Beauty of Pi

Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to it’s diameter. This ratio has been calculated to be approximately 3.141592653. An engineer designing a large circular building would not need a measurement any more accurate than that, but mathematicians have calculated Pi to billions of digits.

∏ (The symbol for Pi, may not display correctly in some browsers)

Website with many digits of pi in a beautiful layout.

Juggling at its Best

Jason Garfield : Check out his videos. He juggles 10 balls, 7 clubs and 10 rings. The Raspyni Brothers , one of the finest juggling duos in the world, have entertaining videos on their site too. The Passing Zone is another fantastic juggling duo. They were the first jugglers to pass 11 clubs. Now 17 and 14 year old Vova and Olga Galchenko juggle 12 clubs with ease. Vova beat Jason Garfield in the 2004 World Juggling Federation Advanced Clubs competition. Jason won the advanced balls competition.

The Infinite Hotel

Imagine a scenario in which you arrive at a hotel, hot, sweaty and impatient. Your mood is not improved when the clerk tells you that they have no record of your reservation and that the hotel is full. “There is nothing I can do, I’m afraid,” he intones officiously.

If you’re in an argumentative frame of mind and know some set theory, you might in an equally officious tone inform the clerk that the problem is not that the hotel is full, but rather that it is both full and finite.

You can explain that if the hotel were full but infinite (the above-mentioned Hilbert’s Hotel Infinity), there would be something he could do. He could tell the guest in room 1 to move into room 2; the original party in room 2 he could move into room 3, the previous occupant of room 3 he could move into room 4, and so on. In general, the hotel could move the guest in room N into room (N + 1). This action would deprive no party of a room yet would vacate room 1 into which you could now move.

John Allen Paulos retelling David Hilbert’s idea

How to watch the Grammys like a pro

Six years ago, I was suddenly promoted from a guy who made weird faces behind a drum set to an eligible Grammy bachelor. “Closing Time,” the big hit from my band, Semisonic, was nominated for best rock song. Though it had already faded from the charts, the moment was intoxicating: My family chatted avidly about the show, perhaps envisioning, as I did, a live cutaway shot of me and my two bandmates seated in our fashionable Grammy clothes… by Jacob Slichter

more from The New York Times

Keep the River on Your Right

In 1955, while a Fulbright scholar, a Manhattan painter named Tobias Schneebaum spent seven months in the Amazon basin with the Harakambut. When he returned to the US, he could no longer paint. What happened? Nearly 45 years later, filmmakers want Tobias, now 78 and suffering from Parkinson’s, to return to Peru. He refuses but allows that he will revisit the Asmat in New Guinea where he spent an idyllic time years before. That trip goes well, including a serendipitous meeting with Aipit, an aging native and once Tobias’ friend and lover. Tobias then agrees to go to Peru to look for the people whom he joined on a murderous raiding party. The scars of war remain as does fear.

from IMDB

I’m lovin’ it

In Spanish the McDonald’s slogan is “me encanta.” I put this into an on-line translation program and it translated it to “It enchants me.”