Last one out of the Kinjaverse, turn out the lights.
Last one out of the Kinjaverse, turn out the lights.

Otters Oddities

Illustration for article titled Otters Oddities

I see 3.1415926535897932384626433832 tentacles on that Cthulhu.

3.1415926535897932384626433832 tasty, tasty tentacles.

Ok. there's obviously more than pi tentacles on that pie. but who really cares? I made a pi joke about pie! I'm brilliant!


And by brilliant, I mean 'adept at filling space and word count in a daily post'.

Today is Thursday, and that means tomorrow is Friday. And we all love Friday, right? Because, for most of us, Fridays are the last day of the work week. And tomorrows Friday is an extra special Friday. It's Fourth of July Friday! Which means most American readers have the day off. If you're not in America and have to work, you have my sympathies. If you are in America and have to work, neener-neener! I don't!


But because tomorrow is the 4th of July, I am going to do something I rarely do. I'm taking a vacation day. Not from my job. I already have the day off. No, I'm taking the day off from Otters Oddities. No post from me tomorrow. Deal with it.

Todays post is concerned with pi. or pie. Or both.

Pi was first recorded about 1900 BCE by the Babylonians. It's probably older than that, since it had to be computed before it could be written down. It's unclear if the Babylonians came up with it, or if it was the Egyptians. Some say the Giza pyramid was built using pi, but that's probably a coincidence. Although, pie was used by the workers who built the pyramids.


Pie was first invented about 9500 BCE. Just like today, people back then needed a way to carry their lunch with them when they went to work. There were no fast food joints back then. (yes there were.....) Pies were something you could make at home, carry to the job site, and eat when you were hungry. It was portable food! Those first pies were also meat pies. Sweet pies didn't appear until....well....almost right away.

Those first pies weren't like the pies of today. They were flat and came in whatever shape they came in. People would take a piece of dough, flatten it, put food in the middle, then fold the dough over it. Cook, and done. The Egyptians liked to fill their dough with honey.


Neither the Egyptians or the Babylonians were totally accurate with their calculations of pi. But they were only off by 1%. Babylon recorded pi at 3.1250 and Egypt had it at 3.1605. Even the people of the Indus Valley got into the game. By 600 BCE, they had pi calculated to 3.088, later revised to 3.1622. Even the Hebrew bible tried to calculate pi. Although, they were wronger than anyone. They had pi at 3.

If I had 3 pie, I'd be fatter than an Arbuckle! The Greeks are thought to have added fat to the dough to make it into pastry. They also differentiated between 'baker' and 'pastry maker'. While the Egyptians used things like oats on their dough, the Greeks used flour and water with a dash of oil. Unless they used fat, rendered from slaughtered animals. (we call it lard). The addition of lard into a dough makes if fluffy and flaky. (ok wimps....butter works too, but not as well)


The Romans used the basic dough of flour and water to cover their pies. They would use the dough to keep the meat juices in. When served, they took off the crust and discarded it. They did, eventually, start to make smaller pies that had sweetmeats and eggs inside that they would eat the dough with. (no, sweetmeats aren't sugar coated meat. It's what candy is called. You generally hear it shortened to sweets)

Pi went through many stages where mathematicians would use various methods to get a more accurate value for pi. However, for all intents and purposes, calculating pi past 39 digits is pointless. For cosmological calculations, thirty none digits is what's needed to calculate the volume of the universe to within one atom. But that hasn't stopped people from trying.


The last time anyone seriously calculated pi, in 2010, they used 1,000 computers and spent 23 days calculating pi to the two quadrillionth digit.

Speaking of two quadrillion, that's about how many calories the average person consumes from pie in their lifetime. Well, not really. But if you've ever has a French Silk pie, it feels like it.


Now, go and use pi to make a perfectly round pie for me. Just not a pickle pie. Or a Green Bean, Mushroom and Cream Cheese pie.

*Authors Note*

Pickle pies are real. So is the Green Bean, Mushroom and Cream Cheese pie. There are some seriously messed up pies out there. What is wrong with people?

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