carlo chavez

On Pi Day, Let’s Gawk At The Beauty And Controversy Of The Math Constant

Mathematician Carlos Castillo-Chavez says that Pi is so important to math that using its simple, geometric definition denies its greater powers.

“[Pi] brings you into the world of mathematics, which is magic, mysterious and exciting and always full of challenges for everybody,” Castillo-Chavez said.

First calculated 4,000 years ago, Pi represents the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. You learned it as 3.14, which is why today some take the chance to bask in the brilliance and beauty of the mathematical constant, while others try to tear it down.

Photo credit: Claire O'Neill/NPR

Se comienza a hacer el amor con la mirada y la voz. Y cuando esto resulta insuficiente, se continúa con cada una de las neuronas, con cada nervio, con cada arteria, con el calor de los labios, con la ternura de las yemas de los dedos, con la ansiedad de las uñas, con la humedad cristalina de la punta de la lengua y, finalmente, se hace el amor con cada trozo de recuerdo, con cada sístole del corazón, con cada diástole, con cada frustración y deseo.
—  Carlos Chávez Toro

March 5, 2013: Death of Comrade Hugo Chavez, leader of Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution.

“Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías breathed his last breath one year ago today. He was only 59. The untimely death of this brilliant human being was a sad loss for humanity, and leaves a gap which is very difficult to fill. One has to guard against hero worship and the Hollywood-style individualised version of history, but there’s no denying that certain people - through their strength of purpose, their understanding, their determination, their heroism, their leadership skills, their creative brilliance, their charisma, their devotion to the people - play an outstanding role. 

"Hugo Chávez was such a person. He worked ceaselessly in pursuit of his vision: for a socialist Venezuela; for a united and sovereign Latin America; and for a fair, multipolar world order free from imperialist domination. His vision was infectious, and served to inspire people around the world. He breathed life into a global revolutionary process that had been little in evidence since the upswing of the 1970s (Mozambique, Angola, Chile (1970-73), Guinea Bissau, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe). In the intervening period we saw the decline and fall of the ‘Eastern Bloc’, the rise of neoliberal economics, the spread of 'structural adjustment’, the genocidal impact of HIV/AIDS, and a deep disillusionment among much of the left. The Bolivarian Revolution brought new hope. Who wouldn’t be inspired by the successes of a socialist-oriented programme that prioritised the needs of millions of ordinary people: the slum-dwellers, the workers, the peasants, the unemployed, the indigenous, the African, the disenfranchised - the type of people that politicians rarely thought about in this Washington-led 'new world order’.

"Furthermore, Chávez understood that countries do not exist in isolation and that the Bolivarian Revolution couldn’t survive alone in the face of the enemy to the north. Venezuela’s example and support has been decisive for the progressive governments in Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Argentina. Chávez pursued the deepest of ties with socialist Cuba. He was a friend to the entire socialist and non-aligned world, from China to Zimbabwe, from South Africa to Belurus, from Iran to Brazil, from Syria to Vietnam. When it was deeply unfashionable to do so, he defended Libya and Syria from Nato-led regime change campaigns. In a world of cowardice and fickleness, he stood up and said: "I am not a coward, I am not fickle.”

“His work and his example will stay with us forever. Work like Chávez!”

Via Carlos Martinez