Month: March 2012

Pi in Pubmed

On March 14th, 2012 (3/14/2012), it was Pi day. According to Wikipedia, Pi (π) is a mathematical constant that is the ratio of any Euclidean circle’s circumference to its diameter. While others estimated π using Monte Carlo in R or declared π is wrong, I tried to see how many times the pi value is cited in Pubmed, a database of references and abstracts on life sciences and biomedical topics. And here are the results (please note the log y-axis):

Pi citations in Pubmed (March 2012)

Pi Occurences
3.14159 1
3.1415 1
3.141 110
3.14 11726

I know it has little meaning: very often the string of numbers in the pi value was not there for pi itself but for other reasons. I thought it was fun, that’s all.

Holi hai!

March 7th, 2012 is Holi! It is first a Hindu spring festival celebration but it is also known as the festival of colours. The main day is celebrated by people throwing scented powder and perfume at each other. Bonfires are lit on the eve of the festival (more info on Wikipedia).

Now compare how a movie showed Holi in 1981 (“Silsila“):

With a movie showing a Holi celebration in 2010 (“Action_Replayy“):


In Belgium, at least two celebrations are planned:

  • one in Leuven, organised by ISAL, on March 10th, 2012;
  • the other one in Brussels, organised by InBAG, on March 24th, 2012.