Good and evil is not black and white,
but a million shades of grey
A popular expression used in English is “one in a million”. It can be used to describe a lot of things, from events to phenomena to people, for their rarity. However, with the world population at 7 billion these days, if describing people, it’s no longer that much of a compliment.
The wealth of Hosni Mubarak has been estimated to be somewhere between $40-70 Billion! That’s Billions, not millions. (CBC, via MSNBC)
That’s an unbelievable number! I mean, I knew the guy wasn’t poor, but having that many billions???
Billions is a big of a difficult number to comprehend besides the actual number, so here is some context as to how much wealth that is.
Today, March 14 (when this was posted), is Pi Day. March 14th’s date is often written as 3-14, which contains the first three digits of π, so it is chosen as Pi Day. Coincidentally, but rather symbolically appropriate, it is also Albert Einstein’s birthday, and few other dates could be more appropriate in my opinion. That is unless you count Feb 7 as 2-7 and really approximate the natural logarithm e to a useless 2 digits. Geekier people can celebrate Pi Minute at 1:59 AM (24 hour clock only) or 1:59 PM (12 hour clock) on March 14, since 3.14159 is a longer extension of the Pi decimal. I would argue for something like 3:54:32 PM because on the 24 hour clock, 15.935 hours is that time, but that’s probably too geeky even for the mainstream Pi Day celebrators. Mind you, some of them celebrate Pi Second at precisely at 1:59:26 AM or PM on the 12 hour clock, with decimals of a second being really optional to any number of 5-3-5 tenths, hundredths or thousandths of a second. Too short to even let out a scream, though!
So far, I’ve written this article with only a link to π, as if you knew enough about it to get the rest of that first paragraph. You probably do, but in case you don’t, here’s a shortened plain language version.
If you divide the length of a ring by the straight line distance across that ring through the centre, you will always get π. The more precisely you could measure those distances, meaning like to some ridiculously small unit of measure and that you’ve got the correct measure of a perfect ring, the more precise a value of π you will get with more and more decimals. One beauty of π is that while it is always the same, its exact value will never be known because it is what is known as an irrational number, which’s decimals never repeat. You can see π to one million decimals here for yourself if you want to satisfy yourself (might be 100,000 when you find it pending traffic on the server)! Talk about a good way to impress your teacher! The University of Tokyo supposedly has π calculated out to 200 million digits, but that takes 4.2 GB to download so I’ll leave it at that. In being an irrational number, though, no fraction can represent π. It is sometimes approximated as a fraction of 22/7, but that is not correct. So thank goodness for symbolic representations, eh?
Pi has a lot of beauties to it, both within the number and without in relation to where it appears in the physical relationships of scientific phenomena. If you don’t believe there is a higher being of some sort, seeing the order of the universe involving π almost certainly will make you believe. If you’re still not convinced, I suggest researching the same thing for the natural logarithm e which is the base of all things as it occurs mathematically and naturally, unconstrained by cultures that count by 10, 2 (computers) or some other base. The previous link to π on Wikipedia will tell of many of the beauties of π, with additional links. The Pi Search Page also contains a load, including trivia, frequency of repeating patterns of digit strings, etc. Really geeky stuff on both links, but you know you’d love it so click on through to learn and appreciate!
So with all the amazingness of π to celebrate, how could one sufficiently acknowledge it all? Well, simple, because π is all about simplicity despite its complexity. That is actually a life philosophy of mine, that the simplest things aren’t actually simple. They are only made that way by all the complex details behind it so you had better be prepared to be overwhelmed if you’re going to study or tackle the simplicity of anything, rather than thinking it’s going to be easy!
Geekier folks will add discussing the importance, relevance, properties or other matters involving Pi. I’m coming close with blogging since that isn’t truly a “discussion”. But by discussing Pi, I mean Pi without an e, over Pie with an e, but I’ll take discussing Pi with an e over Pi with an e as well.
In this unhealthy age, walking around something would be good, if only to burn off the pie. Striving for a close to perfect circle as your walking path would be outgeeking yourself.
With Daylight Standard Time having gotten switched at 2 AM this morning, in places that switch, it was a momentous way to celebrate Pi Minute by altering time the minute after. Too bad it doesn’t occur every year!
