Centuries old hoax revealed
pi actually equals rational number 3
 
  
Famous equation debunked?

One of the oldest hoaxes in history was unmasked today. A group of mathematicians, called "the Brotherhood" revealed that pi, the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, long held to be an irrational number equal to 3.141592..., was actually equal to simply 3.

Cloaked in a green hood, one spokesperson, called 'Pascal' said that after years of soul searching and intense debate, the Brotherhood voted unanimously to reveal the hoax to the public.

"It's been our dirty little secret all these centuries. We had been sharing the same shame for lo' so many years. We all knew the truth, but couldn't bare to face up to it until now."

"I feel I'm free now" added the also-green-hooded 'Pythagoras', "each time I lectured and claimed that pi was equal to 3.141592653 I felt a sickness in my gut. I wanted to shout out that it WAS a rational number, as rational as any integer. And a prime number to boot. But I just kept suppressing it and suppressing it. Sometimes I would tell myself, well it's okay if I call it 22/7th or 3 1/7th, but who was I fooling? Who?" Visibly shaken he answered his own question: "Just myself, just myself."

"When we finally decided to go public," said Pythagoras, "we burned in effigy Archimedes of Syracuse." Archimedes (circa, 240 BC) was the originator of the hoax. "He knew it was actually 3, but realized there wasn't much you could do with 3. After all, 3 is the same as 3.00, 3.0000000 and so on. Not much point in seeing how many decimal places you can carry three out to, now is there?"

Psychologist Phil "I-am-too-a-doctor" McGraw was consulted on the matter and pointed out that those who share lies often form tightly knit groups. He cited Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, Bill O'Reilly and Fox & Friends, and Baby Spice and the Spice Girls. "It's an addiction. First they start with what seems a harmless prank, but then they slowly feel superior to others who believe the lie to be true. Some of them actually come to actually believe the lie as true."

Dr. McGraw said he is setting up a 12-step program to help mathematicians withdraw from this addiction. "You know, this type of belief-system is going to take years of intensive counseling. You can expect relapses, delusions that pi is actually that absurd 3.141, 3.1415, well whatever all the rest of those numbers were. Mathematicians as a lot are not a particularly healthy group so lobotomies may be the only effective treatment for many."

A hastily generated statement by the American Circle Association of Mathematicians (ACAM) sadly illustrated Dr. McGraw's point concerning relapses and delusions.

They branded the Brotherhood a "wildcat faction of misinformed traitors".

ACAM spokesperson, Marlena Wibeck, stated, "of course pi is equal to 3.141592653...! Why it's as irrational as Ann Coulter!" Dr. Wibeck presented a diagram (see figure to the left) that purportedly proved that pi was equal to 3.141592653...


ACAM's proof

Pascal however showed that this was nothing more than one of the common techniques used to perpetuate the hoax. As Pascal explained "the fraud is that this type of diagram is intentionally drawn so small that you can't accurately measure it; imaging trying to measure that with a ruler!" he scoffed. "The other aspect of the fraud is that the diagram is so small that you can't see that it isn't even a circle."

Indeed when this reporter had a section of ACAM's figure enlarged (see figure to the left) it clearly revealed the fraud and the origin of the additional 0.141592 was due to a bump.

When contacted for comments, ACAM issued a written statement that further questions should be addressed to their legal counsel


Close-up of ACAM figure
 
 

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