This is not your father’s Pi!

Despite a rapid start and quick spurt of massive progress, I still ended up taking over a year to complete my Advanced Communicator Silver (ACS) at Toastmasters.

Did I finish my DTM in 2013? No. Recalibrating my goal, looking at finishing in 2014 now.

I did finish my ALB (Advanced Leadership Bronze) in November 2013, and I completed my ACS in January. All that I have left now for DTM is ALS (Advanced Leadership Silver) and ACG (Advanced Communicator Silver).

The last speech I gave was Project #5 from the Speaking To Inform manual – The Abstract Concept. My project objectives were to

  • Research and analyze an abstract concept, theory, historical force, or social/political issue.
  • Present the ideas in a clear, interesting manner.

What I chose for my topic was Pi. The number, not the guy who befriends a tiger.


This is not your father’s Pi!

I was inspired to choose this topic after encountering the Harold Finch (Person of Interest) monologue about Pi – the idea that it contains every other number and that if we convert the decimals to numbers then it contains every word in every possible combination that ever existed. Harold Finch claims that the never ending, never repeating digits of Pi include everyone’s life story from beginning to end. If that’s true then it would also contain every speech I’ve ever given, even my next speech!

I took further inspiration when I saw a post from one of my Facebook friends that he found Jenny’s phone number in Pi. Not Jenny, as in Forest Gump’s girlfriend. Jenny, from the 80’s song by Tommy Tutone. Remember 867-5309? Well Jenny, Pi’s got your number. Past the 9 millionth position. And it’s in there 15 times in the first 200 million digits.

I did some research and found a website for searching through the first 200 million digits of Pi. I also found a chart of probabilities of finding strings of certain length in the first 100 million digits. The probability of finding a 10-digit sequence (e.g. phone number with area code) in the first 100 million digits of Pi is less than 1%. My Ice Breaker speech was 4,069 characters, so the chances of finding my next speech in the first 100 million digits are far less than a fraction of 1%. It’s not impossible and it’s probably in there somewhere; it’s just going to require sifting through a lot more than 100 million digits to find it. And that’s a crappy excuse for taking so long to come up with my speeches!

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2 Responses to This is not your father’s Pi!

  1. vsvevg says:

    How funny, I saw that program too, which wouldn’t be odd except that I live in the middle of nowhere have no tv and saw it on my second hand Ipad. I found the dialogue intersting too. congrats on completing your ACS. I bet your speach on pi was great.

  2. orestgtd says:

    Thanks for your comment, and congratulations on the second anniversary of your blog!

    Another funny thing about that program is that I never actually saw that episode. I’m aware of it only after seeing a reference one of my friends posted on Facebook.

    One of my aims in giving the speech was to make interesting and personal what could otherwise be a dry and technical subject. From the feedback I received, I think I accomplished that. And to make an abstract concept concrete for my audience I served up apple and blueberry pie at the end of my speech 🙂

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