December 20, 2006

[Update] Pi. . .or is it?

Ok, the pi question has been answered. Ready for it? Here's the e-mail I got in reply:

Michael Snively,

Your comments on pi were passed on to me from customer service. Others have pointed this out as well. The artist is not a mathematician and mistakenly took selected pages from a book of pi, resulting in the error. His concept was to intentionally depart from standard kinds of time line facts and the pi was one among many pieces of somewhat random and quirky pieces of information intended to give a sense of scale to geologic time. I hope you were able to enjoy the piece despite the error and appreciate you taking the time to write.

Sincerely,
Mary Priester


So there you have it, artists have no mathematical abilities at all. Although it was nice to get a reply, I was left feeling incomplete. Which book wrote pi like that? Was it an early approximation? Who's approximation?

I did some more digging and found this website:



http://www.o4r.org/publications/pf_v4n3/PiUnderground.htm



This website was MUCH more helpful in describing the discrepancy. I've highlighted the important bits on the following website:



http://jzzsxm.googlepages.com/O4RUndergroundPi.htm



Don't understand the thing about alcohol at the bottom? Well, you're not g33ky enough I guess. I'll give you a hint, look at the number of letters in each word. . .