A number with spiritual implications for some and practical implications for all of us, pi fascinates modern mathematicians, scientists, and the everyday public as much now as ever before. President & CEO of Badalon Media Corp., Clifford Spielman, describes the role of the AllPiDigits print product brand and how it pays homage to one of math’s greatest discoveries.
Opening with a discussion of the recently published, “The Digits of Pi, Volume 1,” Spielman describes the painstaking process behind transcribing 100 million digits in print format in a way that is both accessible, legible, and useful for mathematicians, scientists, and pi fanatics of every background. Making such a product seems daunting, and Spielman assures us that it was but not without its rewards. As for how this was achieved, Spielman goes into some detail about the level of dedication needed as well as the attention to detail required to make such a work viable. For example, the inclusion of a magnifying glass as well as the selection of the font size, among other details, combined in the end product for a result that is readable and offers immediate utility to its owner. Of course, Volume 1 implies a second edition sometime in the future, and Spielman is excited to describe current products as well as future plans for the AllPiDigits brand.
Along this front, Spielman teases a coffee table book that reaches 1 billion digits of pi although, as one might imagine, this is more of an undertaking than meets the eye. After all, something of that size will require some research and development as well as product testing before it is put on the market. Here, however, AllPiDigits has more than enough experience necessary to release such a monumental work.
Describing the label’s formative days making posters and stationery, product lines it proudly maintains to this day, Spielman offers some insights into successful product development, managing goals, and what philosophers impact his thinking.
Clifford, can you start off by telling us about All Pi Digits?
AllPiDigits is our brand which focuses almost exclusively on unique and innovative Digits of Pi print products. Such products include coffee table style books, posters and also notepads.
Can you explain to us your new book “The Digits of Pi, Volume 1: Digits 1 Through 100 million?”
The Digits of Pi, Volume 1 is a new Pi digit anthology / coffee table book and is our most extreme homage to Pi yet, in that it takes the digit count to the next level. This coffee table book literally contains the first 100 million digits of Pi, with between 250-300 thousand digits on each page, depending whether we’re talking about the hardcover or softcover edition. “Volume 1” is to suggest that we’ll consider the Next 100 million digits if we see there’s interest in such a notion.
As far as we can determine, this is the largest collection of printed Pi digits commercially available in a bound book format, or frankly in any printed format. With all of our books, we offer a magnifier to help read the tiny digits. The printing needs to be miniscule in order to fit in a book that’s a manageable size.
The book is 500 pages long. How did you get all 100 million digits into just 500 pages?
As I touched on, we print the 100 million digits at a very small font size – around 2 point – so the content fits nicely and nobody gets a hernia from handling the book. Still the book has some nice heft to it but is very manageable. Over the last handful of years, we’ve honed the process of designing and producing such posters and books.
Why have you chosen to publish the book?
I have to confess to having somewhat of an obsession with fitting an epic amount of content into a small space, whether it’s Pi digits or works of Shakespeare, or something else. My name is Clifford, and I’m a tiny-print-aholic. I jest, but the simplest reason why this book was made is because we could do it, and kinda had to do it. The design process is a passion for me, and then there’s the icing on the cake (or Pi), being when customers are thrilled with our work. Most folks have never before seen so many Pi digits in one place.
Who is “The Digits of Pi, Volume 1: Digits 1 Through 100 million” for?
The intended audience is math / science teachers, enthusiasts, professors, graduates, etc. Though it’s yet to be determined, I suspect that the audience will be more adult than that of our posters, which get a lot of kid traffic due at least in part to the lower price tag.
Is there the possibility of another book featuring digits of Pi?
It’s quite a certainty in fact. “The Digits of Pi, Volume 1” is not our first such offering, and we have exciting variations and alternatives in progress or planned for the near future. For those who feel 100 million Pi digits is just too many for a single human, we offer a 10-million-digit version as well. It’s a more petite book, as well as priced lower than the 100-million-digit editions. Despite the more diminutive nature of the 10-million-digit version, it still offers more digits than any other single bound edition we’ve come across.
Another variation we’re excited to offer (hopefully by the time this interview is published) is a library binding version. This will be a classic leather or buckram bound edition. Very understated and styled to look like a reference book. We are also looking into offering a hand-sewn artisan binding.
