Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I Loves Me Some Pi

For some reason this number fascinates me. It's not so much the number itself I guess, but other peoples' obsession over reciting it. Back in March, I blogged about at 15 year-old from Salem, Virginia who recounted over 8,000 decimals from memory. Not too bad for a youngster.

Well... unfortunately, the poor kid's been numerically spanked, throttled, and decimated:

A Japanese mental health counselor recited pi to 100,000 decimal places from memory on Wednesday, setting what he claims to be a new world record.

One. Hundred. Thousand.

Any guess on how long might that take someone? How 'bout 16 hours.
Haraguchi, who began reciting pi at 9 a.m. Tuesday, reached his previous record of 83,431 digits Tuesday night, finishing exactly at 100,000 digits at 1:28 a.m. Wednesday....

This kind of shit leaves me in awe. For starters, it's an unbelievable feat of memorization. But outside of the "Because I can" rationale for doing such a thing, I can't begin to comprehend why. Thankfully, Haraguchi explains:
What I am aiming at is not just memorizing figures, I am thrilled by seeking a story in pi.

What that story might be isn't clear, but I'm guessing it involves a protagonist who's really, really lonely. Look for the bestseller to hit the shelves sometime next summer.

CoD? Editor's Note: The image in this post was used because it came up in a search for "pi". I felt it appropriate because, much like knowing 100,000 decimals of pi, it is utterly pointless.

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