I’ve a meme going around in my mind, which gave me pause and made me smile. It went: “Another day done and I didn’t need to know geometry.” Such a statement would have been enough to make both my mother and a carpenter cringe, but there it popped again into my mind simply because it was Pi-day, 3.14. (March 3, expressed digitally). This meme is a commonplace, but just as commonplace the many who remember exactly the numerical significance of 3.14 as PI. I also vaguely remembered it as the circumference of a circle using multiplication using the number, 3.14159. I’m fibbing. I didn’t actually remember the longer extension of the number, I had to look it up. When I did, I found also that it was codified as Archimedes’ constant. I not only didn’t remember the specifics of the formula, I couldn’t bring it to a constant, nor did I have the slightest idea of the properties which constitute a constant number.
When thinking about the days and dates of March, I couldn’t avoid thinking about the Ides of March (3.15), first day of spring (3.20), Ash Wednesday (3.6), St. Patrick’s day (3.17), soon resulting in March Madness (3.19). Spinning my thoughts back an d forward through meaningful days, I also stumbled upon the fact that the first Friday after Lent is considered to be national tarter sauce day. Useful to know.
In March, I pursue a mental geometry of alternatives: memory versus inquiry. I suspect that the Google universe is summarizing the known March universe with an eye to stealing our collective minds. It seems to me, too, that it may be my entirely new wrinkle on March Madness. By this I mean if I can Google something there’s no need to remember it. This may be a further danger in not remembering March days. My wife’s birthday is in March.
I just also found that to “throw a googly” in British slang means to ask an impossible question.” As much as it is amusing to find this factoid while pursuing March dates, it quickly led me deeper into both days and numbers. Such leaps and distractions do feel a bit mad and not altogether comforting. As the March winds blow, we all become tossed and turned and only comforted by having spring fever and March madness in common.