## Happy Tau Day!

June 28, 2021I have for many years enjoyed celebrating each 14th March as Pi Day, in honour of pi = 3.14…. However, I have been persuaded that Tau Day is at least as important if not more so.

The value of Tau = 2pi and is thus celebrated on 28th June (6.28). Why this is important is explained in this good short piece from ScienceNews.

“The simplest way to see the failure of pi is to consider angles, which in mathematics are typically measured in radians. Pi is the number of radians in half a circle, not a whole circle. That makes things confusing: For example, the angle at the tip of a slice of pizza — an eighth of a pie — isn’t π/8, but π/4. In contrast, using tau, the pizza-slice angle is simply τ/8. Put another way, tau is the number of radians in a full circle.

That factor of two is a big deal. Trigonometry — the study of the angles and lines found in shapes such as triangles — can be a confusing whirlwind for students, full of blindly plugging numbers into calculators. That’s especially true when it comes to sine and cosine, two important functions in trigonometry. Many trigonometry problems involve calculating the sine or cosine of an angle. When graphed, the two functions look like a series of wiggles, shaped a bit like an “S” on its side, that repeat the same values every 2π. That means pi covers only half of an S. Tau, on the other hand, covers the full wiggle, a more intuitive measure.”

So, Happy Tau Day to you all!

## Poem: Before Time

June 28, 2021

In a time

once upon a time

when time was fluid

and not restrained

by time zones

invented for train

schedules

in a time before

Columbus tripped over

the Americas,

before Marco Polo

invented China

in a time before

the pyramids

and writing

and agriculture

and fire

in a time before

dinosaurs and

the time before

the first fish

in a time before

the earth moved

when continents shifted

and mountains lifted

before the time

when green algae

was the top of the heap

before the time

when green algae

had an empire

wider than the Romans

or the British

before the time

when green algae

gripped both poles

with both hands

before the far away time

when green algae

grew from the heat

of the furnace

that the earth was still

and the under-earth was un-still

bubbling and oozing

through the ground

all the time

in a time before

asteroids banged the earth

in a regular beat

as a drum

keeps time

in a marching band

in a time before

the rocks fell

from the spinning disc of gas

to create the earth

before that time

maybe then

I didn’t love you