You know how electronics stores like to ask you for your phone number when you buy something, even though they have no good reason to have it?

Well, I know have empirical evidence that at least two people give out the first ten digits of pi when the cashier asks for their number.

Exercise for the reader: why is it guaranteed that nobody’s phone number actually is the first ten digits of pi?

3 Responses

  1. It used to be that the first three digits were in the form of [2-8][0-1][0-9] for area codes and [2-8][2-9][0-9] for exchanges, but that went away many years ago. 314 was always a valid area code, and is now a perfectly valid exchange prefix. So for that reason, 314-159[23] is a perfectly valid phone number.

    Of course, (314)159-265[34] is currently not valid as 159 is not a valid exchange prefix. That will probably change in a few years, though (1 was a special reserved digit for long distance numbers but many places have moved to forced 10-digit dialing meaning that there will no longer be special exchange prefixes, since really the area code has replaced the “exchange” anyway, and even then area codes are no longer really tied to anything physical either).

  2. The “exerciste for the reader” was a very Howard Tayler thing to do.

  3. *exercise

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