National Pi Day

Today, March 14th, is the annual celebration of the mathematical constant π (pi). Pi Day is observed on March 14 (3/14 in the month/day format) since 3, 1, and 4 are the first three significant digits of π. And it is not just because some mathematicians got together and said so, on March 12, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution (111 H. Res. 224), recognizing March 14th as National Pi Day. So, its official… in a non-binding kind of way. Continue reading


This weekend we celebrate the 4th Sunday in Lent . In yesterday’s post we considered the purpose of miracles (signs) in the fourth gospel. Today, we will see how St. John treats the category of “sin.” In our passage, the concept of sin will be quickly introduced via the disciples’ question in v.2 : “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”  This reflects traditional Jewish speculation on the relationship of illness and sin. In 1st century Palestine, people commonly assumed that disease and disorders on both the personal and national level were due to sin, as summarized in the rabbinic saying from around 300 CE that “there is no death without sin and there is no suffering without iniquity” (b. shabbat 55a). Continue reading