March 4, 2015

Let's Celebrate Pi Day

Oh, I forgot.
You hate math.
If you're still reading, don't close out!

I'm making it my job to help you cross over to the nerd side and join in the celebration.

It'll be fun.

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First, you'll need to take a 30-second Refresher Course on the Value of π.
Stop your whining. This isn't going to hurt.

Pi is the relationship (or "ratio" in Mathspeak) between a circle's circumference and its diameter.
If you divide a circle's circumference by its diameter, you'll get the value of pi (3.14159…).

No matter what size circle you use (gigantic, medium, or teeny-tiny), you will always end up with 3.14159…

So . . .
Start with different size circles, wave your No. 2 pencil, and POOF, all your results will be the same.
That's a little bit like magic, don't you think?
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Now, let's begin by getting you in a party mood.
We'll start with a centerpiece.

Last month's Mardi Gras beads become this month's vase filler.
A cardboard clock serves as a base. The first 12 digits of pi replace the clock's standard numerals.
When placed on the table, small pink LED lights peek through the beads. Mini pennants top it off.

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This year's Pi Day is extra special. It's not just any old Pi Day. It's . . . . .

Ultimate Pi Day!

March 14 was chosen as Pi Day because the digits we use to represent
March 14 (3/14) correspond with the first three digits of π (3.14).

In 2015, the date and time are represented by the first 10 digits of π:
3.141592653 or 3/14/15, 9:26:53 a.m. and p.m.

This only happens once a century!

Grab a party hat and a noise maker.
Get ready to use your best celebratory
voice. (Think New Year's Eve.)
 photo PartyHat33.jpg
Begin your countdown at T-10.
At the end of the table a countdown clock rests on (what else?) a pie plate. Party-goers can use it to count down the lasts seconds before Ultimate Pi. These online customizable clocks can be displayed on computer monitors, tablets, and smartphones.
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Pi is an irrational number.
That means that all the digits to the right of the decimal point will never repeat in a recognizable pattern, and will continue on forever and ever, without end.

Anything that mind-boggling deserves our attention.

 photo PiCircle3.jpg

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Each party guest finds a place at the table by locating a place card printed with a number sequence that represents his or her birthdate.

Inside the folded place card, guests will find
information concerning their number sequences
within pi's never-ending decimal.
Visit The Pi-Search Page to find the frequency and location of your particular number sequence.
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With all those digits going on forever and ever, it's no wonder mathematicians sought a way to tidy things
up a bit. About 300 years ago, the Math World settled on the use of the Greek letter π to represent this
infinitely long number.

Which brings us to the third reason you will want to celebrate Pi Day.


The symbol for pi is cool looking.
Don't roll your eyes. You know it is.
It's got way more style than symbols like ÷ and and .

On March 14, raise a glass to mathematical coolness.
 photo PiGrey.jpg

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Speaking of cool, get a load of this napkin fabric.

It drove the color scheme for this rest of the party decorations.

Cardstock circles, printed with the pi equation, were glued to the drinking straws.

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Pi is a transcendental number.
Wow. It's transcendental. How awesome is that!

"But what does that mean?" you ask.
Who cares? Just the sound of the word "transcendental"
is enough to establish the importance of π.

In fact, pi is so important that the House of Representatives
designated March 14 as National Pi Day in 2009.

Pi Day even has its own official website:

 photo Placesetting.jpg Placemats are 18-inch square napkins.

Each napkin placemat is a different color.

Pi Day is also Albert Einstein's birthday (which, coincidentally, makes him a Pisces). Even though you may not fully grasp the finer points of Albert's famous equation, you've got to admit he was his own man when it came to hair styles.
If Time Magazine thought it fitting to honor Einstein as The Person of the Century, surely you can take a few minutes to whoop it up on his birthday.
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If .b = 1 birthday party guest . and . p = 1 party favor,
4b + 4p = good times

I chose the frisbee as a party favor because it was shaped like a circle.
However, Lee M-S left a comment on this post, pointing out that the inventor of the frisbee based the toy on baking pans from a certain Connecticut bakery. The name of the bakery? The Frisbie Pie Co.
The History Channel's "This Day in History" post for Jan. 23, as well as a New York Times article entitled "How the Frisbee Got Its Name", appears to support the comment. Thank you, Lee.
 photo PiFrisbees.jpg
An SOS pad was used to remove the logos from the tops of the frisbees.
Pi symbols, cut from black Contact paper, replace the original designs.

