15 Pi Day Gifts for the Math Fan in Your Life

iStock/pick-uppath
iStock/pick-uppath

March 14, the mathematic high holiday known as Pi Day, is right around the corner. To celebrate everyone's favorite irrational number, we've rounded up some gifts to help the math aficionados in your life—the ones who know that pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter—observe Pi Day in proper fashion.

1. Pi Pie Pan

Pi-shaped pie pan.
Pi People, Amazon

If Pi Day passed and you didn't eat a pi pie, did Pi Day even happen? This specially shaped baking pan makes the equivalent volume of a 9-inch round pan, but obviously has more surface area than a standard pan. Pi puns and extra crust? Sounds like a win-win dessert.

Buy it on Amazon for $25.

2. I Eight Sum Pie Plates

Pair that pi pie with a set of these special plates decorated with a formula that spells out "imaginary unit eight summation pi"—or, essentially, "I ate some pie." Yes please!

Buy them at one of the retailers below:

3. Cutie Pi Unisex Onesie

Baby onesie that says
Threadrock, Etsy

Inspire a love of irrational numbers in the young mathematician-to-be in your life with this adorable cotton onesie, available in five colors for 6- to 24-month-olds.

Buy it on Etsy for $14.

4. Cheat Sheet Shower Curtain

We do our best thinking in the shower, and this machine-washable shower curtain is sure to inspire a stumped mathematician to finally figure out x once and for all.

Buy it on Society6 for $70.

5. Pi Mirrors Pie T-Shirt

Consider this equation: Math puns + affordability = this hilarious gift tee.

Buy it on $6 Dollar Shirts for … $6.

6. Mathematical Glasses

You'll be toasting to a gift well done after they open this set of four pint glasses measuring out the number of ounces in Pythagoras's constant, the Golden Ratio, Euler's number, and of course, pi.

Buy it at one of the retailers below:

7. Quantum Physics for Babies by Chris Ferrie

The cover of the 'Quantum Physics for Babies' book
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, Amazon

It's never too early to get your budding mathematician hooked on STEM! This quantum physics intro is meant for 1- to 3-year-old kids, but it's a good refresher for adults to brush up on their knowledge, too.

Buy it on Amazon for $9.

8. Spiral Pi Tattoo

Spiral Pi tattoo
Anatomology, Amazon

This "classroom pack" of temporary tattoos means that when you and 44 of your closest pi pals practice memorizing pi's numerous digits, you never have to leave home without your cheat sheet.

Buy it on Amazon for $12.

9. Albert Clock

Definitely know your audience before gifting this head-scratcher of a clock. For some, the regular mental exercise to figure out the time will be a welcome brain teaser. For others, it could be a frustrating distraction. But, we think its namesake—it should be relatively easy to figure out which Albert it's referencing—would be a fan.

Buy it at one of the retailers below:

10. Insanity Math Leggings

A pair of black leggings with math equations written on them
Insanity, Amazon

Spend your savasana meditating on the wonders of math in these equation-covered leggings.

Buy them on Amazon for $29.

11. Add And Subtract Abacus

Add and Subtract Abacus
Melissa & Doug, Amazon

Ancient calculators make great toys when it comes to this colorful bead toy aimed at kids 2 and up. But once the young ones hit grade school, this specially marked abacus will help them visualize arithmetic while still seeing the equations listed out.

Buy it on Amazon for $15 or at one of the retailers below:

12. Patterns of the Universe Coloring Book

This coloring book takes nature's best mathematical patterns and turns them into a soothing adult coloring book. Take a break from studying math's interconnected worlds, and just connect pencil to paper for a bit.

Buy it at Target for $10 or at one of the retailers below:

13. Pi Sign Cookie Cutters

Pi-shaped cookie cutters
Arbi Design, Amazon

Cookies are certainly easier to bake in bulk than pies. And if our math checks out, that means they will probably last a little longer, too. (Maybe.)

Buy them on Amazon for $5 and up.

14. Marbotic Smart Numbers

A hand moving wooden numbers around on top of a tablet
Marbotic, Amazon

This hands-on math game makes learning arithmetic engaging and entertaining, and can help kids 3 to 6 years old recognize units and solve basic additions and subtractions. These wooden letters come with three free apps that you pair with any iPad and most Samsung and Nexus tablets.

