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> I am Clay
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June 2021

This newsletter is a collection of things I have found in the last month that I enjoyed, found interesting, or simply wanted to share.

You can follow me more closely at my personal website or if you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell a home, you can point them to my real estate website.

Have you had enough pi?

How Many Decimals of Pi Do We Really Need?

For JPL’s (NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory) highest accuracy calculations, which are for interplanetary navigation, we use 3.141592653589793. Let’s look at this a little more closely to understand why we don’t use more decimal places. I think we can even see that there are no physically realistic calculations scientists ever perform for which it is necessary to include nearly as many decimal points as you present.

[…]

[Earth] is 7,926 miles in diameter at the equator. The circumference then is 24,900 miles. That’s how far you would travel if you circumnavigated the globe (and didn’t worry about hills, valleys, obstacles like buildings, rest stops, waves on the ocean, etc.). How far off would your odometer be if you used the limited version of pi above? It would be off by the size of a molecule. There are many different kinds of molecules, of course, so they span a wide range of sizes, but I hope this gives you an idea. Another way to view this is that your error by not using more digits of pi would be 10,000 times thinner than a hair!

Hold the Booze

The Economics of Non-Alcoholic Spirits

One big reason for the higher price? Even though water is cheaper than alcohol, it’s less effective at carrying flavors. Ethanol is an exceptionally good solvent for capturing aroma compounds. These get released when poured into a glass, sipped or mixed with ice or a cocktail, which is what enables the sensory intensity and complexity of distilled spirits.

Alcohol offers so many advantages for flavor extraction and retention that many, if not most non-alcoholic spirits use it at some point in the process, either as a base of distillation that is later removed or as a tincture added in trace amounts to the nearly finished product.

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Thanks for reading. Have a great month,

Clay

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