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July 26, 2005


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I just stumbled across your blog and am busy reading back through the archives. I just spent 5 years living in Bucharest and am now living in Albania (we had a year in Prague in between). Your blog is really interesting and I'm enjoying the memories it stirs up. Keep it up- I'll be back often.

Mike Ralls

Speaking of math, can you recite Pi to the 83K digit?

This guy can:


He's a Japanese guy and the interesting thing is that the previous record holder (43K) was also Japanese.

Those wacky Japanese.

Doug M.

No, only to (counts on fingers) nine digits.

Of course, nine digits will let you estimate the circumference of a sphere the size of the Earth to within a millimeter. And 40 digits will let you circumnavigate the visible universe to within the diameter of a proton.

Doug M.


Mike, I know (of) some very cool algorithms to calculate pi incredibly quickly, including one that lets you calculate individual digits at whatever place you care to name. (That one is in base 16. There doesn't seem to be a base 10 equivalent.)

If you want six places accuracy and still want to calculate things quickly, there's the ancient Chinese approximation 355/113. Multiplying by 3 and 5 can be performed almost automatically, and the multiples of 113 are cake to memorize: 113, 226, 339, 452, 565, 678, 791, 904, 1017. The first seven are just n00 + 13 * n (well, so are the last two, but you have a carry involved).

I used to be a much better lightning calculator than I am now.

Dennis Brennan

How I want a drink (alcoholic, of course) after the heavy chapters involving quantum mechanics. Now, by God.

Randy McDonald

Danice McKellar made a cute Centauri.

Mike Ralls

Ah, I thought he had to have some algorithim trick to get that many. Still pretty damn impresive.

Oh, I'm sure this is an increadibly old math joke, but I found this comic funny:


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