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Martin Gardner Limerick - June 23, 2010
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Spiked Math Comic - Martin Gardner Limerick


The above limerick is attributed to Martin Gardner. My intention was to do a longer/better comic about Marin Gardner (perhaps in hexaflexagon form) who passed away last month on May 22, 2010. Perhaps some other day when I get the chance :P



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38 Comments

Oh well, i feel like nothing because i forgot about marin gardner for around 2 years, and now he's gone T_T.

Thanks for the tribute to the wonderful Martin Gardner. I like the poem.
But, it is not a limerick.

Pi goes on and on and on,
And e is just as cursed.
I wonder,
How does pi begin,
When its digits are reversed?

It's a stretch, but it can be interpreted as a limerick, don't get semantic about it, you punks.

The rhyming pattern of a Limerick: A,A,B,B,A. Example:
The limerick packs laughs anatomical
In space that is quite economical,
But the good ones I've seen
So seldom are clean,
And the clean ones so seldom are comical.

Though I agree with justnacl, the poem is neat.

Thanks, but that isn't a limerick.

1. Download the pi song from YouTube
2. Change the song to .wav file
3. Go to the recorder, and reverse it
4. Play XD

it would start with 7.

that's a weird concept, i wonder if it would actually be possible to calculate pi last digit, i mean there are an infinite number of digits between it and the first digit, but that doesn't mean that the final digit doesn't exist

Well, no, because the decimal development (Is that the right term) would break off, and the number would be rational. No matter how far out you go, there are always more digits. It would be like calculating the largest integer, it just can't be done! (And don't you dare say omega!)

Well, you have a 1 in 9 chance of getting it right, and hasnohat has taken 7.

I'm taking 3.

this is assuming that pi is normal, which is not necessarily true...

Details...

Normality is irrelevant. We only care about a single number, not if the number is at the end of an n length combination.

I also said nothing of the odds...

You said you had a 1 in 9 chance...

If all the numbers but one died out asymptotically, then not only could you have a reasonable-ish claim for what the last number is, but the odds would definitely not be 1 in 9.

OK, poor choice of words. What I meant was that by randomly picking a digit from 1-9 the probability of being right was 1/9 (Like going to a horse race and picking a horse to win; the local odds may differ, but you have the 1/n of getting the right one).

You can't use 0 as the final number because it would default to the last 1-9 digit.

It still doesn't make sense. You're trying to evaluate f(inf) where f(x) is the xth digit of pi. But pi the digits of pi do not converge to any digit. It's like computing sine of infinity.

More precisely, the last digit of pi could be defined as n=10^g(pi)*pi mod 10, where g(x) is the number of digits in x. This does not converge.

wouldnt it be a 1 in 10? 0 is a number too. also its like saying you have a 1 in 4 chance of picking the furthest vertex from the center of a square. just because there are 4 choices doesn't make any of them right.

zero might default in numbers of finite length but its possible that the final digit of an infinite number is zero, purely out of its lack of coherence with general numerical rules. I couldnt say for certain but I wouldnt rule it out

Thanks for sharing though, I enjoyed it

In _Godel,_Escher,_Bach_, I think it was, Hofstader has a picture of perspective (a railroad track) "from the other side". And, speaking of Martin Gardner, I still remember his Mad Meta-Poem:

One day,
A mad meta-poet,
With little to say,
Wrote a mad meta-poem
That started: "One day,
"A mad meta-poet,
"With little to say,
"Wrote a mad meta-poem
"That started: 'One day,
...
" 'To some sort of close.'
"Were the words that the poet,
"Finally chose,
"To bring his mad poem,
"To some sort of close".
Were the words that the poet,
Finally chose,
To bring his mad poem,
To some sort of close.

The mad metapoem actually ended:

"'Sort of close.'
Were the words that the poet,
Finally chose,
To bring his mad poem,
To some
Sort of close.
Were the words that the poet,
Finally chose,
To bring his mad poem,
To some
Sort of close...
"

i.e. it was infinite in both directions

But I did include both parts, with the elipsis in the middle for the infinite part. The first half adds a set of quotes with every cycle; the second half removes them.

I think it would be neat if pi were palindromic. So I vote for 3.

What if we just rewrote pi in base 1?

OK let's run with that using base 10 as an analogy.

So in base 10, 11.11 could really be written out as 1x10^1 + 1x10^0 + 1x1/10^1 + 1x1/10^2.

More generically, the representation of 11.11 in base N would be: 1xN^1 + 1xN^0 + 1x1/N^1 + 1x1/N^2.

Therefore in base 1, 11.11 would be calculated as 1x1^1 + 1x1^0 + 1x1/1^1 + 1x1/1^2 = 4. Similarly 11.1 or 1.11 or even 111 would be 3. Based on this reasoning, there does not exist a way to represent 3.141... in base 1.

However, it would be possible to write it in base 2, which means you'd have a 50/50 chance of picking the last digit correctly.

what about 111.000... 0001?

No, in base 2 it would be 1, as a decimal number wouldn't end in 0.

It also wouldn't end in 0, since it doesn't end. You have 0 chance of get it right.

But, since the only possibility for its last digit is 1, it's last digit must be 1.

0 is not a possibility. 1 is also not a possibility. So there is no possibility because it doesn't end.

or write it in base pi (which makes no less sense than base 1)

pi = 1

yay!

Wouldn't it be 10 in base pi?

riiiiiight! now I feel like an idiot...
well, given that irrational bases don't have unique representation, I'm sure there's another way to do it...

if you want a really irrational base use base 0 were every number is represented by an infinite series of 0's.

No, use base i.

Sort of on topic, but does anyone know of any projects to find entertaining sequences within the digits of pi like repetition or other patterns? Could all concievable patterns exist within the digits of pi?

If pi is a so called normal number (like e, if I'm not mistaken), then yes, every single conceivable combination can be found in it. However, we don't know if pi is normal or not (as was stated earlier.) Hope that answers your question.

Pi is a pi-adic integer when its digits are reversed. OLOLOLOLO

That being said, it means there is no beginning to it.

Of course it' is 0.. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (not a factorial mark!)

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