I ran across this story about women seeming to be the dominant force at the 5,000 year old Burnt City site in Sistan-Baluchistan province in Iran on Stone Pages. Definitely interesting, but i didn’t know what to say about it. Now via the Agonist, there’s this story on the National Council of the Resistance of Iran, a female dominated group determined to topple Iran’s current government to install a secular, democratic government. Quite an odd time to read these two stories, practically back to back.
Archive for December 31st, 2004
The story’s here. I didn’t realize that there is a blog solely dedicated to information on Tom Delay, the Daily Delay. Yep, i got all of this from a Daily Kos post.
So was Al Jahiz wrong? Probably. I was fascinated with his idea that Islam should face the West for inspiration, and not the East, because historical What If scenarios are fun. Anyway, so it seems the Achaemenians had figured out pi to several decimal places before 500 BC, as when Persepolis was built, the columns were constructed so precisely that it is obvious that they had knowledge of the concept. Checking out this timeline, that’s 250 years before Archimedes came up with 3.1418 in Syracuse, over in Sicily. The Egyptians were aware of pi as well, at least by 2000 BC, but there approximation of it was a little off, 3.16045.
The Iranian article says that the first person know to record pi was Ghiasuddin Mohammad Kashani, but i cannot find another mention of the man. Most likely, he was the first to turn it into a true decimal, as opposed to a fraction. Until someone examines those columns to figure out exactly how close the Achaemenian concept of pi was, and it bettered the Egyptians’ 3.16, i’m going to be a little hesitant to proclaim a new Best Earliest Approximation of Pi champ. It would be interesting to see Archimedes bested though.