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Happy Pi Day! March 14, 2015

Filed under: Spiritual Ecopsychology — BrujaHa @ 3:46 pm
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Happy Pi day!

As you likely know, pi (π) is a mathematical constant found in all circles. Perhaps you remember the old joke from geometry class: “πR2? No, pie are round.” (Hardy-har.) Since pi’s decimal expansion starts off 3.14… and today’s date is 3/14, it’s the perfect day to celebrate Pi and to feel wonder at the mathematically amazing world we get to live in. 

Taking Pi’s numerical sequence further, we get the exact moment of 9:26 today. If you missed it this morning, take advantage of the 12-hour clock option and nab another chance this evening to eat cosmic pi.

Perhaps you, like me, tend more toward greater skills in the arts or humanities than in mathematics. Well, you need not be left out. Here’s a super nerdy-cool thing to do: play with the connection between math and poems by trying to write a “PIEM” – that is, a poem where the number of letters in each word yields the sequence of pi’s digits. 

This really exists! tells us how to write in “Pilish”:

“The idea of writing a sentence (or longer piece of poetry or prose) in which the lengths of successive words represent the digits of the number π (=3.14159265358979…) has been around since the early 1900’s. One of the earliest and most well-known examples is the following sentence, believed to have been composed by the English physicist Sir James Jeans:

“How I need a drink, alcoholic in nature, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics!
The first word in this sentence has 3 letters, the next word 1 letter, the next word 4 letters, and so on, following the first fifteen digits of the number π.”

Two longer examples of poetic Pilish offered by mathematician Nick Yates are Near a Raven, Mike Keith’s retelling of a poem by none other than Edgar Allen Poe (written in the more forgiving form known as “standard Pilish”), and this century-old piem

Yates also shared a recording of the sound of pi (this one uses pi in base 12 to match up with the chromatic scale). How cool is that?

Finally, you can play with your mathematical food visually as well. Look at this gorgeous example of secret geometry based on circles.

From the blog World Mysteries


Photo (c) Kenneth Vincent

 Pi can be found everywhere!

If you want to get it down to the second, celebrate Pi Day exactly at 3.141592653589793238462643383279.

The universe is full of so many wonders. What’s your favorite kind of pi?

Pi pie image nabbed from 


More Sources

Pi mandala image (c) David Reimannn, found here

See more math wizardry from Nick Yates at


Fall Has Sprung! contradance May 3, 2013

Filed under: Arts,Dance — BrujaHa @ 7:34 am
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I had a blast calling at the “Fall Has Sprung” contra dance fest in Grass Valley, California.  Held every year in early November, this dance runs 12 hours long, from noon till midnight!

There’s potluck food and comfy bleacher chairs available the entire time, so participants can dance some, have a snack or meal, rest, dance more, go outside and schmooze a bit, do a community chore like taking out some garbage, drink some water, then dance a whole lot more.  Dance, rinse, repeat.

It is a super fun event that I’ve enjoyed going to several times as a dancer, and it was an honor and a delight to be invited to call for it this year.

What a luscious combo: calling 1/3 of the day with amazing bands, and getting to dance the other 2/3 to other amazing bands and great callers, for and with a hall full of zesty dancers.

This year, the bands were Hot Cider, KGB, and Raz de Marée, a.k.a. Tidal Wave, and the callers were Joyce Miller, Frannie Marr, and me.  Many thanks to the Foothills Country Dance Society and their stellar organizers, Eric Engels and Lisa Frankel.

This particular dance you’ll see in the video is “Square Affair” by Becky Hill. It is driven by music played by KGB, a  fabulous Seattle band consisting of Julie King, Claude Ginsburg and Dave Bartley. I found them to be not only breathtakingly good musicians, but also super easy to work with.

Video by dancer John Seto.   Music by KGB.   Calling by Tina Fields.


In 30 Years April 1, 2012

Filed under: Arts,Spiritual Ecopsychology — BrujaHa @ 8:03 am
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In this morning’s paper, financial advisor Jean Chatzky suggested planning for the distant future. To inspire yourself to save for that day, you can generate an image of yrself as much older.



The current photo is the little one in the corner.  I had to go 30 years in future AND imagine I was a drug addict to get this aged.  Projecting 20 yrs into the future, or 30 yrs while healthy, didn’t look all that different from now.  :-0    This image seems somewhat realistic, but I actually think my hair will be all white. And I only hope I’m that thin. (An option where the drug of choice is Swiss chocolate with hazelnuts wasn’t offered.)

It’s fun to think intergenerationally about yourself!  The change from being a newborn to a strapping adult and then, if we’re lucky, to an elder, is so common we don’t really notice it but when we really think about it, it’s breathtaking. Caterpillars change into butterflies quickly, but every being on this planet also dramatically transforms. Even mountains turn into canyons eventually and boulders grind down to pebbles; ocean floors rise to become mountainsides as the continents shift; sunny meadows eventually become thick old forests as species succeed one another in a given area. Panta Rei, as Heraclitis said – everything changes. It’s just a question of time scale.

For the full range, here’s an image of myself a number of years back – age 3, happy with an animal and a stack of books. Nothing important has changed! Maybe it never will.



To try prematurely aging yourself, go to  If you’re appalled by the idea of aging thusly, remember what the old folks say: it sure beats the alternative.

I’ve been working on moving my elderly dad and his wife out here to Colorado, where I now live. Although in their 90s, they have been living on their own until now and remain vibrant and full of excitement about this new adventure. Thinking of the enormous changes they’ve seen over the years, and how they and their lives have changed many times, can confer some equanimity for our own futures.

I sincerely hope to see you all 30 years hence in realtime. We can show what happened to our tattoos.