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Half Tau Day

Mar 14, 2011 • posted by Michael Hartl

This is a quick follow-up to Ruby and The Tau Manifesto from last June 28 (6/28, or Tau Day). Today is "Pi Day", and in honor of π still being wrong I'm pleased to announce the new site Half Tau Day, which describes the τist version of this famously πous holiday. Today also marks the appearance of an article about tau on CNN.com called On Pi Day, is 'pi' under attack? and an awesome video called "Pi is (still) wrong" by 'mathemusician' Vi Hart.

As with The Tau Manifesto, the Half Tau Day site is a Rails app running on Heroku behind a Varnish cache. This is probably overkill for such a simple site, but Rails application generation and deployment is now so easy that there's not much reason not to use Rails, and running a full Rails stack ensures that halftauday.com can grow and evolve to meet any future requirements, no matter what they might be.

The π is a lie… Happy Half Tau Day!

Michael Hartl

I’m Michael Hartl—author, educator, and entrepreneur. I’m probably best known as the creator of the Ruby on Rails Tutorial, a book and screencast series that together constitute one of the leading introductions to web development. Once called his “favorite book” by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, the Ruby on Rails Tutorial currently has over 150 5-star reviews at Amazon. I’m also (in)famous for creating Tau Day and The Tau Manifesto, which have inspired an international movement dedicated to the proposition that “pi is wrong.” (For example, as a result of The Tau Manifesto, MIT releases their admissions decisions each year at “Tau Time” (6:28 p.m.), and typing tau/2 at Google yields 3.14159…) Finally, I’m a founder of Softcover, a publishing system and sales platform for technical authors, which among other things powers both The Tau Manifesto and the Ruby on Rails Tutorial.

I’m a graduate of Harvard College and have a Ph.D. in Physics from Caltech, where I studied black hole dynamics and was an award-winning instructor in theoretical and computational physics. I’m also an alumnus of Y Combinator, the entrepreneur program that has produced companies such as Dropbox and Airbnb. (Alas, my own Y Combinator startup was neither Dropbox nor Airbnb.)