My birthday is today, March 14th, 3/14, Pi Day. Â Besides being Pi Day, the coolest thing about my birthday is that I share it with Albert Einstein. Â I didnâ€™t even think about the association with pi, until I started seeing things on Facebook a few years back – itâ€™s been celebrated since 1998 but wasnâ€™t designated by Congress until 2009. For the last few years, Iâ€™ve celebrated my birthday by having a Pi Day celebration and invited friends to bring pies and other round food. Â Every year, I look forward to seeing what amazing round foods weâ€™ll have to enjoy.
Iâ€™ve been thinking about pi and pies today; about roundness, irrationality and infinite random numbers. Â Did you know that pi is an not only an irrational number but transcendental one? How does this impact those of us born on the Day of Pi? Â Pi is irrational because it canâ€™t be expressed as an integer fraction. Un-Ratio-nal. Â Pisceans (Pi-sceans) are often described as spacey, heads-in-the-clouds people who live more in fantasy than reality. Â I chafe at that description, though I do have my space-cadet moments, I donâ€™t think we Pisces have the corner on living in fantasy. Â On the other hand, major important parts of my life happen on the inside of my skull. Â Luckily, Iâ€™m a writer, so living with one foot in my imagination is an expected occupational hazard. Â This vocation dovetails nicely with being a Piscean.
As I said, pi is a transcendental number. Â What does that mean? Itâ€™s not the kind of transcendental that we gain through the practice of meditation or by learning about eastern religions or philosophies. Â Pi is transcendental in a mathematical way, as it is not the root of any non-zero polynomial having rational coefficients. Not being mathy, that doesnâ€™t mean a whole lot to me. Â I do like the idea of both irrationality and transcendentalism being associated with my birthday, however. Â I think it introduces something magical. And yes, I do believe that magical things can happen. Â I guess Iâ€™m irrational after all.
Iâ€™ve long considered Albert Einstein the Patron Saint of Pi Day babies. Â This was a guy steeped in science and mathematics, who was also a dreamer. Â I imagine him riding his bicycle around Princeton, letting his magnificent mind ponder and wander; making the amazing connections he is known for. Â I have always had eclectic and wide-ranging interests and I take heart in the diversity of his role models, from Isaac Newton to Ghandi, and that he was a musician and a scientist. Â He once said, â€œThe most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. Â It is the source of all true art and science.â€
It is difficult to witness the mysterious if we stick with a rational path. In my search for mystery and magic, I happily follow the model of Einstein and the example of pi – embracing the power of irrationality, allowing myself to transcend the ordinary and opening my mind the infinite Â possibilities available in life.
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