As if those offerings aren’t enough, we’ve developed a coffee table book with the first 1 billion (B-I-L-L-I-O-N) digits of Pi. A decision has been made to first complete many of the items just mentioned before finalizing this behemoth. We’ve built a few but are still tinkering with the final presentation. It’s truly staggering, weighing in at about 20 pounds currently. Who needs the gym when they work with 20-pound books?
The book comes with a magnifying glass. What was the inspiration in offering a magnifying glass with each copy of the book?
Even though we strive to be an exclusive brand, we don’t want to be so exclusive as to exclude people with less than perfect vision. I want every Pi fan to be able to enjoy our products, even if they wear glasses as I do. It’s not that nobody can read the tiny digits without help. Personally, my eyes can read all items we produce because I have good close-up vision. But that doesn’t mean I’d want to do it for an extended period without assistance. Hence the magnifiers.
The credit card magnifier we currently include with “The Digits of Pi, Volume 1” is super helpful, and because it’s flat, can even be kept inside the book. As a future option, we’re looking at adding magnifiers that further elevate our products from a luxury standpoint.
Clifford, can you tell us about some of the Pi related products your Badalon Media website sells?
We don’t currently do ecommerce from our corporate site but rather on AllPiDigits.Com and Amazon.
Nevertheless, we’re undergoing changes and may be introducing some new non-Pi products on our Badalon Media site. So definitely visit both our Badalon.com and AllPiDigits.com sites.
I’ve gone into some detail about the various Pi digit coffee table books / anthologies we offer.
Where we started, in terms of print products, is with posters. We still offer an amazing poster called “The 1 Million Digits of Pi Poster”, and it contains…you guessed it, the first 1 million digits of Pi. Presently, these posters are 13 x 26 inches and are offered in either portrait or landscape orientation, as well as in a couple of colors. The color options apply to the title and artwork, whereas the digits are always printed in black. The posters are laminated for additional protection and to elevate the quality.
A new area we’re excited to be injecting Pi digits into is memo pads and stationery. By the time this interview is published, we have likely launched groundbreaking memo pads which contain the first 1 million digits of Pi in each set. The digits are printed in such a way that the memo pads serve both as the perfect choice for To Do lists et al but also as a showcase for the first 1 million digits of Pi. Each side of a sheet has either 2,500 or 5,000 Pi digits, depending on the size option. They’re just really cool.
Along with All Pi Digits, you are the owner of Badalon Media Corp. What services are offered by the company?
Badalon Media Corp has also been actively involved in media creation of a different kind, specifically the development of complex software for corporate clients. That software leaning has come in handy with creating the code used to generate our AllPiDigits products.
How is a day in your life?
Presently, I’m in the final throws of the current round of product development. This is undeniably my favorite chunk of a day’s work. Regardless, the Kevin Costner from Field of Dreams approach to business rarely works. Just because you build it, doesn’t mean anybody will come. Thus, my days are also spent working with legal and marketing professionals on the best strategies in their respective areas, e.g. protecting intellectual property.
This is all mixed in with the day-to-day of running a small business. When I’m not staring intently at millions of tiny Pi digits, I’m wrangling my three dogs, seeing friends and being outside.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
It’s safe to say that most people don’t know I’m on the adult autism spectrum. I think the reason this stays unnoticed is that my communication skills are above average and many people associate autism with a lack of communication. But that’s a long story.
Choose two of your favorite quotes and write them here
To answer this question, I turn to a sage philosopher – my daughter. You can quote Plato, Aristotle and Shakespeare to me all day long, but I’m still more inspired by some of my daughter’s zingers. Two are:
“This restaurant isn’t so fancy; it doesn’t even have a kid’s menu”, While out at a nice restaurant.
“Elephants are so heavy Daddy, I’ll bet you can only carry one for a second”
If you had the power to change just one thing in the world, what would it be?
Just one thing, huh. So forget making pizza in New Mexico be good. How about having the ability to propel the human race forward by a few thousand years, to a point where we are beyond tribalism and blind allegiance to falsehoods and charlatans.
To know more about “The Digits of Pi, Volume 1” please contact Clifford Spielman
Main Business Phone: (505) 910-4456
Web Store: https://allpidigits.com
Corporate Site: https://badalon.com
E-Mail: [email protected]