Monday, March 17, 2014

Pi Day

In 2010 the Princeton Tour Company joined up with Princeton Public Library, the Princeton Historical Society and other groups for a new event: celebrate Albert Einstein's birthday on March 14, which is also Pi Day (get it: 3.14). Einstein lived at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton for over 20 years and became a local legend, as well as an international personality.

Past events have included Einstein look-alike contests, reciting pi to as many digits as possible, and pie eating contests. In 2013, Ashley and I rode the Dinky with Einstein and his friends.

New for 2014 was "Princeton Light up the Night" -- an evening 3.14 mile bike ride around Community Park in Princeton. Participants wore a red blinking light that was synchronized with each other. Given the miserable weather we have had this winter, organizers were fortunate the event went off without snow and with temperatures (barely) above freezing. Their back up date was July 22- 22/7 is a close approximation to pi (3.14). Everyone was glad it took place on the real Pi Day.

The idea was that together they would look like a bunch of fireflies. 

Here they are when the red lights are dark:

Red blinking lights:

The lights on the back of Don and Ashley's helmets.

I stayed in one place and took pictures, which is not an easy feat with blinking lights. Next time I'll bring a tripod.

Don and Ashley enjoyed the ride. I thought about running alongside, but it was dark and not that warm. Maybe next year they'll do a 3.14 mile run. Next year Pi Day will be on Saturday 3.14.15, at 9:26 will be Pi to seven decimal places. Looking forward to the hoopla associated with that.

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