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Harts Pie

Pi by Hart Zeitler, 2003

First celebrated at the San Francisco Exploratorium in 1988, Pi Day has become an international holiday, celebrated live and online all around the world.

What has Pi Day to do with the law? In 1897, an amateur mathematician in Indiana persuaded his State Representative to introduce “A bill for an act introducing a new mathematical truth…” an attempt to square the circle by legislation.  In the bill, the value of pi was established as the number 3.2.  That the circle could not be squared had already been proved in the 1880s by the work of the mathematicians Ferdinand von Lindemann and Karl Weierstrass. What became known as the Indiana Pi Bill is described as “one of the most notorious attempts to establish mathematical truth by legislative fiat.” The attempt failed. The bill did not pass the Senate.

Pi is an irrational number. Sometimes we just have to accept irrationality.

If you are wondering how to celebrate Pi Day, wikiHow has some ideas.

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