Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Easy as Pi: The Countless Ways We Use Numbers Every Day

 By Jamie Buchan

From the back of the book:

“Have you ever stopped to think how many countless ways we use numbers? From the ring of the alarm clock in the morning to the numbers triggering our cell phones, our world is designed with numbers in mind. With Easy as Pi, you’ll get the 4-1-1 on the fascinating origin of many of the numbers we use or read about every day."

This is such a great little book! Author Jamie Buchan explains the origins of a variety of ways numbers make their way into our lives. There are sections on numbers in language, fiction, culture, mythology and religion and math and science.

Many people automatically think of math when numbers are mentioned. And that can often make people balk because few are truly interested in that subject. Personally, I do like math and that is also what I thought of when I first picked up this book.

Imagine my surprise when I saw how the author shared the origins of numbers in language – which just happens to be one of my favorite topics. In fact, I found phrases that we don’t really think about. We use them often … sometimes on a daily basis … but we think of them are merely words, not numbers.

For example, there is the phrase “cloud nine,” which means being elated or extremely happy. Or how about “86” or to dismiss or get rid of? If we move on to the chapter about fiction, we find “Catch-22” and “Hawaii Five-O.” These phrases actually do have a specific meaning and origin.

For math enthusiasts, don’t worry. There are chapters that do, indeed, deal with those numbers.

I had so much fun with Easy as Pi and you really should give this book a try. You’re bound to find something that will put a smile on your face – rather than a “Pi on your face!”

1 comment:

Suko said...

Great review, LuAnn. This sounds like a fun and informative book. :)