Super Pi Day!

This Saturday, March 14th, 2015 is Super Pi Day!happy-pi-day

Pi Day is the celebration of the irrational number that calculates the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Commonly expressed as 3.14159 or simply 3.14, the ending of Pi has actually never been determined. Some mathematicians have calculated up to billions or even trillions of decimal places! Here, the Pi Day website shares one million digits of Pi. Even more fascinating, these numbers are said to continue infinitely without repetition or pattern! The theory lies in understanding that squaring a circle would be impossible, thus calculating an ending to Pi would be equally unlikely. Educator Reynaldo Lopes explains the nature and applications of Pi in his TedEd lecture:


This Saturday is considered “Super” Pi Day because the date precisely reflects the first few digits:



To get even more precise, if one notes the time at 9:26 a.m., 54 seconds, it’s even more super!

3/14/15, 9:26:54


That is exactly what the University of Arizona plans to do during their Science City event this weekend, held in conjunction with the Tucson Festival of Books. Right before 9:27 a.m., Science City will host a Super Pi Kickoff, at their “Super Pi Zone.” Details here.

If you can’t visit our neighbors in Pima County this weekend, but still want to learn more about this fascinating number, here are some links and books in our collection.

Happy Super Pi Day everyone!

On the Web:

Exploratorium – Pi related crafts, activities, and links
Tucson Festival of Book’s Super Pi Day Official Facebook Page Activities page


indexThe Joy of Pi
by David Blatner
“No number has captured the attention and imagination of people throughout the ages as much as the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Pi is infinite and, inThe Joy of pi, it proves to be infinitely intriguing.” – Walker & Co Publishing
pi a biography

Pi: A Biography of the World’s Most Mysterious Number
by Alfred Posamentier
“We all learned that the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter is called pi and that the value of this algebraic symbol is roughly 3.14. What we weren’t told, though, is that behind this seemingly mundane fact is a world of mystery, which has fascinated mathematicians from ancient times to the present. Simply put, pi is weird.” – Prometheus Books

index (1)Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi: A Math Adventure

by Cindy Neuschwander
“When Sir Cumference drinks a potion which turns him into a dragon, his son Radius searches for the magic number known as pi which will restore him to his former shape.” – Charlesbridge Publishing
index (2) Why Pi?
by Johnny Ball
“This entertaining follow-up to DK’s popular Go Figure!, Why Pi? presents even more mind-bending ways to think about numbers. This time, author Johnny Ball focuses on how people have used numbers to measure things through the ages, from the ways the ancient Egyptians measured the pyramids to how modern scientists measure time and space.” – DK Publishing

download The Joy of Mathematics: The Great Courses DVD

by Lawrence Lessig
“Ready to exercise those brain cells? Humans have been having fun with mathematics for thousands of years. Along the way, they’ve discovered the amazing utility of this field—in science, engineering, finance, games of chance, and many other aspects of life. This course of 24 half-hour lectures celebrates the sheer joy of mathematics, taught by a mathematician who is literally a magician with numbers.” – Teaching Company Publishing

World Environment Day Selections

Today is World Environment Day! Similar to Earth Day, World Environment Day was founded by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in order to raise global awareness of environmental issues.

Use this observance day as inspiration for checking out some Pinal County Libraries’ books and DVDs about environmental impact!

CosmoGirlCosmoGirl 250 things you can do to green the world (2009). By CosmoGirl. Hearst Books. Today’s teenagers want to make a difference…and they can. Simply by following the 250 fabulous tips in this ultra-portable guide, they’ll instantly become environmental defenders. It presents unique, teen-friendly ideas that girls can really get excited about and do.


Do One Green Thing : Saving the Earth Through Simple, Everyday Choices (2010). By Mindy Pennybacker. St. Martin’s Griffin. Presents green decision making in bite-size pieces, with simple choose it or lose it comparisons throughout, from how drinking filtered water can help save oil to how skipping red meat at least one day a week can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Ecological-IntelligenceEcological Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy Can Change Everything (2009). By Daniel Goleman. Broadway Books.  Both individuals and companies suffer from collective self-deception and blind spots in their thinking about the environment and their impact upon it. Goleman explains the role of psychology in these decision making processes.

No-Impact-ManNo Impact Man (2009). Directed by Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein. Oscilliscope Pictures. Filmmakers follow author Colin Beavan as he embarks on a challenge to live one year with as little impact on the environment as possible.

On-extinctionOn Extinction: How We Became Estranged from Nature (2012). By Melanie Challenger. Counterpoint. Realizing the link between her own estrangement from nature and the cultural shifts that led to a dramatic rise in extinctions, award-winning writer Melanie Challenger travels in search of the stories behind these losses. From an exploration of an abandoned mine in England to an Antarctic sea voyage to South Georgia’s old whaling stations, from a sojourn in South America to a stay among an Inuit community in Canada, she uncovers species, cultures, and industries touched by extinction. Accompanying her on this journey are the thoughts of anthropologists, biologists, and philosophers who have come before her.

Happy Reading!

Memorial Day Selections

In honor of Memorial Day, the Pinal County Libraries will be closed on Monday, May 27th. Keep yourself entertained this long weekend with some reading commemorating our American veterans!


The World War II Memorial: A Grateful Nation Remembers (2004). Edited by Douglas Brinkley. Smithsonian Books. Published in conjunction with the dedication of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., veterans—including George H.W. Bush, Sen. Daniel Inouye, former senators Bob Dole and George McGovern, Yogi Berra, and many, many others—contribute their own personal stories while leading historians look at the military campaigns of the war.

Biography      Where-Men-Win-Glory

Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman (2009). By Jon Krakauer. Doubleday.
Biographer Krakauer draws on Tillman’s journals and letters, interviews with his wife and friends, conversations with the soldiers who served alongside him, and extensive research in Afghanistan to render this driven, complex, and uncommonly compelling figure as well as the definitive account of the events and actions that led to his death.

Fiction – AdultThe-Things-They-Carried

The Things They Carried: A Work of Fiction (1990). By Tim O’Brien. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Following a platoon of American soldiers in the Vietnam War, this Pulitzer Prize finalist and critically acclaimed collection of short stories has proved itself to be an enduring classic of contemporary literature.

Feature FilmsSaving-Private-Ryan

Saving Private Ryan (1998). Directed by Steven Spielberg. Dreamworks. American epic war film set during the invasion of Normandy in World War II. Starring Tom Hanks and Matt Damon.

Fiction – Young AdultAndersonville

Andersonville (1993). By MacKinlay Kantor. Plume. Acclaimed as the greatest novel ever written about the War Between the States, this searing Pulitzer Prize-winning book captures all the glory and shame of America’s most tragic conflict in the vivid, crowded world of Andersonville, and the people who lived outside its barricades.

Fiction – Kids O-Say-Can-You-See

O, Say Can You See?: American Symbols and Landmarks (2004). By Sheila Keenan. Scholastic, Ages 4 – 8. A celebration of twenty of America’s important places, interesting objects, and national holidays.

Additional resources:

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – Memorial Day resources guide

Federal Government – Memorial Day observance page

The White House – Presidential Proclamation – Memorial Day 2013