It’s Pi Day, when we celebrate all things round by eating pizza and Pi Cake. This is the ninthyearwehavecelebratedPiDay and the fourth year in a row we got the Pi Cake from Empire Cakes. This year’s pizza place was Arturo’s on Thompson and Houston. Arturo’s is a great example of old New York pizza with an oven dating to the 1920’s.

In addition to the traditional Pi Symbol atop the cake we added Albert Einstein since today is also his birthday. It seems fitting that we lost one of the world’s other greatest physicists, Stephen Hawking on the same math holiday.

The crew has grown quite large from the five of us who celebrated our first pie day almost a decade ago.

Snowstorm Stella impacted both our numbers and our location, but last night a smaller crew braved the cold weather and messy streets to celebrate Pi Day with pizza and Pi Cake at Ribalta.

We naturally ate a lot of round pies and even a rectangular pie to honor Hippocrates’ squaring the lune.

This year’s Pi Cake came from Empire Cakes for thethirdyearinarow. It was their Brooklyn Blackout cake with Chocolate frosting, a blue Pi symbol on top and blue circles with red radii around the sides.

Last night we celebrated Rounded Pi Day by rounding at the 10,000’s digit to get 3.1416 which nicely works with the date 3/14/16. This was great after Mega Pi Day worked out so perfectly last year. And this all built uponpreviousyears’celebrations.

We ate a large quantity of pizza at Lombardi’s. and for the second year in a row we got the Pi Cake from Empire Cakes with peanut butter and chocolate flavors. The base was inscribed with historic approximations of Pi: 25/8, 256/81, 339/108, 223/71, 377/120, 3927/1250, 355/113, 62832/20000, 22/7.

This year we celebrated Mega Pi Day with the date (3/14/15) covering the firstfourdigits of Pi. And of course, we unveiled the Pi Cake at 9:26 to get the next three digits. This year the cake came from Empire Cakes and was peanut butter flavored. We even had the bakery put as many digits as would fit around the cake.

A large group from the NYC Data Mafia came out and Scott Wiener of Scott’s Pizza Tours ensured we had the perfect assortment and quantity of pizza.

## polla_qid Answer Votes pollq_id Question
## 1 2 Excellent 0 2 How was Pizza Mercato?
## 2 2 Good 6 2 How was Pizza Mercato?
## 3 2 Average 4 2 How was Pizza Mercato?
## 4 2 Poor 1 2 How was Pizza Mercato?
## 5 2 Never Again 2 2 How was Pizza Mercato?
## 6 3 Excellent 1 3 How was Maffei's Pizza?
## Place Time TotalVotes Percent
## 1 Pizza Mercato 1.344e+09 13 0.0000
## 2 Pizza Mercato 1.344e+09 13 0.4615
## 3 Pizza Mercato 1.344e+09 13 0.3077
## 4 Pizza Mercato 1.344e+09 13 0.0769
## 5 Pizza Mercato 1.344e+09 13 0.1538
## 6 Maffei's Pizza 1.348e+09 7 0.1429

require(ggplot2)
ggplot(pizza, aes(x = Place, y = Percent, group = Answer, color = Answer)) +
geom_line() + theme(axis.text.x = element_text(angle = 46, hjust = 1), legend.position = "bottom") +
labs(x = "Pizza Place", title = "Pizza Poll Results")

But given this is live data that will change as more polls are added I thought it best to use a plot that automatically updates and is interactive. So this gave me my first chance to needrCharts by Ramnath Vaidyanathan as seen at October’s meetup.

There are still a lot of things I am learning, including how to use a categorical x-axis natively on linecharts and inserting chart titles. I found a workaround for the categorical x-axis by using tickFormat but that is not pretty. I also would like to find a way to quickly switch between a line chart and a bar chart. Fitting more labels onto the x-axis or perhaps adding a scroll bar would be nice too.

Continuing the annualtradition of Pi Cakes from Chrissie Cook we have gotten another Pi Cake! This year we let Drew Conway’s wife pick the flavors and she went with vanilla and red velvet (the blue color is to cause some cognitive dissonance). Looking forward to enjoying this tonight after some pizza.

Taking a break from my normal exposition on stats, New York or pizza I’d like to espouse the wonders of baking soda and vinegar!

My sink was clogged, not with anything specific, but just years worth of gunk. So after scraping out what I could with my hands and a wire hanger–and wanting to avoid caustic chemicals like Drano–I searched the Internet to see if Listerene or Coca-Cola might do the trick. But extensivesearchingled me to baking soda and vinegar.

It’s very simple: Stuff a half cup of baking soda into the train then pour a half cup of vinegar down it, return the sink stopper and wait 15 minutes. Then pour down another half cup of vinegar, close the stopper and wait another 15 minutes. After that pour a gallon (a tea kettle’s worth) of boiling water down the drain and you’re done! Not only will it unclog your drain, it leaves all the chrome shining like new!

For those of us who never got to make a model volcano in science class it was really awesome watching the baking soda and vinegar react