Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Slice of Prison Pi

Mug shots can be probing statements of social mores gone wrong. You look at the face, the expression, hairstyle, and age-lines – all that tell a piece of the story. You wonder what sordid history and events led up to the individual’s incarceration.

Now consider the attached mug shot photo of the perp in an orange jail jumpsuit. That’s the first Pi tattoo I believe I’ve ever seen on anyone, let alone a jailbird. I always thought that if I ever got a tattoo it would be something along these lines. I was thinking more of a Feynman diagram. Imagine trying to explain that to a tattoo parlor worker! (No, you idiot, you drew it wrong, you can’t have two positrons!)

Anyway, seeing this guy with a Pi tattoo makes this Physics Groupie hypothesize about exactly what it means to this man. Was he a scientist brought down by a stint of academic rage? Was he a gang member whose hijacked moniker was the result of an ill-informed street credo? Did he select the Pi symbol from a catalog late one night on a drunken binge? What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. i think he's just a thug who thought the symbol looked cool but had no idea what it meant imho.

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