Get irrational: 3.14 things to do on Pi Day

2. Pass the pi(e)

AP Photo/Matthew Mead
A coconut cream pie is shown in this February 2012 photo. March 14 is Pi Day.

Pi Day is often a time for indulging in sweets through competitive pie-making, pie-eating, and celebratory pie-sampling.

The earliest known Pi Day celebration was a staff party organized by Larry Shaw in 1988 at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. The Exploratorium has continued the tradition every year since, holding activities for the public when the holiday falls on a weekday.

Ron Hipschman, senior unix system administrator at the Exploratorium, helped organize the staff's first Pi Day events. He says the celebrations started out as a fun way to bring the Exploratorium staff together.

“The Exporatorium staff being maybe a little quirkier than most corporate staffs, we thought that we could do this Pi Day thing," Mr. Hipschman says.

Today, the Exploratorium has organized everything from pi processions to “piem” and “piku” (pi-themed poem and haiku) readings and even pie fights.

The museum celebrates its 25th annual Pi Day celebration with the usual rituals and pie tasting, as well as some new activities, according to a press release. The Exploratorium will present a new pi shrine for the museum, which recently relocated. At 1:59 p.m., the museum will hold an aerial tribute called “Pi in the Sky,” where five synchronized aircraft will skywrite the first 314 digits of pi.

It’s not unusual to see 20 different Pi Day T-shirts amid the participants at the Exploratorium on Pi Day, Hipschman says.

“I enjoy all of the T-shirts and hats people bring to Pi Day, and the jewelry. People really make an effort.”

There are several public contests in the United States alone, including the annual Pi(e) Day Party in Washington, D.C., and the Princeton, N.J., pie-making contest.

If you love to bake pies but don’t have any contests near you, enter an online pie-making contest. The Instructible and Serious Eats Pie Contest is accepting entries internationally for the best pie recipes and photos. The contest, which runs until March 18 at midnight, offers a grand prize of an iPad, as well as a special pie baking prize package from King Arthur Flour, and other items.

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