(WHTM) November 2 is National Look for Circles Day. Nobody seems to know who started it, or where, but it’s definitely caught on. You can play it as a game with friends, to see who can find the most circles in a set time, or you can just stroll around by yourself. It can be done inside, outside, or both. It’s fun no matter what age you are, and a great way for little learners to get some experience identifying shapes.

You can also do it any day of the year-no need to wait until November 2nd.

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Just for grins and chuckles, and to get some pictures for this story, I strolled around the station for fifteen minutes, cell phone in hand. My one rule-no repeats:

Some interesting facts about circles:

Compasses for drawing circles date back to antiquity (they’ve been found in Roman ruins, and were probably invented long before Rome was founded) but it wasn’t until the 18th century that one leg would have a pen or pencil. Before then compasses had two sharp points. You used one sharp point for the circle center (same as today) and used the other point to scratch a circle into the writing surface. Then you inked in the scratches. I suspect the compass-with-pen-idea was one of those “why didn’t we think of this before?” inventions.

Technically speaking, the circle is the boundary line of an area enclosed by, well, the circle. The area enclosed by the circle is a disc. This includes the circle itself…

A circle-or should I say disc-it the most symmetrical shape. Any line that passes directly through the center point of a circle, disc, circle, disc-aw, heck, let’s just say circle-will be the exact same length as any other line that passes through the center point of the circle.

The problem of “squaring the circle”, which had bedeviled mathematicians, scientists, architects, and engineers for centuries, was finally solved in 1880 when German mathematician Carl Lindemann proved it was impossible. He was the one who figured out that pi (π), the number used to compute the area of a circle (Area = π x radius2) is an irrational number, meaning that its decimal form neither ends, like 1/2 equaling 0.5, nor repeats, like 1/3 equaling 0.33333 to infinity (and beyond). Pi is normally rounded out to 3.14 for daily use, but in 2022 Google Cloud employee Emma Haruka Iwao was able to compute Pi to 31.4 trillion digits. Even with the best of Google’s hardware and software at her disposal, it took 157 days, from October 2021 to March 2022.

Ok, time to get out there and find some circles!