I wrote this in 2004:
This morning over breakfast, I said to my wife, "Happy π day!"
"Happy pie day? What the hell are you talking about?"
"No, not 'pie'," I said. "'π'."
"Not 'pie,' but 'pie.'" She was clearly not amused. "Isn't it a little early to be drinking?"
"Anne, look at the date on the calendar."
"Yes it's march 14th, and you're going to watch WrestleMania dos equis* with your brother." She frowned. "Are you trying to tell me that you're taking a pie to Jeremy's house? Because if you expect me to make you a pie . . ."
"No, I don't expect you to make me a pie." I said, well into that area where you've explained the joke so much, it's never going to be funny.
"Today is March fourteenth. That makes it 3.14 on the calendar. 3.14 is also known as π."
She blinked a few times.
"Oh. It's π day."
"Yes!" I said. "And at 1:59 pm, it will be even more π day. Isn't that cool!?"
She took a long, thoughtful drink from her coffee mug, carefully set it down and said, "You are such a nerd."
And to commemorate pi day in 2009:
I present this incredibly awesome song by my friend Chris Hardwick:
This year … well, I got nothin'. Except maybe … maybe we could use today's date as an excuse to talk about math with kids!
Yeah! Check this out: When I think back on my years in school, I realize that math wasn't hard, math was just boring. Until I got into high school and started solving equations in algebra, which were framed as puzzles for me to solve, math was always framed as this collection of facts that we just had to know by rote, because … well, nobody really knows why, we just do it and stop asking so many questions you damn troublemaking kid.
Maybe we could use today's date, 3.14, and its relation to π as an opportunity to show kids how numbers and mathematics are all around us all the time, like a secret language or something fun like that.
…or you could just watch the video Chris and Mike made and leave it at that. I'm not the boss of you.
Edited to add: Over at Geek Mom, they're doing a ton of fun math stuff for kids today that's all pi-centric. I highly recommend taking a look.