(GOING LIVE ON 3.14.15 AT 9:26. *Five… four… three… two… [finger points]*)

Happy Pi Day! No, I don’t mean pie day. I mean Ratio of a Circle’s Circumference to Its Diameter Day! Or approximately 3.1415926, followed by a lot more digits, going on forever. It’s the universal number signifying the presence of an intelligent, sentient species. If we ever detect that number being beamed to us from space, it’s either from one of us, or there are Intelligent Beings out there, with both math and transmitters. My dog Captain Jack is pretty smart, but I don’t think he knows about pi. My cat Moonlight… well, she might.

Anyway, Pi Day comes around in a minor way every March 14. (3-14) But today is Pi Day Extreme: 3.14.15. That won’t happen again for a century!

Pi Day is also when the MIT Admissions Department sends out its notices of acceptance. In fact, according to the Boston Globe, this year’s admission notices will be released on Saturday, March 14, at 9:26 a.m. That works out to 3.1415926, which is pi to seven decimal places. I love MIT.

Here’s a video MIT prepared, depicting the admission notices going out en masse by quadcopter drones, set to Wagner’s *Ride of the Valkyries*:

What an irrational post.

Hah. I’m not irrational, but my numbers are!

At least they’re transcendental as well.

So I used pi as a tool for communicating with aliens and my sweetheart — an engineer — asked me, “How do you know they use base 10?” I didn’t have a good answer — my aliens are different enough from humans that base 10 is not the obvious choice. So should we be sending pi out in other bases as well?

Send it in base 2. It’s the closest to a universal system you can find; if you see only two symbols, it *must* be base 2.

There are only 10 types of people, those who get binary and those who don’t.

I would think we’d want to find a way to represent the ratio pictorially, without necessarily using a number. Or use the picture followed by the number in a lot of different bases. I should ask my daughter, who majored in math.

Pictorially sounds good.