Out of the Mount: “Irrational Numbers”

Out of the Mount.

An excerpt from “Irrational Numbers” by C. Adam Stallard:

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MOM. And they said that they eat 1/3 of their body weight a day, and that’s all in oysters and fish that they dive down to the bottom to get, though they never go to shore to eat them, they just float on their backs and prepare the food on their stomachs.

ANGIE. So I found out today that Robby IS going to Jefferson, instead of getting bussed to the private school.  I told him it was better even though his Mom keeps trying to convince–

MOM (Louder). That’s a lot of food don’t you think?  Also, they have to spend one quarter of their waking lives grooming themselves

(ANGIE joins in even louder talking over top of MOM’s next line.)

ANGIE. We learned something about pi today at school.  Mr. Giovanni said that someone memorized pi to 50,000 places.

MOM. because if their fur gets dirty it won’t be as effective at keeping them warm, and staying warm is crucial for the otter because it lives in very cold oceans.

ANGIE (Yelling). Is that what your doing Mom?

DAD. Angie!  You know better than to interrupt your mother at dinner.

ANGIE. Sorry.  It’s just I was getting bored of sea otters.

MOM. No, your teacher was talking about pi.  I’m working on the square root of 2.

ANGIE. Isn’t that the same thing?

MOM. No, pi has to do with circles.  The square root of two has to do with squares.

ANGIE. Don’t people who want to break a record for memorizing a number work on pi?  That has to be the most common one, right?

DAD. Speaking of pi, we have ice cream for dessert.

Read the whole thing
in Out of the Mount,
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