As you know, today is March 14.

Here in the U.S. we shorten that into 3/14, which looks a bit like the first few digits of that mathematical value known as pi.

Thanks to a little oddity of nature, pi is a repeating decimal: You can never get to the end of it. Click on this to see pi carried out a long, long ways:


That ran at the top of the centerpiece package on the front of today’s Orange County Register. My old pal Chris Soprych — the Register‘s A1 designer — tells me:

We have pi calculated on the cover to the 373 decimal place, but that’s nothing compared to some local kids that can do it to over 4,000.


My former colleague Theresa Walker wrote the story about local high schoolers who celebrated pi day a little early. Mark Rightmire shot the picture.

Note the little graphic at the bottom right that reminds  those of us who barely passed math just what pi is:


Chris leaves us with these words of advice:

When you explain what pi is in a news meeting, you look like a genius.

And there ya go.

UPDATE: 11:37 a.m.

Just what good is pi, anyway? The folks at NASA have anticipated your question.