Pi Day 2010 Video Clips

21 March 2010

The video clips embedded in this posting were made on Pi Day 2010 (i.e. 3/14). I spent Pi Day 2010 playing in the Colorado desert of southwest California.

This first video clip was made in Rice, California (pop. 0). I bought a piece of pie (pecan) at the Crossroads Cafe in Parker, Arizona, and ate it in Rice.

This second video clip was shot at the RR trestle located along CA Hwy-62 between Vidal Jct. and Rice. This stretch of CA Hwy-62 is lined with rock banners and I made a rock banner Pi symbol.

This last video clip was shot at a cement slab that is located about a half mile south of where the Tamarisk Shoe Tree use to live. I made a Pi symbol using shoes that are stashed at the cement slab.

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A bit about zero

20 December 2009

I got up this morning with the intention of writing a bit about zero, but first I checked Twitter and came across the following tweet.

@RepublicOfMath I thought I had 3 apples, but I counted them; 0,1,2 and only had 2. RT @toddlee @t_uda retweet if we think 0 is a natural number?

I do something similar during class, but I use my fingers instead of apples.

I woke up this morning and decided to make sure I had all my fingers… 0, 1, 2, 3, 4… Doh! I’m missing a finger!

I (@MathBabbler) replied to the @RepublicOfMath tweet with the following tweet.

In the computing world, 0 is a natural number. It’s been the cause of many off-by-one errors.

Now… back to the bit I wanted to write about zero.

Add 0 to a quantity and the quantity remains unchanged; subtract 0 from a quantity and the quantity remains unchanged. But, multiply a quantity by zero and it becomes zero. Divide a quantity by zero and run the risk of crashing a computer. It’s okay to take nothing and divide-by something, but don’t even think about dividing something by nothing.

This almost as destructive as multiplying by zero: Raise a non-zero quantity to the power of zero and get one.

Zero factorial (written 0!) is one. What a great power of zero example: Take nothing (i.e. zero) and turn it into something (i.e. one). I wish I could factorialize all the zero pennies I have.

Zero is cool because it’s both a digit and a number. Plus, it is a digit in every number system from base-2 (binary) on up.

Zero is neither positive nor negative, yet +0 typically implies you have a positive quantity that is so small that it might was well be zero and -0 implies you have a negative quantity that is so close to zero that for all practical purposes its zero.

Is zero even or odd? Many consider it even, yet it’s odd to do arithmetic with it.