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Cornish Bush π
March 26, 2006 11:37 AM   Subscribe

That Kate Bush song where she sings 150 digits of π and gets it wrong [possibly]? Turns out it contains secret references to, among other things, some stones in Cornwall that look sort of like a steam locomotive and a number of megalithic sites. No, seriously. He's got proof.
posted by gleuschk (26 comments total)

 
[this is lol]
posted by zenzizi at 11:52 AM on March 26, 2006


π looks like crap in this font.
posted by rxrfrx at 12:00 PM on March 26, 2006


Did someone say pie?

No Steve, not PIE, Pi!

Oh.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 12:01 PM on March 26, 2006


Kate was very lucky that the digits of p allowed her to include this additional reversal-instruction.

Almost . . . too lucky. Did Kate plant these digits in pi herself?
posted by Mikey-San at 12:01 PM on March 26, 2006 [1 favorite]


When I first started reading this I thought, Kate Moss has an album? But anyway, his research is amazing and it makes me wonder if there are other songs where some poor artist put that amount of thought into it and nobody took the time to dig it up, like this guy.
posted by Suparnova at 12:04 PM on March 26, 2006


Well, a song about the digits of pi is certanly going to get all the math nerds hot and bothered, especialy if she sang the 'wrong' digits in certan places.
posted by delmoi at 12:24 PM on March 26, 2006


And another big secret revealed by hidden clues: Paul is dead.
posted by beagle at 12:25 PM on March 26, 2006


It still seems so arbitrary. Granted, he's focused on lots of little details, and apparently did find a couple of interesting locations (a ring of trees, and an Aerial), it still seems so... Bible code. There's an awful lot of "the obvious choice is to swap, then reverse the digits..." style of manipulating the raw data. That's usually a sign someone is looking too hard, and obviously with his surveyor's map he could try several permutations until he hits on one that's "probably" meaningful, like a ring of trees or an aerial tower. It's giving a lot of credit to Kate Bush to imagine she Puzzlehunted this detailed set of instructions in a song. At least from what I read, it's not like the instructions were recursive or consistent, like you'd see in a good puzzle- where the same technique can be used to repeatedly break down the data, or there's more supporting information between the style of manipulation and the data being worked on, etc.

I'm not unconvinced... I'm just very skeptical. It could be true, or it could be that if you have 150 digits of pi in a song, you can pretty much find anything you want to in there.
posted by hincandenza at 12:29 PM on March 26, 2006


Heh, from one of the links:
My theory is that kate Bush has been looking all her life for a man who is so geeky that he would notice an error in the Pi song. She'll be reading your blog and fantasising about you now, you lucky bugger,

In 12 years time, when she makes her next record, there'll almost certainly be a high concept song cycle about Web Usability, as a love offering to you.


For some reason the "Great Big Circle" site doesn't work under safari. My suspicion is that melody, stresses, and the missing digits are part of writing a great song. At already 6'09" it's possible that a lyric got cut out. It wouldn't be the first time she's taken poetic liberties for the sake of a good song.

My question is, how did the inventor of the "Great Big Circle" site arrange it so a link to his site gets posted to metafilter, and noticed by me just as I was listening to the song?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:35 PM on March 26, 2006


This guys on my physics aggregator site, Mixed States, and I haven't decided if I should toss him off yet. The rest of his work is lucid and sometimes insightful. I'm keeping an eye on him. I hope he pulls himself out of it.
posted by jmhodges at 1:38 PM on March 26, 2006


Why would anyone sing a song about pi? Have musicians just run out of ideas?

It seems as commercial pop music gets more unlistenable, the worse the polar opposite of commercial pop becomes.
posted by wfc123 at 3:22 PM on March 26, 2006


"Kate would not have included such structure in her song if it wasn't there for a reason."

When the said structure can only be observed by extracting the first letters of each line, and then interpreting selections of them not as words but as acronyms, we can see exactly how arbitrary the process is.

Let's not insult Kate's lyrics by suggesting that the only reason they are as they are is to convey a hidden code.
posted by Silki at 3:45 PM on March 26, 2006


This guys on my physics aggregator site, Mixed States, and I haven't decided if I should toss him off yet.

The stuff about Pi is interesting, sure, but maybe you should get to know him a little better first!
posted by crank at 3:48 PM on March 26, 2006


Don't care for Kate Bush, however from the links I learned Katie Melua re-recorded a song because she said the universe's age is 12 billion years, instead of the more accurate 13.7. That's damn cool.
posted by adzm at 4:31 PM on March 26, 2006


Why would anyone sing a song about pi? Have musicians just run out of ideas?

This is Kate Bush. She's a little bit weird. Her first big hit was a song she wrote about Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights.
posted by stavrogin at 5:04 PM on March 26, 2006


adzm, that link is freaking hilarious.
Before: 'We are 12 billion light years from the edge, that's a guess, no one can ever say it's true, but I know that I will always be with you'

After: 'We are 13.7 billion light years from the edge of the observable universe, that's a good estimate, with well defined error bars, and with the available information I predict that I will always be with you'
posted by IshmaelGraves at 5:15 PM on March 26, 2006


wfc123: Why would anyone sing a song about pi? Have musicians just run out of ideas?

Well, there are a few ways of looking at it:
1: The song isn't really about pi, but about a person's obsession with it.
2: The long string of numbers provides a nice showcase for her really brilliant voice.
3: Actually, a song written from the point of view of a woman in love with a man obsessed by numbers seems to be rather tame. In previous songs, she's used literary ghosts, unborn fetuses, Viet Cong recruits, and the son of Willhelm Reich as narrators.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:22 PM on March 26, 2006


Wow, I knew Kate Bush's new album was bad, but I'd never gotten all the way through to the pi song before.
posted by blacklite at 6:48 PM on March 26, 2006


What does the universe look like in which the value of pi _is_ correct as she sings it? Better, perhaps? Maybe she's from the universe that's intelligently designed?
posted by hank at 6:54 PM on March 26, 2006


Please don't hate me, but I used to be a big Kate Bush fan. Especially around Hounds of Love and The Sensual World. And if you've ever seen She's Having a Baby with Kevin Bacon, Elizabeth Montgomery, and Alec Baldwin, there is a particularly haunting sequence when things go wrong in the delivery room and Bush is singing This Woman's Work in the background.

On second thought, you can hate me now...
posted by Roger Dodger at 7:42 PM on March 26, 2006


This is Kate Bush. She's a little bit weird

this is same woman who was singing about 'sound weapons' some 20 odd years ago.
posted by visit beautiful mount weather! at 8:03 PM on March 26, 2006


*the* same woman
posted by visit beautiful mount weather! at 8:04 PM on March 26, 2006


Heathcliff, it's me, Cathy, come home!
posted by shoepal at 8:25 PM on March 26, 2006


Wow, I knew Kate Bush's new album was bad, but I'd never gotten all the way through to the pi song before.

It's not bad, it's bloody brilliant. If you think I'm wrong, prove it.
posted by Summer at 1:31 AM on March 27, 2006


Kate Bush's work is definately an acquired taste, but she really is one of the most original and influential artists out there. For those who would prefer not to be challenged by their music, there's always Dave Matthews..

There's also a song on Aerial about watching a washing machine. "My blouse wrapping itself around your trousers.."

Great stuff.
posted by elendil71 at 3:47 AM on March 27, 2006


Even spookier - I tune into MetaFilter in my lunchbreak, to find my own comments on a blog quoted! And - I'm not making this up - I've just had a steak and kidney *pie* which cost me £3.14.

I need to lie down.
posted by Pericles at 4:16 AM on March 27, 2006


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