March 14th – The Life of Pi

March 14, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning mathematical constant fans. Today is Tuesday, March 14, 2017. Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

Pi Day

Pi Day is celebrated today because March 14th (3·14) represents the number used in mathematics to represent, the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, which is approximately 3.14159. Pi has been calculated to over one trillion digits beyond its decimal point. It is an irrational number and will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern. The Greek letter “π” (Pi) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent it.
Coincidentally, or perhaps not,  Albert Einstein, one the best mathematicians ever, was born on this date in 1879. If you are a mathematician, solve an equation that involves the use of “π”. If you are not a mathematician, have a slice of Pi(e), or better yet, 3.14 pieces. Maybe not the healthiest decision, but certainly appropriate.

International Ask a Question Day

Did you know that today is Ask a Question Day? There, I have just started celebrating. Have you heard the old adage: “There are no stupid questions, only stupid answers?” Well, Ask a Question Day is the holiday to ask as many questions as you want.  Have you been curious about something, unclear about something, or perhaps just want more information on a given subject? If so, ask someone about it today.  The best way to learn is by asking questions. Albert Einstein once was quoted as saying, “The important thing is never to stop questioning.”

Learn About Butterflies Day

Butterflies are beautiful and delicate creatures. Soon, they will be flitting around your backyard going from flower to flower. Take some time today to learn more about butterflies, particularly those species of butterfly native to your region. Find out the types of flowers and plants they favor and plant some. This will attract them to your yard and give you hours of viewing opportunities.

Moth-er’s Day

No, that’s not a typo. Moth-er’s Day is a holiday set aside to honor moth collectors and specialists. In a world with so much natural beauty, there’s one creature that is often overlooked: the moth. Moths are often feared, disliked or ignored. While butterflies seem to get all the attention, some species of moths are just as colorful as butterflies.
Moth-er’s Day is a great opportunity to learn about moths and even get involved with their conservation. It’s an ideal study opportunity for children, who will be fascinated to learn more about the life cycle of egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, and moth.

You may be asking yourself: “What is the difference between a butterfly and a moth?” The answer is that butterflies and moths are closely related, and share many of the same characteristics such as wings covered with scales.
In general, butterflies are very colorful and are active during the day, whereas, moths are drably colored and active at night. However, Mother Nature, being the impish prankster that she is, created quite a few exceptions to the above rule. The most definitive way to tell them apart, if you can get close enough, is by their antennae. A butterflies antenna are shaped like a golf club, with a long stem with a ‘club’ at the end. A moth’s antennae are either single filament tapering to a point at the end, or are very complicated structures with many cross filaments, resembling radar antennas. For more information about moths and/or butterflies go to either this website or this one

Celebrate Scientists Day

Celebrate Scientists Day honors scientists. It is celebrated on the birthday of one of the world’s preeminent scientists – Albert Einstein. Einstein discovered the Theory of Relativity and was born on this date in 1879 in Ulm, Germany.

National Potato Chip Day    

Just about everyone likes potato chips. Potato chips come in a variety of styles; regular, thick-cut ridged, and kettle-cooked, and they come in so many different flavors these days it is often hard to decide which to choose. Some of the most popular flavors, besides original, are sour cream and onion, barbecue, and salt and vinegar; but there are more exotic flavors available in ethnic specialty shops, such as seaweed, buffalo wing, and ketchup.

You might be asking: All that is well and good, but, “Who invented the potato chip?” Well, according to the Snack Food Association, the potato chip was born on August 24, 1853, in an elegant dining room at the fashionable Moon Lake Lodge in Saratoga, New York. A testy older diner, Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt (yes of “the” Vanderbilt family), sent his food back to the kitchen, complaining that the fried potatoes were not sliced thin enough and were too soggy. The chef, George Crum, cut and fried a thinner batch, but these, too, were rejected. Equally testy, Crum decided to fight back by slicing the potatoes wafer-thin, frying them to a crisp in boiling oil and over-salting them. They were too crisp to eat: they could not be pierced with a fork without shattering, and no gentleman of the day would have dreamed of picking up food with his fingers at the dining table. However, to chef Crum’s  surprise, his fit of pique was rewarded with compliments to the chef: the Commodore much-loved the “crunch potato slices.” Other diners requested the potatoes (“I’ll have what he’s having”), and eventually, they appeared on the menu as Saratoga Chips, a house specialty. Soon the chips were packaged and sold, first locally, then throughout the New England area. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Celebrating this crunchy holiday is a no-brainer…have some of your favorite style and flavor potato chips, mundane or exotic, today. If you’re feeling adventurous, try making some homemade potato chips for a change. I know it’s a pain, but well worth the effort…at least you’ll be able to pronounce the ingredients.

