For those of you who are aware of the calendar’s date today know that mathematicians around the world are celebrating a yearly event held every 14th of March. In fact next year will be even better, but not as good as it was in 1592, except the use of this well-known Greek letter wasn’t adopted until the 18th century. Yes, our Babylonian friends pondered this circuitous relationship almost four millennia ago as did the Egyptians. Archimedes was that smart guy that finally figured out a way to most closely approximate it. Maybe it was during one of his famous baths where he pondered volume, displacement and floating.
Next year it will be a bit better than this year with the actual date, but for now, it’s still a good day to think about being centered as your thoughts radiate from your mind. Perhaps there are no bells to ring and no circus in town, but feel free to celebrate however you see fit. I’d suggest your favorite diner. They are well-known for a certain dessert that goes well with coffee.
In honor of this beloved event omitted from the calendar as a national holiday, I thought I’d share a few images of buildings that honor and exemplify this fascinating relationship between the circumference and the diameter. As I researched these buildings, I was amazed at how often this simple geometric shape appears throughout history. In our rectangular world of sixteen inch centers, rectangular modules of material and straight lines everywhere, our ancestors and even contemporary architects are not afraid of chucking the straight edge and pulling out the compass.
So here’s to the circle, here’s to pi.
By the way, did you count the number of words?
photos are from the Wikimedia Commons (used under the Creative Common License) – click on the photos and you will get there.