Why Beware The Ides Of March? Have Some Pi!

This Wednesday and Thursday will mark interesting occasions — one good, the other not so good (if your name is Caesar).

And the Internet can help you understand and enjoy both days.

March 14 marks “Pi Day,” a time to honor one of the most famous numbers around. You were likely introduced to this figure in high school math and learned Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.

The number starts at 3.14159265 and extends, well, forever. It is a mathematical constant, a unique number that shows up with stunning regularity in scientific descriptions and models of everything in the world around us.

Time for a Pi joke: What can’t you reason with Pi? Because it’s irrational.

This is where you chuckle….

Anyway, Pi is a number celebrity and you can learn just about everything you’d want to know about this number online. Below are a few of the more interesting sites to start your exploration of a number that has fascinated mathematicians and philosophers for more than 4,000 years:

Wikipedia: Pi
A good overview of Pi: Its history, how it’s calculated, why it’s an important concept and so on.

6 Things About Pi
Wired magazine compiled six interesting facts about Pi.

Last Digit Of Pi
Interesting talk on social change and world views as demonstrated by the quest for a rational Pi.

Beauty In Pi
An excellent Washington Post piece showing how Pi translates into stunning visual art pieces and images.

My Pi Day
Enter your birthday and the program will find where the numbers in your birth date appear in Pi. For example, if you enter a birth date of 09/18/1956, the program will tell you the numbers 09181956 appear starting at the 682,298th digit in the value of Pi.

On March 15, we mark an infamous occasion: The murder of Roman leader Julius Caesar on a day known as the Ides of March.

Now, the Ides was a special day long before Caesar’s death. The Romans referenced lunar phases during a month using points during the month known as Kalends, Nones and ideas, or roughly the first, middle and end of a month.

The Ides were typically around the middle of a month and referred to the first full moon.

Religious and social events were often associated with the Ides and it was, prior to Caesar, a rather benign event.

Today, we tend to associate the Ides with ominous occurences or portents of bad things coming.

“Beware the Ides of March” is the cliche used to warn people to be wary.

We owe all that to playwright William Shakespeare, whose drama, “Julius Caesar,” shaped our views of Caesar’s death and the day on which he died.

Below are some sites you can visit to learn more about the history of the Ides of March, as well as learn more about the assassination of Julius Caesar.

And, for the fun of it, I’ve also included a link to the classic pop group, The Ides Of March, which hit the Billboard Top 10 in 1970 with their song, “Vehicle.”

Wikipedia: The Ides Of March

Why Beware The Ides?

10 Reasons To Beware The Ides

The Real Story Behind Caesar’s Death

Julius Caesaer: The Play

The Ides Of March – Band

“Vehicle,” by The Ides Of March

Keith Darnay has worked in and written about the online world for more than two decades. His site is at www.darnay.com.

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