Hey everyone, I discovered this site quite some time ago, and it looks like there have been a lot of interesting comments since then. To one of the more recent posters I will mention that I can say about 350 digits in one minute.
I began memorizing pi somewhere around the age of 10, I guess, and right now I am 19. In all, I have memorized the first 1000 digits of pi, although I have had those memorized since I was 14ish. My record was 1400 once, but I tend to forget them when I don't practice, so right now I only know 1000. My goal is about 10k if I can find the time, but the record is around 80k, so I don't really think I'll ever get that far. Who knows, though?
I am currently double majoring in computer science and mathematics, so hopefully I will learn all sorts of interesting things about pi during my studies. I have always loved pi, so of course I own the books "A History of Pi" and "The Joy of Pi", although the former is more extensive. Pi is an obsession that many simply cannot understand. I find it hilarious when friends ask, "But why??" and I have no answer for them except for "Because I can!"
There really is no particularly good reason to know so many digits, but simply dedicating yourself to memorizing something so inexhaustable is great exercise for your brain. I know that my ability to learn quickly must partly come from this nerdy obsession that many of us here share. I remember this one time in high school, I printed out the first million and a half digits or so in the library, LOL! After that, they put a limit on how much we could print, LMAO.
Oh, yeah, and I definitely plan on buying one of those t-shirts mentioned above. I love the one that says "Approximation is for Wimps," haha.
Visit my pi page! (in progress)
-- (June 14, 2006) on Pi