More Holidays

On This Date

  • In 1489 – Catherine Cornaro, Queen of Cyprus, sold her kingdom to Venice. She was the last of the Lusignan dynasty.
  • In 1629 –  A Royal charter was granted to the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
  • In 1794 – Eli Whitney received a patent for his cotton gin.
  • In 1860 – The first baseball cap was designed.
  • In 1891 – The submarine Monarch laid telephone cable along the bottom of the English Channel to prepare for the first telephone links across the Channel.
  • In 1900 – United States currency went on the gold standard with the ratification of the Gold Standard Act.
  • In 1901 – Utah Governor Heber M. Wells vetoed a bill that would have relaxed restrictions on polygamy.
  • In 1903 – The Senate ratified the Hay-Herran Treaty that guaranteed the United States the right to build a canal at Panama. The Colombian Senate rejected the treaty.
  • In 1910 – The Lakeview Gusher in Kern County, California caused the largest accidental oil spill in history. The spill lasted 18 months and 9 million barrels of crude oil were released.
  • In 1914 – Henry Ford announced the new continuous motion method to assemble cars. The process decreased the time to make a car from 12½ hours to 93 minutes.
  • In 1923 – President Harding became the first U.S. President to file an income tax report.
  • In 1932 – George Eastman, the founder of the Kodak company, committed suicide.
  • In 1942 – For the first time in history, a dying patient’s life was saved by penicillin. Although some claim that the pioneering trials at the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford, England resulted in the first cures using penicillin, Orvan Hess, and John Bumstead are generally credited with the first documented successful treatment.
  • In 1943 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt became the first U.S. President to fly in an airplane while in office.
  • In 1947 – The United States signed a 99-year lease on naval bases in the Philippines.
  • In 1951 – U.N. forces recaptured Seoul for the second time during the Korean War.
  • In 1958 – The government suspended arms shipments to the Batista government of Cuba.
  • In 1960 – The leaders of Germany and Israel confer for the first time since the holocaust. Fifteen years after the end of World War II, West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion met at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York.
  • In 1964 – A Dallas jury found Jack Ruby guilty of the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald.
  • In 1967 – John F. Kennedy’s body was moved from a temporary grave to a permanent one.
  • In 1979 – At least 200 people were killed when a plane crashed into a factory in China. According to some sources, the plane had previously been stolen by the pilot who was not qualified to fly it.
  • In 1981 – Three Pakistani airline hijackers surrendered in Syria after they had exchanged 100 passengers and crewmen for 54 Pakistani prisoners.
  • In 1989 – Imported assault guns were banned in the U.S. under President George H.W. Bush.
  • In 1991 – The Birmingham Six were released. The 6 men had been wrongly sentenced to life imprisonment in 1975 for the IRA Birmingham pub bombings.
  • In 1995 – American astronaut Norman Thagard became the first American to enter space aboard a Russian rocket.
  • In 2002 – A Scottish appeals court upheld the conviction of a Libyan intelligence agent for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. A five-judge court ruled unanimously that Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi was guilty of bringing down the plane over Lockerbie, Scotland.
  • In 2003 – Robert Blake was released from jail on a $1.5 million bond. Blake had been jailed for the murder of his wife Bonny Lee Bakley.

Noteworthy Birthdays

If you were born on this date, Happy Birthday. You share your birthday with the following list of illustrious individuals – and about 20-million other people.

  • Lucy Hobbs Taylor 1833 – First female dentist.
  • Casey Jones 1864 – Railroad engineer.
  • Albert Einstein 1879 – Mathematician.
  • Les Brown 1912 – Band leader.
  • Max Shulman 1919 – Humorist.
  • Hank Ketcham 1920 – Cartoonist.
  • Frank Borman II 1928 – Astronaut.
  • Quincy Jones 1933 – Composer.
  • Michael Caine 1933 – Actor.
  • Eugene Cernan 1934 – Astronaut.
  • Raymond J. Barry 1939 – Actor.
  • Michael Martin Murphey 1945 – Singer/songwriter.
  • Billy Crystal 1948 – Actor, comedian.
  • Rick Dees 1950 – Radio personality.
  • Adrian Zmed 1954 – Actor.
  • Prince Albert 1958 – Member of Monaco’s royal family.
  • Tamara Tunie 1959 – Actress.
  • Chris Klein 1979 – Actor.
  • Kate Maberly 1982 – Actress.

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