Monday, January 10, 2011

No Pi for You

Apparently, March 14 isn't very important after all.

It's a new political season on Capitol Hill, only a few miles down the road from the American Physical Society headquarters. Our nearness to the political machinery in this country doesn't usually affect us much here. But the enthusiasm of the incoming 112th Congressional class has touched us just a bit this time around.

It seems that the newly installed Speaker of the House, John Boehner, has decided that the Congress wastes too much time on commemorative bills, like the ones congratulating little league teams for winning their playoffs, or bills establishing national potato week. Now that sounds fine to me - I'd rather our lawmakers make laws than produce useless bills.

But when I first heard about the change on NPR, reporter Andrea Seabrook specifically called out National Pi Day (March 14, or 3.14) as being an example of time-wasting legislation. It's hard to imagine that it's any better than any other silly commemorative act, but it doesn't sound any worse. And, of course, explaining it to someone may help brush up a bit of their math knowledge, which seems like a good thing. Also, March 14 happens to be Einstein's birthday.

Don't get me wrong, I am totally on board with Speaker Boehner's decision on this. Although, I'll be a bit surprised if all those commemorative bills don't start creeping back in to Congress over the next few years.

When it comes down to it, I just happen to think it's cool that National Pi Day got a special shout-out in a news story about how Congress is putting an end to shout-outs. Pi Day FTW!


  1. Minor quibble: It's spelled "Capitol", with an "o". But keep the physics and tech news coming!