UnNews:Man recites pi to 100,000 places, we're not sure why

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4 October2006

Side view of rolling out pie dough.

TOKYO, Japan - A Japanese mental health counselor recited pi to 100,000 decimal places from memory on Wednesday, proving he needs mental health counseling.

Akira Haraguchi, 60, needed more than 16 hours to recite the number to 100,000 decimal places. He made the attempt at a public hall in Kisarazu, just east of Tokyo, where the bustle from people coming and going drowned out his rapid monotone recitation, so no one is quite sure what he said.

Pi, for those who didn't go to high school, is a physical constant defined as the ratio of a circle's circumference (the outside, roundy part) to its diameter (a line that cuts it in half, into two bowl-shaped pieces suitable for soup).

Pi is usually written out to a maximum of three decimal places (3.142) in math textbooks and in engineering it is generally rounded to 3, so the reason for memorizing it to 100,000 digits is beyond us.

"What I am aiming at is not just memorizing figures, I am thrilled by seeking a story in pi," Haraguchi said, appearing to confuse pi with pie, the subject of numerous books, plays and poems.

Two local education officials joined 29 conference hall staff who worked in rotation to monitor Haraguchi for evidence of spontaneous combustion, or stigmata or something, anything interesting. Nothing was observed.

Passers-by were equally perplexed. "I thought there was going to be pie served." said Kazuki Yamamoto, while watching the spectacle.


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