Tuesday: Hili dialogue

March 14, 2017 • 6:30 am

Good morning on March 14, 2017—one day before I head to New Zealand. The snow abated here in late morning yesterday, leaving us with only about three inches in Chicago. We may, however, get several inches of “lake effect” snow today. But the northeast U.S. is set for a huge blizzard, with up to 18 inches of snow falling some places. In the U.S,  it’s National Potato Chip Day, while everywhere else it’s “Pi Day“, celebrating the date, written American style, as 3/14: the first three digits of pi (3.14159. . . ad infinitum). Last year it was even better because it was 3/14/16. (It’s also Albert Einstein’s birthday; see below.) Here’s a lovely pi pie:

I have the sad duty to report the death of Amy Krouse Rosenthal,  a well known writer of children’s books, who passed away yesterday of ovarian cancer, just ten days after the publication of her heart-wrenching piece in the New York Times, “You may want to marry my husband.” an ineffably sad farewell to her life and a paean to her husband’s virtues, perhaps in hope that she could secure him a new wife. Rosenthal was only 51. Do read her testament.

On this day in 1592, it was the “Ultimate Pi Day”, with the maximum possible correspondence between the digits of the date, 3/14/1592, and the digits of pi: 3.14159265358979323846. . .  I doubt it was celebrated at the time. In 1794, Eli Whitney was granted a patent on the cotton gin, which transformed the cotton growing industry by allowing seeds to be extracted mechanically. On March 14, 1964, Jack Ruby was convicted of murdering Lee Harvey Oswald, John F. Kennedy’s assassin. Ruby, granted a new trial three years later, died just before it of lung cancer. On March 14 three years later, JFK’s body was moved to Arlington National Cemetery.

Notables born on this day include Johann Strauss (1804), Victor Emmanuel II  (1820, the first king of a united Italy), Paul Ehrlich (1854, Nobel Laureate for his work on immunology), Casey Jones (1863), Albert Einstein (1879), Sylvia Beach (1887), Hank Ketcham (1920, creator of the “Dennis the Menace” comic strip), Diane Arbus (1923), Michael Caine (1933), and Billy Crystal (1948). Those who died on this day included Jacob van Ruisdael, (1682), Karl Marx (1883), Chic Young (1973, creator of the “Blondie” comic strip), and Peter Graves (2010), Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Cyrus lets Hili know who could be the boss if he had the genes and the inclination:

Cyrus: It’s good that I like you.
Hili: Why?
Cyrus: Because if I didn’t like you I would eat you and that wouldn’t be good.
In Polish:
Cyrus: Dobrze, że cie lubię.
Hili: Dlaczego?
Cyrus: Bo jakbym cię nie lubił, to bym cię zjadł, a to byłoby nie dobrze.
And out in Winnipeg, Gus spent some time in the cold, which always turns his nose a bright pink (I’ve suggested that his staff could take pictures of the nose at various outdoor temperatures and use the color as a thermometer). This photo is called “Mr. Pink Nose wants in”. (Notice his long leash, required by local law.)

30 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

  1. Did anyone figure out the possible dates in pi yet? That is, all the six consecutive numbers that can read from left to right as a date, little or big endian?

    1. Since Pi is infinitely long, I would imagine it must contain every possible date somewhere in it.


        1. “The digits appear to be randomly distributed. In particular, the digit sequence of π is conjectured to satisfy a specific kind of statistical randomness, but to date no proof of this has been discovered”

          Source : Wikipedia

  2. Sorry to be a grinch, but I think Pi Day is pretty much confined to the US, since ‘everywhere else*’ it’s 14/3.
    (I have no idea how the date was conventionally written in 1592).
    It is National Pi Day after all; all the references on the Wikipedia Pi Day page are to US celebrations of it.

    There is also a National Pie Day (Jan 23rd) (with an ‘e’, thus co-opting that other great constant) sponsored by – the American Pie Council. (Lovely name, I wonder if they use Don McLean’s epic for a theme song?)

    However, elsewhere there is Pi Approximation Day which recognises 22/7 and dates back to Archimedes. The approximation, not the day. Apparently.

    * To a first approximation – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Date_format_by_country


    1. Yes, Pi Day is the 31st April, which I think is apt since Pi is a transcendental number and 31st April is a transcendental date (but in a different not-existing sense).

      However, if we agree to use ISO dates and ignore the year (to make it annual), we can then all agree on 14th March.

      1. ISO – that’s YYYY-MM-DD, isn’t it?

        There’s some logic in that, I’ve used it for files occasionally so they’ll sort into order automatically.

        But not all that many countries use it. Day-month-year is more common.


        1. Correct. ISO dates are used in computing almost universally where a textual date is needed that has to be more machine processable than human processable e.g. when a date is needed as a key in a database table. They can also be extended to include a time and a time zone.

          Of the three major date orders, the US one is the least logical.

        1. I read it, and had a good greet.

          Before she died (four years ago), Isobel used to say to me, “You’ll need to go out and find someone, Colin. You’ll be useless on your own!” It was her way of giving me permission to move on. I’m still working on it.

  3. We in the North East can report that the snow storm is true. It’s been snowing hard since some undermined hour late last night. We now have about 2.5 feet of snow and it’s still coming down in shopping bags full. If the power goes out I won’t be able to finish this senten

    1. I hope you stay safe and warm up there. I saw that the National Weather Service is calling the storm “life-threatening”.

      1. If power goes out, ya, I think some people depending on equipment could be at risk. We have a small Honda generator to keep our furnace running and chill the wine.

    1. They do have the first 30 digits – through the second to the last guy in the picture wearing 27. Next digit would be 9 – already used. Or they needed a guy wearing 95.

    2. O my ! THAT / they are just precious !
      Thank you, Mr George, for posting !

      My own mama turned 100 years old today, too ! This # though ? This # she turned … … inside her graveyard.

      Blue 🙂

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