You can serve lots of great pi-appropriate goodies at your celebration.

Pinterest has lots of suggestions:
sweet potato pie, fruit pie, pizza pie, pot pies, apple pie juice, Boston cream pie (a cake, really), mud pie (yummy ice cream) and green salad laced with pine nuts and pineapple chunks.

We're having pizza pie. After the countdown, we'll be eating pi pies in a jar.
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Placemats: napkins made with fabric from Jo-Ann's Fabrics
Black dinner plates: no markings, Yard Sale
Flatware: inherited, no information
Frisbees: Big Lots
Black Contact paper:
Canning jar mugs: Goodman's
Napkins: fabric from, Pieces of Pi, Black
Hats and noise makers: Party City
Beads: Mardi Gras 2013

This post is partying with Centerpiece Wednesday at The Style Sisters, Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday, and Between Naps on the Porch.


  1. I love Pi Day, it will be this Saturday. Here are a few of my "poems" in honor of Pi Day:
    And June 28 will be "2π Day". Hooray!!!

    1. Jim,
      Thanks for sharing your Pi-ku poetry with me.

  2. What a fun if confusing post, you lost me at #3 but it looked like a great party!

    1. Oh, dear! I worked so hard to make it clear. Well, can't win them all.

  3. I'll mark my calendar and raise a slice of that sweet potato pie in honor of the day! Clever post and a nice homage to the fabulous Albert Einstein :)

  4. This is SOOOO CUTE! I'm going to visit my brother on Pi Day and I may just have to take some Pi party stuff along with me.

  5. I hate math and I am a hopeless case, I can rather add 1 + +1 without a calculator ! I would do the decoration without thinking of any Pi's, lol !

  6. How clever is this! I love all of your bright colors and fun information! I just used Pi to instruct people on how to make my tablecloth from last weeks table - the burlap ruffled one!
    I didn't know that it was a day that was celebrated though. If all math classes celebrated it like this - we would never forget!!

  7. Very creative and fun post and photos for Pi Day ~

    Happy Weekend coming to you,
    artmusedog and carol

  8. Very cute! But, I am no mathematician. I could never comprehend that, lol...Christine

  9. Although I rather celebrate pie day I can understand your enthousiasm, because obviously it means a lot to you:) Happy Pi Day, my friend, and thank you for visiting my blog!

  10. Holy wow, that was FUN! Who Knew? I always thought pi day was, you know PIE day! You are certainly bringing style and class to pi day!

  11. I loved celebrating pi day with my students when I taught middle school math. This year will certainly be a special day to celebrate! Too bad I'm retired.

    1. GG,
      I taught middle school math as well. Sort of glad I missed the Common Core Curriculum though. Helping my grandchildren with their math homework has sometimes been a nightmare.

  12. You've got me wanting to have a PI party and I don't care too much for celebrating holidays. But, then I did throw a party for all that happened on 12/16. I think it's magical that any size circle will always have pi. So, if an atom is truly a round shape then it's value is the same as the largest planet in our solar system. Whooo-hoo! Yup, Pi does need a party.
    The View from the Top of the Ladder

  13. Look at you go girl! Only a math teacher (OA) would think to create a tablescape like this! Fantastic! You have so many great details and explanations to go with each one that even I can sort of understand...yes, math was my downfall in school. Thanks for the fun learning experience - I relate to table settings much better than textbooks!

  14. What an enlightening post...just marked my calendar for the event♪

  15. That's a whole lot more than I ever thought I'd know about Pi. Fun and fascinating post!

    1. It's probably a whole lot more than you ever wanted to know too. HA!
      But just remember the catch phrase on TV: The more you know, the more you'll grow.

  16. You may be on to something here! ;))

  17. If you were born on 3/14 (in any year), you are a PIsces!

    And did you know that frisbees were (reportedly) based on pans from the Frisbee PIE company?

    1. Lee,
      You're the greatest. You've added two more fun pi facts for tomorrow's celebration - Pisces and the frisbee connection.
      Thank you so much for taking the time to add this comment to the post.


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