’t mean that you need the memorize multiplication charts or remember how to differentiate. It means that a mathematical way of thinking is essential to navigating ones way through life.

And we’re all innately good at math. We’re born with it. It’s the language of the universe. What we’re not so good at is trying to figure out what a particular math teacher is trying to get us to memorize, and why.

Studies with infants have found that we’re born with a basic understanding of probability and logarithms that actually erodes with time, through a lack of use. Think about that: with no instruction, a six month old can make predictions based on probability and a two year old can think logarithmically.

Here’s what I mean by thinking mathematically. Our political process is the best example of not thinking mathematically. Both the left and the right want the world to be a certain way, and they both think that they can shoe-horn us into their ideology through rhetoric. (Which might be why most mathematicians, and economists and scientists for that matter, are registered independents and not affiliated with either party.)

If I had a new education program, and I told you that for every dollar we spent on education, we’d save $100 in the next couple of years on welfare, police and security, and jails, you’d vote for that program in a heartbeat. On the other hand, if I told you that my new program would cost $100, and maybe, maybe, maybe in ten years we’d recoup $1 in savings, you’d tell me to go work on it. And somewhere in the middle is a decision point where we’d all switch from voting for to voting against the program. That’s based on a mathematical assessment of the program, not an ideological worldview of how things should be.

And yet, how many people vote based on anything they can measure, instead of how they feel, or how they respond to rhetoric? Whether it’s a private citizen voting for a candidate or a state senator voting for a particular bill, how many of us gather the facts, assign a value to the pros and cons, and weigh our decision? Very few.

Hold that thought …

This is an intriguing conversation. I don’t understand how we can be so wired for rationality, but we’re such irrational folk. I don’t understand the guy who is insanely loyal to a certain automobile maker in spite of statistical data that shows the certain automobile is a piece of sh*t.

I wonder if Malcolm Gladwell has anything interesting to say about any of this. I haven’t read any of his books.

Check out David Brook’s The Social Animal. Sort of like MG’s Blink.

You could always use frozen strawberries and frozen rhubarb…

Two quick solutions:

1) The arc of one slice of pie is one-eighth the entire circumference (assuming equal slices of pie). And the circumference is 2(pi)r, where r = (1/2)(9) = 4.5. Therefore, the arc = 2(4.5)(pi) / 8 = 3.53.

2) Eight equal slices means that the angle of each slice is 45 degrees. And the length of any arc of a circle is α(∏)(r) / 180, or (45)(∏)(4.5) / 180 = 3.53.

Roger. He gives a summary on TED. Sounds like an interesting premise, but I’m not sure Brooks has the scientific chops to do it justice. His intro gets about a 3 on the funny-meter, and a zero for relevance.