September 17th, 2003


Help run my life.

Poll #181175 Where should Kerri and Jake have dinner?

Where should Kerri and Jake have dinner tonight?

Via Via IV
Ben & Jerry's
the burritza place
one of the new places up by Hot Pockets
that place where Montana used to be

UPDATE: We ended up going to Cafe Paragon. I had a pesto chicken sammich with fries, while kerri9494 had a blue cheese and bacon burger with fries. It was good!
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    some weird thing with Johnny Cash on WFMU
accordion santa

Annoying science fiction device detected

I started reading John Brunner's Meeting at Infinity. Early on in the book we encounter that hoary old bit of science fiction nonsense, the inconstant π:
Pi, it seemed, was invariant. However, certain deductions from curved-space mathematics indicated conditions under with it would assume values different from the familiar 3.1416. It would remain an irrational number of course. But the physical conditions for altering its value could be described.
So the guy creates a machine that creates an area where the value of π is different, and this turns out to be a way to reach alternative universes whose history differs from Earth's proportionately to the difference between its value of π and ours.

I think that this sort of thing comes from a misunderstanding of noneuclidean geometry (or, I suppose, a desire to annoy mathematicians). There are geometries where if you measure the circumference of a circle and divide it by the diameter you'll get a number other than 3.14159265... This doesn't change the value of the number π, though, and it has nothing to do with π's irrationality. It makes about as much sense to posit a universe where 2 has a different value.