From dog.ee.lbl.gov!ucbvax!cis.ohio-state.edu!zaphod.mps.ohio-state.edu!qt.cs.utexas.edu!cs.utexas.edu!utgpu!utzoo!sq!msb Wed Aug 7 09:26:16 PDT 1991
Article 20993 of alt.folklore.urban:
>From: email@example.com (Mark Brader)
Subject: Re: Krazy Laws
Date: 7 Aug 91 02:24:09 GMT
Organization: SoftQuad Inc., Toronto, Canada
> I read somewhere that a law was passed in Kansas making the official value of
> pi (usually 3.141.....) an even 3.
Sheesh. Doesn't *anyone* read news.announce.newusers any more?
>From the Usenet FAQ list:
| 21. Didn't some state once pass a law setting pi equal to 3 ?
| Indiana House Bill #246 was introduced on 18 January 1897, and
| referred to the Committee on Canals "midst general cheerfulness."
| The text states, "the ratio of the diameter and circumference is
| as five-fourths to four", which makes pi 3.2 (not 3), but there
| are internal contradictions in the bill as well as contradictions
| with reality. The author was a mathematical crank. The bill was
| passed by the state House on 5 February, but indefinitely tabled
| by the state Senate, in part thanks to the fortuitous presence
| on other business of a Purdue professor of mathematics.
| For details, including an annotated text of the bill, read the
| article by D. Singmaster in "The Mathematical Intelligencer" v7
| #2, pp 69-72.
I have a couple of long articles online giving some of the history of
the bill and an interpretation of what the author appears to have been
thinking; but here is the full text of the bill for what it is worth.
I'll send the articles to anyone who asks for them in email, but I
don't think they'd be of great interest here.
# A bill for an act introducing a new mathematical truth and offered
# as a contribution to education to be used only by the State of
# Indiana free of cost by paying any royalties whatever on the same,
# provided it is accepted and adopted by the official action of the
# legislature of 1897.
# SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of
# Indiana: It has been found that a circular area is to the square
# on a line equal to the quadrant of the circumference, as the area
# of an equilateral rectangle is to the square on one side. The
# diameter employed as the linear unit according to the present rule
# in computing the circle's area is entirely wrong, as it represents
# the circle's area one and one-fifth times the area of a square
# whose perimeter is equal to the circumference of the circle. This
# is because one-fifth of the diameter fails to be represented four
# times in the circle's circumference. For example: if we multiply
# the perimeter of a square by one-fourth of any line one-fifth
# greater than one side, we can in like manner make the square's area
# to appear one fifth greater than the fact, as is done by taking
# the diameter for the linear unit instead of the quadrant of the
# circle's circumference.
# SECTION 2. It is impossible to compute the area of a circle on
# the diameter as the linear unit without tresspassing upon the area
# outside the circle to the extent of including one-fifth more area
# than is contained within the circle's circumference, because the
# square on the diameter produces the side of a square which equals
# nine when the arc of ninety degrees equals eight. By taking the
# quadrant of the circle's circumference for the linear unit, we
# fulfill the requirements of both quadrature and rectification of
# the circle's circumference. Furthermore, it has revealed the ratio
# of the chord and arc of ninety degrees, which is as seven to eight,
# and also the ratio of the diagonal and one side of a square which
# is as ten to seven, disclosing the fourth important fact, that the
# ratio of the diameter and circumference is as five-fourths to four;
# and because of these facts and the futher fact that the rule in
# present use fails to work both ways mathematically, it should be
# discarded as wholly wanting and misleading in its practical
# SECTION 3. In further proof of the value of the author's proposed
# contribution to education, and offered as a gift to the State of
# Indiana, is the fact of his solutions of the trisection of the
# angle, duplication of the cube and quadrature of the circle having
# been already accepted as contributions to science by the American
# Mathematical Monthly, the leading exponent of mathematical thought
# in this country. And be it remembered that these noted problems
# had been long since given up by scientific bodies as unsolvable
# mysteries and above man's ability to comprehend.
Mark Brader "'Settlor', (i) in relation to a testamentary trust,
Toronto means the individual referred to in paragraph (i)."
utzoo!sq!msb, firstname.lastname@example.org -- Income Tax Act of Canada, 108(1)(h)