I am posting this at 1:59 PM my local time as a second Pi Minute celebration. Am I geeky or what, eh???
I’m one hour short with the “spring ahead” clock change, so I’m going to metaphorically be running around all day. If you’re not familiar with English expressions, “running around all day” means keeping busy or doing all kinds of things, whether that is work, chores or someone else. Um, if you’re not familiar with English expressions, you can research that last one. I couldn’t help it with my sense of humour after all the geeky humour leading up to it.
My metaphorical running around all day will literally include a circular 12K running route that isn’t that circular in shape, but goes around part of the peninsula on which I live to end up where I started and close it off. The route will also go around several landmarks.
How will you celebrate Pi Day?
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 9.7
I listen to a lot of music, but a lot of older music. That’s because there’s not a lot of new music played on the radio that excites me. Most actually annoy me so much I can’t stand leaving it on for long. Of course, that doesn’t mean there isn’t great music these days. It’s just a lot harder to come by, it seems. However, I am sometimes shocked by how “out of it” I am not to have heard about certain musicians who have been very successful and who makes, performs and/or sings great music. Well, I had one of those moments tonight with Georgian-born British singer Ketevan “Katie” Melua and her music.
I routinely listen to the many channels of the Internet radio site Iceberg Radio, varying them based on how I’m feeling. But a lot of the stuff I listen to there are old stuff. I just happened to have decided to put it on the Love Song Radio channel tonight (under Adult Contemporary, then Love Songs) and was cleaning house when Katie’s The Closest Thing to Crazy came on.
Stopped me dead in my tracks, the soft and basic nature of the song, then the voice, then the concept chorus because by the time I got my thoughts together on all that other stuff I was hearing, the song had it the chorus.
This is the closest thing to crazy that I have ever been
Never mind the rest of it for now, though it’s beautiful. I just liked the concept of how she spun that old concept of being crazy in love as coming close to that edge rather than just the old going overboard mindlessly. She is aware of all of what’s going on, but can’t help it, it seems, and I loved that helpless sense of losing control conveyed. And then the rest of the chorus:
This is the closest thing to crazy I have ever been
Feeling twenty-two, acting seventeen,
This is the nearest thing to crazy I have ever known,
I was never crazy on my own…
And now I know that there’s a link between the two,
Being close to craziness and being close to you. (Full lyrics, video with lyrics)
Basically, in half a song, one chorus, one line, she had me!
Research after I returned to reality show that the song was written by British based songwriter, musician, producer and Deputy Chairman of the British Phonographic Industry (2009), Mike Batt, in 1995. However, his version of it on MySpace (Track 1) just doesn’t have the same impact on me, even if it’s nice. It was Katie’s performance abilities that gave the song its magic to me to put it over good to great. Poor guy, but I can empathize, having heard other people sing my songs better. The one song I have on MySpace, beautifully sung by Lis Soderberg, is the perfect example.
Now, Katie Melua was new to me, but I wasn’t naive enough to think someone like her was not successful. I knew this was an instance where I had just “missed the boat” and “showing my age” (which I rarely do). What I didn’t know was how much I had missed the boat on this one as Katie was the United Kingdom’s biggest-selling female artist and Europe’s highest selling European female artist in 2006!
Wow! Talk about missing the boat! It’s like the sailboat left, gone several times around the world and came back and I hadn’t known!
But you know, I’m not going to entirely take the blame on this one. None of my friends ever said anything about Katie’s music. Many of them are musicians and/or are pretty into the latest music, but not a word of Katie’s music has ever been mentioned. And as for the Halifax (Nova Scotia) radio stations, when they ever played her music I don’t know but I’ve never heard it. For all the modern crap they play, you’d think they’d recognize a modern gem to play more often when they could!
Ah, ’tis the joy of discovery, and what led me to look her up on YouTube to learn more about her. There, I found some fabulous videos of her and her music, some of which have had over 3 million views. Yep, she’s pretty famous, all right, and I’m just a hermit in this case!
So is anybody reading this not heard of Katie Melua? Tell me if so, or just take a stab at telling me how much I need to “get out” more or something! 🙂
LOVE the lyrics on this one! Katie seems to like correlation and causality lyrics! 🙂
And another lovely song among many, which I’m having trouble stopping myself from including them all!
One more. A provocative one.