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10 Pies for Pi Day

March 14th, often written as 3-14, is Pi Day! It's a day set aside to pay homage to the ratio of a circle to its diameter. The traditional way to celebrate is to eat a pie. Or bake one. Here are some wonderful Pi Day pies you might try this year.

1. Amazing One Hundred Digit Pie

ScienceBlogs, together with Serious Eats, held a Pi Day Bake-Off to celebrate Pi Day in 2010. Shown at the top is Claudette's amazing One-Hundred-Digit pie made with cherries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries. Sure, it's not round, but remember, pie are square!

2. The Apple Pi

Serious Eats also held a Pi(e) Day Baking Challenge in conjunction with with Instructables in 2012. The winner was the apple Pi by Shannon. She cut the apples into number shapes with cookie cutters, and also cut the pie crust into numbers to decorate the top. And she posted the directions for doing so.  

3. Mini Pi Pies

Instructables user dlgauthier made Mini Pi PIes, so that everyone at her office Pi Day lunch could have a whole pie. The pi symbol provided enough crust on the top of each.

4. Pi-Shaped Pie

Jessie Oleson of Cakespy created a recipe for Pi-Shaped Pie to celebrate Pi Day in 2011. This one is more of a big turnover, filled with chocolate and peanut butter. The instructions are at Serious Eats.

5. To 3.14 or not to pie

Instructables member hertzgamma took the idea of a pi-symbol-shaped pipe to the next level with a pie called "To 3.14 or not to pie." This one has cherry filling, but you can use any fruit filling. The lattice strips on top are engraved with even more numbers. She used a soldering iron for that part. If you feel up to this project, all the steps are laid out at Instructables.

6. Fried Pi Pies

Maybe you prefer your pies fried. If that doesn't sound yummy to you, you probably haven't tried a real Southern homemade fried pie! Instructables member starshipminivan made Fried Pi Pies for Pi Day 2010. This one has a chocolate filling, but you can put your favorite flavor inside.

7. Easy as Apple Pie

This creative pie dates back to 2004, from Flickr user Jhayne, and has become a classic. The crust is shaped like a book (a math text, no doubt), and the first 24 digits of pi are carved out of the cover, letting us peek at the apples inside.

8. Pies Are Round? No, Pi(es) Are Squared!

What you see here are 101 mini pies, adorned with one digit each, arranged in sequence showing pi to 100 decimal points. But look closer: even in that exact arrangement, there is a pi symbol visible among them. Instructables member brooklynbrownie plotted them all out before she began baking. The recipe has directions for three different fillings: caramelized mango, strawberry/raspberry chai, and blueberry.

9. Cookie Pi Crust

A cookie for Pi Day? That seems so wrong, but it's okay, because this cookie is made from pie crust! Instructables member craftknowitall tells how her mother made crisp cookies out of leftover pie crust and adapted the recipe by shaping that crust into a pi symbol. The topping is cinnamon sugar.

10. Pizza Pi

You can make things a whole lot easier on yourself by rearranging the pepperonis on a pizza (before baking) instead of putting a pie together, like this pizza from Flickr user Ludie Cochrane. Or better yet, have the pizza pi for dinner and your pi pie for dessert!

Bonus: Pi Is (still) Wrong

Mathemusician Vi Hart tried to make pi as easy as pie by making a pie. She ended up making two pies, because it's not that simple. Hart prefers tau to pi, which is fine, as I prefer blackberry pie to peach pie.

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Food
How Mammoth Poop Gave Us Pumpkin Pie
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When it’s time to express gratitude for the many privileges bestowed upon your family this Thanksgiving, don’t forget to be grateful for mammoth poop. The excrement of this long-extinct species is a big reason why holiday desserts taste so good.

Why? Because, as Smithsonian Insider reports, tens of thousands of years ago, mammoths, elephants, and mastodons had an affinity for wild gourds, the ancestors of squashes and pumpkin. In a 2015 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a Smithsonian researcher and colleagues found that wild gourds—which were much smaller than our modern-day butternuts—carried a bitter-tasting toxin in their flesh that acted as a deterrent to some animals. While small rodents would avoid eating the gourds, the huge mammals would not. Their taste buds wouldn't pick up the bitter flavor and the toxin had no effect on them. Mammoths would eat the gourds and pass the indigestible seeds out in their feces. The seeds would then be plopped into whatever habitat range the mammoth was roaming in, complete with fertilizer.

When the mammoths went extinct as recently as 4000 years ago, the gourds faced the same fate—until humans began to domesticate the plants, allowing for the rise of pumpkins. But had it not been for the dispersal of the seeds via mammoth crap, the gourd might not have survived long enough to arrive at our dinner tables.

So as you dig into your pumpkin pie this year, be sure to think of the heaping piles of dung that made the delicious treat possible.

[h/t Smithsonian Insider]

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Animals
Atlanta Shelters Give Pups a Temporary Home for the Holidays
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The holidays are looking a little brighter for adoptable dogs from two animal shelters in Atlanta, Georgia. As ABC News reports, a new program called Home for the Pawlidays is providing temporary homes to longer-term residents of Fulton County Animal Services and DeKalb County Animal Services for the week of Thanksgiving.

The initiative was organized by Atlanta's LifeLine Animal Project, a local group dedicated to providing healthcare and homes to shelter dogs. The dogs that were chosen for the project may be older, have special health needs, or other issues that make it more difficult to find them forever homes.

But from November 18 to 25, the dogs are getting to spend time away from the shelter and in the homes of loving foster families.

“We were thinking, everyone gets a break from work, and they should get a break from the shelter,” LifeLine’s public relations director Karen Hirsch told ABC News.

Some caretakers have already fallen in love with their four-legged house guests. Foster Heather Koth told ABC that she hadn’t been considering adoption, but after meeting Missy the shelter dog, she now plans to foster her until she has a permanent home or possibly adopt the dog herself.

And for the dogs that can’t be kept by their temporary owners, just a week of quality playtime and sleeping in a real bed can make a huge impact. You can check out photos of the pets who are benefiting from the program this week below.

[h/t ABC News]

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