Today is the day the Pi is celebrated by a unique group of people sometimes referred to as the ‘acolytes of the church of pi’.
Once a year these followers of Pi gather to celebrate all things Pi.
Falling on the 14th of March is also significant because in the US date format that would appear as 3.14 which are the first three digits of this well known seemingly infinite number.
Although not recognised as a world record holder (for not submitting the required evidence to Guinness), Akira Haraguchi, a 60-year-old mental health counselor in Japan has after accurately recited pi to 100,000 decimal places. It took him 16 hours.
The world record actually belongs to Chao Lu, a Chinese chemistry student, who rattled off 67,890 digits over 24 hours in 2005. (It took 26 video tapes to submit to Guinness.)
I feel for the guys and girls at Guinness, some poor individual had to sit down and cross check the entire 24 hours of Chao Lu reciting Pi with a printout. Not a job I’d envy!
I can understand why people are passionate about cetain things but to be able to memorize a number to 100,000 decimal places is to me something more than sheer passion. To me it’s an insight into the untapped potential of the human brain. If one person can do something, so can another.