Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Value of Pi, No. 1 in the Series: Approaches to Science

As your moderator, let me say I am really looking forward to hearing what you have to offer concerning what the value of pi means to you. I am sure you know this concept is a very old one and was once thought of as an absolute value incapable of alteration. But thankfully with the changes taking place in our modern world we are becoming free from such rigid concepts imposed upon us by an elite who were not open to new ideas. And ideas are what this forum is all about.

So, let’s get rolling and please feel free to speak out with any ideas that you have relating to this wonderful subject. Who would like to start us off with their contribution?

Mrs. Henderson, I see your hand is up, what do you have for us?

Well, maybe because it’s that time of year, you know the holidays, I just want to say that I don’t think anyone has yet found a better dessert than pies. I know my family never get tired of pies, and there are so many different kinds of pies too, I mean it’s endless.

Miss Ferguson?

Our family has a tradition of deep dish apple pie I think is wonderful. Christmas just wouldn’t seem the same without it.

And Mrs. Hawkins?

I’m from the South and we have a sweet potato pie that is so wonderful. I always make it because it reminds me of the good times we had in Birmingham.

Good, good, let’s keep it going! Mrs. Larson?

I’m ashamed to say this, but as much as I love pie, I just can’t make a good crust, you know those light, fluffy crusts? My mother makes them and she tried to teach me, but no matter how hard I try they just never come out like hers.

Anyone? Can we help this lady out?

(From the back row) I believe the secret is not to mix the ingredients together to much. There needs to be little layers of shortening that don’t mix with the flour, that’s where the flakiness comes from.

Good, good, anyone else?

We always use lard. I think it makes the best crusts of anything I’ve tried.

I see nods of agreement. Another point anyone?

You know those ready made crusts are getting better all the time. They’re really nice if you just don’t have the time to roll out your own.

This is all great stuff ladies, see how far we can go just starting out with the concept of one little word? But let’s hear from some of you guys, what do you have to add? Mr ah, Hendrix, is it? You’ve had your hand up for some time?

Well this may sound kind of silly, but my father told the story about little Johnny in school. The teacher says Pi r square. Little Johnny says No, teacher, everybody knows Pies are round.

That’s a good one, Mr. Hendrix, that little Johnny sure is a card, isn’t he, and from his point of view, he’s right! and Mr. Stevens?

This is kind of off the subject, but our geometry teacher had a way to remember what he called the value of pi. It was "How I wish I could recollect of circle round, the exact relation Archimedes found." You see you count the letters in each word, except you need to drop one of the ells in recollect.

Ooh kay, Mr. Stevens, anyone else? Mr. Lawson?

Archimedes reminds me, does anyone remember that movie, Raiders of the Lost Arch? That was really a good one!

Mr. Epstein?

That was the lost ark, I think. Our rabbi talked about it one time, he said it was once pretty important. I believe it’s somewhere in Turkey?

Turkey, huh? Now we’re back in the holidays. Isn’t it amazing how everything connects up?We haven’t heard anything from you Mrs. Clyde, you look like you have something you want to say.

Oh, it’s just that when we were dating, my husband called me his little sweetie pie. I feel foolish even bringing it up. It’s not that important to anyone else, I suppose.

Oh, but it is important, Mrs. Clyde, because it’s something that involves you! And that’s what these meetings are all about, you, all of us have something unique to offer. Put them all together and we have new truths and that is how we move ahead, that is progress!

Mr. Moderator, what do you say is the value of pi?

To me, it is a launching point for new ideas. Who knows what it will lead to? But the Leader’s Guide says this, and it is only a starting point, remember. The value of pi is 3.141592. Well...we’re out of time. Can’t wait until next week, we’ll be discussing the molecular weight of sodium chloride. Let's see what we can come up with for that one. See ya.

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