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Easy as Pi: The Countless Ways We Use Numbers Every Day [Kindle Edition]

Jamie Buchan
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $4.96 (33%)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

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Book Description

Have you ever wondered what makes "seventh heaven" and "cloud nine" so blissful and the number 13 so unlucky? Here's the "4-1-1" on the origins of numerical expressions and the importance of numbers in fiction, film, culture, and religion, including:
How 007 became James Bond's number Imaginary numbers and how they exist How the binary system manages to say so much with only two numbers That bedding has nothing to do with being "three sheets to the wind" The burning literary question: Why did Ray Bradbury name his novel Fahrenheit 451? Which block of Social Security numbers will never be assigned to anyone With Easy as Pi, you'll soon impress your friends with your knowledge of numbers--even if you're math averse. Make this and all of the Blackboard Books(tm) a permanent fixture on your shelf, and you'll have instant access to a breadth of knowledge. Whether you need homework help or want to win that trivia game, this series is the trusted source for fun facts.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"Explore the book at your leisure, whether your interests are in history, games, or numerology. You can count on it to please any puzzle lover, curious teen, or math fan. The influence of numbers in our lives remains a mystery, but this light-hearted look at numbers with graphs, charts, and games is highly entertaining." -Blogcritics (Blog)
"I found this book very interesting and full of great information...It makes a great coffee table or bathroom reading book. It is best when read little pieces at a time. I have skipped and skimmed and read just about the entire book in a week. A few times I ended up taking it with me to work because I was interested in reading more. Whether or not you like numbers, they are a part of everyday life. You should learn a little more about them the fun way: read Easy as Pi!" -Thrifty and Frugal Living(Blog)

About the Author

Jamie Buchan was educated at Westminster School and is completing a Master of Arts degree in Architectural Studies at the University of Edinburgh. Many of his family members are involved in books: his great-grandfather John Buchan is the prolific novelist famous for The Thirty-Nine Steps; his grandfather D.J. Enright is a well-known Movement poet; and his uncle James Buchan is an award-winning novelist and historical writer. Both of his parents work in publishing.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1403 KB
  • Print Length: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Readers Digest (October 19, 2010)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0045JL6BY
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #669,285 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful! May 25, 2010
Format:Hardcover
Buchanan's engaging and somewhat playful writing style made this book a pleasure to read. It was also informative, and I didn't find inaccuracies (an amazing thing, these days).

You do not have to be a nerd to enjoy this book. It's not a "math book." The math angle is really a vehicle or theme for presenting various interesting facts. Some of these facts are trivia, and some are more substantive. The author could have presented a different set of facts, under a different theme. But he chose math and thus we have this book.

In keeping with the math motif, the book has a logical structure to it. The book runs 174 pages (in small format). It consists of five chapters, each beginning with "Numbers in..."

1. Language. Do you know the origin of "Three sheets to the wind" or "10-4 good buddy?"

2. Fiction. Why 007, 39 steps, and Room 101? This chapter explains these and more.\

3. Culture. This chapter addresses such things as 555 area codes, 419 scams, and the Golden Number. It's pretty fun reading.

4. Mythology and Religion. Why, for example, is 666 considered extremely evil in one culture, and extremely good in another?

5. Math and Science. This chapter has many practical applications. The part about misleading statistics will be a real game-changer for most readers. I think 4 out of 5 people don't understand statistical misrepresentation, and this section will help 80% of them.

This book is good entertainment and good reading. I laughed aloud in some places, and learned useful facts in some places. I also had fun learning some useless facts that were interesting all the same.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Book is So Much More Than Just Numbers! May 5, 2010
Format:Hardcover
I have always been one of the people that thinks Algebra is fun. When I graduated High School I had double the required amount of Math classes. So, when I was asked to review Easy as Pi, I naturally said yes. This is by no means a Math book. It is more of an informational book that deals with numbers. The book is full of fun facts and many things that you would love to know about and may not even realize it (like how the movies 8 Mile and 12 Monkeys got their names, or the origin of the Pentagram).

I found this book very interesting and full of great information. I started talking to my Husband about the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and he even wanted to see it (he HATES Math)! It makes a great coffee table or bathroom reading book. It is best when read little pieces at a time. I have skipped and skimmed and read just about the entire book in a week. A few times I ended up taking it with me to work because I was interested in reading more. Whether or not you like numbers, they are a part of everyday life. You should learn a little more about them the fun way: read Easy as Pi!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Did I Enjoy "Easy as Pi"? Let Me Count the Ways January 7, 2012
Format:Hardcover
Are you numerophobic? Remember high school Algebra..."When am I ever gonna use this stuff?" Ha! Weren't you surprised the first time you had to paint a room and had to use an algebraic equation to figure out how much paint to buy? Or maybe you were figuring how much floorcovering you needed when you realized, "Oh...axb=x (square feet)."

Numbers are persistently with us. Having a cup of coffee? Do you need 1/16th of a cup of grounds to brew it? Nearly everything we do involves numbers (How many times does your heart beat per minute? How far is it from the couch to the refrigerator?); there are even those who believe everything in existence can be reduced to a numeric value.

When we are not formulating and figuring, numbers (and language influenced by numbers) are still part of our culture, communications, and unspoken thoughts. "Easy as Pi: The Countless Ways We Use Numbers Every Day," written by Jamie Buchan, is a guide to how invasive numbers are. Published by Readers Digest Books, "Easy as Pi" reveals the meanings and origins of phrases employing numbers (7th Heaven, the whole nine yards, three sheets to the wind), examines numbers in fiction (Fahrenheit 451, Catch 22, Se7en, 12 Monkeys) and culture ("The 10 Percent Myth," "555," "Numbers Games"), and discusses the role of numbers in Mythology, Religion, Science, and Mathematics.

Fans of crime shows may already know that a "10-10" is a fight in progress and a "10-57" is a hit and run, but for those of us who aren't fluent in 10-code "Easy as Pi" divulges some of the "more interesting" codes. Chapters on numerology and astrology (as well as a segment on "666") are included, as are explanations of the binary code, statistics, infinity, and--everyone's favorite--"The Infinite Monkey Theorem.
Read more ›
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3.0 out of 5 stars KIND OF DRY March 8, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The presentation of the material leaves something to be desired in this book. It jumps around too much with a disjointed feel poorly written. Nope...don't trouble yourself.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Numbers May 17, 2010
By tmtrvlr
Format:Hardcover
We are a people of numbers. We have phone numbers, house numbers, Social Security numbers, medical records numbers, lot numbers, and serial numbers. Even our computers and electronic devices function with numbers - you get the idea. Easy as Pi gives the read a glimpse into the world of numbers and how society uses them.
A brief summary of the divisions in Easy as Pi:
Numbers in our language - phrases using numbers explained
Numbers in Fiction - Movies, books and TV shows with numbers in the title
Numbers in Culture - gambling, Social Security, scams, etc.
Numbers in Mythology and Religion - numerology and significance of numbers in the Bible
Numbers in Math and Science - types of numbers, statistics, and oddities

This is not a mathematics instruction book. In Easy as Pi, I learned of the Piraha tribe, a small tribe in Brazil with a numbering system consisting of one, two and many - that's all. I also learned about life without "0", and all about Pi. Why did Ray Bradbury name his book Fahrenheit 451? Little snippets of information that help you gain insight into how important numbers are in our lives. Books like these are a fun interaction for families. Parents can quiz children or children can quiz their parents.

This is another wonderful book in the Reader's Digest Series. I have also reviewed:
I used to Know That by Caroline Taggart
A Certain "Je Ne Sais Quoi by Chloe Rhodes
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