A story of pi

A trivia question related to pi and my teammate’s subsequent recitation of pi to ten digits reminded me of this memory which I may not yet have shared here.

It was an evening get-together with several friends in the roofdeck garden of our home in the Philippines. After dinner, the conversation turned to geek superpowers, the little specialties and quirks we’d developed over time. The friend on my left started reciting the digits of pi. To my surprise, the friend on my right joined in – the same pace, the same digits, and I in the middle entranced by this melody of tenor and baritone. They went to about 100 digits head to head, then one dropped out; the other continued to 200 digits or so. It was as sublime a concert as I have ever listened to.

If you’re curious, you might want to check out the Wikipedia page on piphilology – the creation and use of techniques for remembering pi.

Like the way beauty often brings pleasure to viewers, my reaction to intellectual displays is closer to “Oooh, that’s awesome” than to “You have way too much free time.” W- and I have tons of geek moments, and I’m lucky to meet so many people who relish being geeky. Life is good.

2011-02-04 Fri 21:52

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