Today is Pi Day, and in honour of the occasion we will be exploring a rarely discussed feature of the number pi (π): how it runs our lives.
Pi, approximately 3.14, is a mystical, infinitely long number you always get when you divide the circumference of a circle by its diameter, like the standard dimensions of copier paper that stay proportional even when folded from A3 to A4 to A5. However in Singapore, pi has extra creepy significance.
Starting with arguably the most famous circle is the Singapore Flyer, built on 25 September 2003. That date in numbers is 126.96.36.199.3, which add up to 23, the same total from the first six digits of pi, 3.14159. The Flyer’s ZIP code is 039803, which also adds up to 23. When the attraction opened on 11 February 2008, Jim Carrey’s The Number 23 suddenly looked believable, because that date gives 188.8.131.52.0.8, again equaling 23. Intriguing, right? The fact that the symbol π resembles the nearby Marina Bay Sands makes things 3.14 times more suspicious, and things come full circle when you notice that all the stations in that area (Bayfront, Marina Bay, Esplanade) are part of the Circle Line.
On the map, a further sign is revealed. The Flyer rises above a road that literally spells PIE, the Pan Island Expressway, whose east-west line bisects Singapore neatly like crooked smile.
As you push the pie connection further, you find there are 8 pie shops close to the Flyer, the number you get from adding 3,1 and 4. While interestingly, many other pie shops in Singapore cluster like barnacles along the PIE and even the kueh pie tee shops stick very close to that road, as though drawing unseen pie essence from it. How’s that for a Da Vinci Code?
The invasion of pi even affects the government. The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, which campaigns against online pi-racy, is located (can you guess it?) near both the PIE and the Singapore Flyer’s metallic hoop.
In light of these facts, it begs the question – is our city built on pi?
Today, math enthusiasts everywhere will engage in cryptic activities like walking in circles, and reciting pi to hundreds of decimal places to celebrate Pi Day. One question must be asked: Is there a secret society of Pi-lluminati who infiltrates countries through math clubs and uses mathematical powers to influence society?
In the process of writing this story in fact, it’s come to light that our office is precisely 3.14km from the Singapore Flyer. Again, coincidence? Perhaps the eerier question is: did we choose to write this story, or did the story somehow choose us? There’ve also been three dark-coloured sedans parked outside all afternoon, meaning we may have been watched this entire time, so it might be best to end this article now.