Buy it on Amazon for $40 or at one of the retailers below:

15. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

The cover of 'Hidden Figures'
William Morrow Paperbacks, Amazon

You saw the movie—now delve even deeper into the true stories of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and the other African-American women who worked at NASA as "human computers" during the Space Race. Margot Lee Shetterly's best-seller reveals just how much ground-breaking work these brilliant mathematicians truly did, even while dealing with both gender discrimination and the Jim Crow era. And if you haven't seen the movie, stream it on HBO or purchase it here.

Buy it on Amazon for $13.

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How to See Venus and the Moon Share a ‘Kiss’ in a Rare Astronomical Event This Week

Mike Hewitt/iStock via Getty Images
Mike Hewitt/iStock via Getty Images

Venus is visible in the evening or morning sky for most of the year, but this Thursday, the second planet from the sun won't be alone in its spot above the horizon. As Travel + Leisure reports, Venus, also known as the "evening star," will appear right next to a crescent moon following the sunset on February 27, resulting in a rare celestial "kiss."

Why will Venus be close to the moon?

Venus is often among the first "stars" to become visible at twilight (though it's really a planet), and it's the brightest object in the night sky aside from the moon. Between January 1 and May 24, it shines brightly above the western horizon. For a few weeks in early May and late June, Venus is washed out by the light of the sun, and from June 13 to December 31, it's easiest to see in the eastern sky around sunrise.

This week, Venus will be in the perfect position to share a "kiss" with the night's brightest object. All the planets, including Venus, appear to traverse the same path across the night sky called the ecliptic. The moon follows a similar trajectory, and on some nights, the celestial body seems to come very close to the planets that also occupy the plane. This effect is just an illusion; while they will appear to be nearly touching on Thursday, the moon will actually be 249,892 miles from Earth on February 27, while Venus will be 84 million miles away.

The Moon just entered its "new" phase on Sunday, and it will only be partially illuminated by the time it meets up with Venus. The waxing crescent moon will rise in the perfect position in the western sky on Thursday to create a joint spectacle with our planetary neighbor.

When to see Venus and the moon "kiss"

The kiss between the moon and Venus can be spotted in the hours after sunset on Thursday, February 27. When you notice it getting dark, head outside and look to the southwest horizon if you live in the Northern Hemisphere. That will give you your best chance at catching the special event. If you miss it this week, you won't have to wait long for your next opportunity to see the Moon kiss Venus: The two bodies will return to a similar position on March 28, 2020.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

Katherine Johnson, the NASA Legend Who Inspired 'Hidden Figures,' Dies at Age 101

Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Mathematician and NASA legend Katherine Johnson has died at age 101, The New York Times reports. The inspiration for the 2016 movie Hidden Figures, Johnson was best known for calculating the equations that sent the first astronauts to the moon and breaking barriers in science and technology as a black woman in the civil rights era.

Katherine Johnson's knack for numbers was apparent from a young age. She was born in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, on August 26, 1918, and she enrolled directly into the second grade as soon as she was old enough to go to school. She graduated college summa cum laude at age 18 after taking every math class that was available to her.

In the 1950s, NASA hired Johnson to be one of the women "computers" tasked with crunching the numbers that were vital to getting missions off the ground. She was personally responsible for confirming the equations that sent astronaut John Glenn into orbit in 1962. After requesting that Johnson double-check the computer's math by hand, he reportedly said, “If she says they’re good, then I’m ready to go.”

Her biggest job was working on the Apollo 11 mission. Johnson worked closely with NASA's engineers to calculate when and where to launch the first manned shuttle to the moon, fully aware that even a tiny error could lead to a national tragedy. On July 20, 1969, the first astronauts landed on the moon, thanks in part to her computing power.

As a black woman working in a primarily white male-dominated field in the 1960s, Johnson's contributions to space history went unrecognized for years. She lived long enough to become one of the few marginalized figures in science to receive some much-deserved, albeit overdue, accolades. In 2015, President Barack Obama awarded Johnson the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and in 2016, her work at NASA was depicted in the Oscar-nominated movie Hidden Figures. Johnson also nurtured a love of knowledge throughout her life, earning an honorary doctorate degree from West Virginia University more than 75 years after dropping out of graduate school.

Johnson died on the morning of Monday, February 24, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine shared on Twitter. He said in the announcement, "She was an American hero and her pioneering legacy will never be forgotten."

[h/t The New York Times]

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