How I want a drink, alcoholic of course . . .
It turns out that Wikipedia -- amazing, maddening Wikipedia -- has a cool page devoted to a list of mnemonics. And on that page I found a link to the most amazing pi-mnemonic that I have ever heard of. Not only does it encode pi, it is also a parody of Poe's "The Raven". It begins
Near a Raven
Midnights so dreary, tired and weary.And on and on for 740 places. I am simply in awe. Why isn't this -- surely a work of staggering genius (of a certain sort) -- much better known? Or maybe it is, and I just haven't been paying attention.
Silently pondering volumes extolling all by-now obsolete lore.
During my rather long nap - the weirdest tap!
An ominous vibrating sound disturbing my chamber's antedoor.
"This", I whispered quietly, "I ignore".
Also on the Wikipedia page are a number of other scientific mnemonics, including a couple for the sequence of stellar spectral types: O, B, A, F, G, K, M. The most well-known one is "Oh Be A Fine Girl, Kiss Me!" (Ladies may change "Girl" to "Guy" if they wish.) Another one that I like much better was invented by a student in one of our astronomy classes, and is not mentioned by Wikipedia. It runs, "Only Bad Astronomers Forget Generally Known Mnemonics."
Meanwhile, all such efforts, however witty, shrink to nothing beside this ditty:
So he sitteth, observing always, perching ominously on these doorways.
Squatting on the stony bust so untroubled, O therefore.
Suffering stark raven's conversings, so I am condemned, subserving,
To a nightmare cursed, containing miseries galore.
Thus henceforth, I'll rise (from a darkness, a grave) -- nevermore!