Today is Pi Day!
Pi Day is celebrated on March 14 worldwide. Pi is a mathematical constant that is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to that circle’s diameter. It also happens to be Albert Einstein’s birthday.
Pi, is approximated as 3.14 and thus is celebrated on 3/14. Pi 50 digits past the decimal point is: 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510.
Pi is a really fantastical and impressive concept for everyone from elementary school students up through some of the world’s most educated mathematicians. Why? Because Pi is a calculated constant, it’s the same for every circle of every size. Pi goes on and on without predictability – it’s been calculated out to over a trillion digits with no repetition or pattern.
Pi is an irrational and transcendental number – if you don’t know what that means, you just need to understand that Pi is impressive and mind-boggling to think about. There are records of mathematicians as far back as ancient Egyptians and Babylonians thinking about Pi. Even today, Pi is used in trying to explain the universe.
At the same time that Pi is a mysterious concept, we rely on the number every day. In addition to math, geometry, and trigonometry, engineers use the constant in safety and design. It’s used in construction, astronomy, probability and statistics, navigation, chemistry, physics, magnetism, quantum mechanics, and even art.
So why is Pi Day important? It’s not, but it’s fun. It’s a day to celebrate math. Or celebrate pride in being a nerd. Or celebrate things that are irrational, or more popularly to celebrate puns, since a popular way to celebrate Pi Day is to eat pie. Another popular activity with pi is for entertainment-people of all ages attempt to memorize Pi out to as many digits as they can.
The Bedford Citizen is celebrating Pi Day 2023 by looking at numbers around town and breaking down the first 51 digits: 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510.
3.14 – There are three streets in town that have a building at a 314 address: Great Road, South Road, and Old Billerica Road.
15 – The cost in dollars of a California Sandwich (Roasted turkey, avocado, bacon, mayo, lettuce, tomato on a toasted sourdough) with a side of fries and cole slaw at Peppers Grille in the Great Road Shopping Center
9 – One of the Comcast Channels that runs Bedford TV (Comcast Ch 8. 9 & 99, Verizon Ch 38. 39 & 40).
26 – The day this month that is the eve of Annual Town Meeting! (Annual Town Meeting starts on March 27 at 6:30 p.m.)
53 – Number of Years that the Bedford Campus of Middlesex Community College has been open
5 – Number of members on the Bedford Select Board
8 – The years since Luigi’s closed
9793 – The number of times each week since Luigi’s closing that it is still mentioned (unscientific count)
23 – The height in feet needed to climb in order to cap the Liberty Pole (Pole Capping will take place this year on April 8 – https://bedfordminutemen.org/liberty-pole-capping-information/)
84 – The record high temperature in degrees Fahrenheit for November in Bedford, MA (according to Wikipedia, which didn’t mention the year)
62 – The MBTA bus line that runs from Bedford to Alewife
6 – The number of neighboring towns to Bedford- Billerica, Burlington, Lexington, Lincoln, Concord, and Carlisle
4 – The number of voting precincts in the town of Bedford
3 – The number of geographical waterways through town – The Concord River, Shawsheen River, and Vine Brook
38 – The year (1638, that is) that Governor Winthrop and Thomas Dudley named The Two Brothers Rocks and declared the landmarks on the edge of the Concord River as the division between their lands
3 – The number in millions of dollars the Bedford Community Scholarship Fund has awarded to Bedford Graduates since 1965
27 – Did you remember Town Meeting is on March 27, 2023?
9 – The tenths of a mile in length of the Orange loop of the Hartwell Town Forest Hiking trail
50 – Approximate weight in tons of the RDC 6211 Rail Car at Bedford’s Depot Park
288 – The bedfordma.gov website FAQ ID number for Bedford Day 2023 (https://www.bedfordma.gov/faq.aspx?qid=288)
419 – The date (4/19 – April 19 in 1775) that it is believed Nathaniel Page’s company carried the Bedford Flag to Old North Bridge
716 – The number of times someone has thought about Luigi’s while you were reading this
93 – Number of Women Owned businesses in town according to the census.gov (as compared to 322 for men). Today, by the way, is also Equal Pay Day.
9937 – One tenth of the collection of library volumes contained at the Bedford Free Public Library (according to librarytechnology.org there are 99,373 volumes at the library, and the library circulates 419, 309 items per year)
510 – The number of avian species on the Official State List of the Massachusetts Avian Records Committee, that is the number of birds the group has evidence of existing currently or within the state’s history
3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510. Happy Pi Day, Bedford!