Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Pi Day Filled with Fun

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Pi Day Filled with Fun

Article excerpt

HAWTHORNE -- The front door of the borough library swung open at exactly 9:26:53 on Saturday, beginning a day of events in which a community learned the value of the mysterious mathematical constant, pi.

For the first time this century, the calendar date, 3/14/15, matched the first five digits of the numeric value of pi, 3.1415. Tack on a library opening at 9:26:53, and you've got the first 10 digits of pi.

That's a pretty good start, until one considers that pi is believed to keep rolling on to infinity, picking up digits to the right of the decimal point that never repeat. Although mathematicians have carried out the pi calculation to an astounding 12 trillion digits, no one -- not even Albert Einstein, whose birthday coincidentally falls on March 14 -- could say the end is in sight.

With that mind-blowing concept in mind, the Louis Bay 2nd Library was one of the handful of locations that joined the international Pi Day celebration Saturday. The Friends of the Library baked pies and sold cookies in the shape of pi [pi-shaped cookie cutters are available online].

For library director Monica Smith, who dreamed up the local event, it was also a day of pie -- enough, no doubt, to last her the next 100 years.

Smith allowed herself to be the target in a pie-throwing contest in the backroom of the library that drew children, adults and even a few politicians, among them Assemblyman Tim Eustace, D-Maywood, and Hawthorne Democratic Councilman Joseph R. Wojtecki. Eustace's toss hit Smith squarely in the face, but Wojtecki's first throw sailed harmlessly over the librarian's head. "It must have been the wind," Wojtecki said sheepishly.

Pie throws -- shaving cream on a paper plate -- were $3 a pop, with all the money going to the library.

"I don't remember studying this in library school," Smith joked as she wiped her face. "But it's for a good cause and I'm happy to do it. …

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