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Eskimo Pi

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Author:Keith Devlin (Devlin's Angle)
Description: "As everyone knows, in the last century, the State of Indiana passed a law legislating the value of pi to be 3. Well, perhaps it's a bit of an exaggeration to say that everyone knows it, but most people do. But that alone is very odd, since it is not true. If you go and search the records of the Indiana House of Representatives, what you will find is that there was a bill passed that related to pi, House Bill No. 246 to be precise. What this 1897 bill did was offer the State of Indiana an angle trisection, a cube duplication, and a circle quadrature. Obviously, a misguided amateur mathematician had managed to persuade a legislator that he had something of value to offer." Also a discussion of the enduring myth of all the words Eskimos use to describe snow.

Levels: High School (9-12), College, Research
Languages: English
Resource Types: Articles
Math Topics: Pi, Constructions, History and Biography, Linguistics

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