Science & the Public
As a physics reporter and lover of mathematics, I won’t be celebrating Pi Day this year. That’s because pi is wrong.
I don’t mean that the value is incorrect. Pi, known by the symbol π, is the number you get when you divide a circle’s circumference by its diameter: 3.14159… and so on without end. But, as some mathematicians have argued, the mathematical constant was poorly chosen, and...
“I am so awesome.” [Smug grin.]
So goes the final frame in a humorous comic called “Birds are Gross,” in which artist and field naturalist Rosemary Mosco highlights the virtues of the turkey vulture. The bird, speaking throughout (“I am a turkey vulture. Yes indeed.”), reaches this conclusion after announcing its proclivities for things like projectile vomiting...
As the March 14 celebration of Pi Day approaches, toast a man who figured out how to have his pi and recite it, too — beyond 60,000 decimals. All it took was intensive practice and a knack for storytelling, a new study finds.
A Chinese man who set a world’s record in 2005 by reciting 67,890 decimals of pi learned to associate number pairs with images of people and objects, scientists...
At scientific meetings, psycho-biologist Colwyn Trevarthen often plays a video of a 5-month-old Swedish girl giving her mother a musical surprise. Blind from birth, the girl reaches for a bottle and laughs appreciatively as her mother launches into a familiar song about feeding blueberries to a bear. As in baby songs everywhere, Trevarthen says, each line of the Swedish tune runs about four...