Irrationality check

25 11 2009

A recent post from Raymond Chen reminded me of the time when I was in university and I wrote a friend a cheque for Π Shekels.

Wanting to see if it would accepted, we placed it in a deposit box (to nullify the effect of facing the cashier).

I put the Greek letter Π in the numerical field and “פאי” (“Pi”) in the textual field.

Cheque for Pi $

This is a forgery based on a sample from Wikipedia

Several days later my account was debited by 3.14 NIS (~1$), I was a bit peeved that they rounded Pi to only two decimal points but decided it’s as good as I could have expected.

I called the bank and asked for a photocopy of the offending cheque (this was before you could see cheques online), the person taking my call was rather surprised since the fee for ordering a photocopy cheque to be sent was higher than the cheque’s amount.

My friend suggested that our next experiment would be with אo Shekels but I declined.

All this was before I heard of Knuth’s custom of writing cheques for hex-dollars.

This story has a sad ending since I lost the photocopy of this cheque one of the times I moved…




3 responses

29 11 2009
Bill Weiss

I’m surprised you didn’t get a “we have no idea what you meant by this” instead 🙂

Now I’m tempted to try it with my bank…

30 11 2009
Motti Lanzkron

If you do please comment here with the result.

29 11 2009
Bill Weiss

Forgot to hit “notify via email” on the first one.

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