## Wednesday, March 12, 2008

### Teacher Potluck Carnival: The Pi Day Edition

Welcome to the Irrational Teacher Potluck Carnival for Pi Day 2008!
Pi Day and Pi Approximation Day are two holidays held to celebrate the mathematical constant π (pi). Pi Day is observed on March 14 (3/14 in American date format), due to π being equal to roughly 3.14. Sometimes it is celebrated on March 14 at 1:59 p.m. (commonly known as Pi Minute). If π is truncated to seven decimal places, it becomes 3.1415926, making March 14 at 1:59:26 p.m., Pi Second (or sometimes March 14, 1592 at 6:53:58 a.m.). Pi Approximation Day may be observed on any of several dates, most often July 22 (22/7 (European date format) is a popular approximation of π). March 14 also happens to be Albert Einstein's birthday.

The first Pi Day celebration was held at the San Francisco Exploratorium in 1988, with staff and public marching around one of its circular spaces, and then consuming fruit pies; the museum has since added pizza pies to its Pi Day menu.[1] The founder of Pi Day, the "Prince of Pi", is Larry Shaw,[2] now retired from the Exploratorium, but still helping out with the celebrations. They have also recently added the first Pi Day celebrations in Second Life.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology often mails out its acceptance letters to be delivered to prospective students on Pi Day.
See Wikipedia, Pi Day, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pi_Day (as of Mar. 14, 2008, 00:26 GMT).

Tomorrow we are celebrating ∏ Day with our ∏ Memorization Contest, a ∏ Day Sudoku, and, of course, pies! Chocolate pudding pie seems to be the kids' favorite, with blueberry and pumpkin coming in second.

But don't worry! Our recipes and education links are very rational. In fact, at least one is green for St. Patrick's Day. All our recipes are circular. Happy Pi Day!

FOOD

Let's start off with St. Pat's Pistachio Cookies. I got this recipe from my weekly mailing from King Arthur Flour. You get green cookies, which is fun! They suggest you use the Jell-o brand of Pistachio pudding for the best color.

I spent this past Saturday making my Apple Crumble Pie from cooks.com. I love pies. They are my favorite breakfast food. But making them? A mess! The crust I make is terrific but makes me too tense. Luckily, our store in the village now has a local frozen organic pie crust available. Amy has used two shells for a two crust pie. Still too much work for me. This apple pie has an easy crumble topping that works beautifully just as the recipe says it will. The crumble topping feels skimpy but trust the recipe and it will work. I love the sheen that the raw apples have with the flour and lemon water mixture. The last photo is of the first piece of pie from the pie tin. The flour and lemon juice mixture made a beautiful gel that was completely natural. Click on the image to see it full size.

Finally, my Amy has granted me permission to publish her "perfected" chocolate chip cookies. What does "perfected" mean? I don't get anymore cookies because she has no need to further test her recipe. She is in search of another recipe to perfect. It had better be something chocolate. Sorry, no photos. I ate the cookies.

2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (or just use all regular flour)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
about 2 cups of toasted walnuts or pecans

Hardware:
Ice cream scooper (#20 disher, to be exact)
Parchment paper
Baking sheets
Mixer

Heat oven to 375° F.
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.
Pour the melted butter in the mixer's work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the egg, yolk, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined.
Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.
Chill the dough, (I did not do this.)

Scoop cookie onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

EDUCATION

Jean Mosher presents More American Children Educated Online posted at Always in Motion. I read the article and it raises important questions about public funding, for-profit educational corporations, credentials and regulation. We have to be aware of the issues because they could affect us sooner than we know.

With that in mind, consider Mark Monaghan's post The need for eLearning posted at eLearning. If you have not seen this video, you must. It will put the eLearning debate into focus.

Despite a district-wide rule prohibiting cell phones in our schools, students have them. Cell phones have audio, still photo and video capabilities. What would you do if suddenly you appeared on YouTube in a cell phone video? Greg Laden presents Greg Laden's Blog : Teachers Gone Wild posted at Greg Laden's Blog. I think this is another article that you must read.

Are you planning on buying pronunciation software for your students? Eric Koshinsky presents Pronunciation Software to Improve English Pronunciation posted at Teachers Call. There are more criteria to consider than I had ever realized.

That's it for this edition of the Potluck Carnival. Please submit your recipe, story or article for the next carnival here.

HAPPY PI DAY!

_/\_/\_

#### 1 comment:

1. Love the LOLcat picture. I had to use it in my own Pi day post :)