High School Pi Guy Joins The Upper Crust

Posted: March 14, 1999

Jake Engel won last week's pi memorization contest at South High School in Fargo, N.D., by reciting the never-ending number to 1,001 digits. The number, which equals the circumference of a circle divided by its diameter, is usually rounded off to 3.14. ``It really didn't take too much work,'' said Engel, 16. ``I stepped it up a little toward the end and learned 500 digits in the last four days. It kind of became an obsession. It's a wonder I can remember my own phone number.''

Arbin Timilsina, recently certified to climb Mount Everest, says he'll make an assault this spring in an attempt to become the youngest person ever to reach the top of the world's tallest mountain. ``There is no time to lose,'' said Timilsina, who turns 16 on June 16. ``I have to rush.'' The record is held by another Nepalese, Shambu Tamang, who was 17 when he reached the summit in 1973. Timilsina, who will be accompanied by three experienced Sherpa climbers, said he hopes to be an inspiration to other children. ``If I succeed in my attempt,'' he said, ``every child in the world will be encouraged to climb.''

THE SKIN GAME * Yousra, one of Egypt's most famous movie stars, won an appeal Thursday of a lower court decision that fined her $150 for appearing on a magazine cover in a silk negligee. The actress has been battling the case since December 1995, when two Muslim fundamentalist lawyers claimed her appearance on the cover of a magazine was ``scandalous'' and violated ``morals, art, the law and Islamic laws.'' The pictures, taken from the movie Birds of Darkness, are mild by Western standards. They show her with bare arms and legs, but in Egypt it is rare to see women in public not fully covered. The appeals court ruled that the photos were not offensive and could be seen in Egyptian movie theaters. The lawyers said they would appeal.

THE HAUNTING PAST * Carrie Leigh, who lived with Hugh Hefner in the Playboy Mansion for five years in the 1980s, is suing the Playboy founder for printing photos of her cavorting nude with other women and implying she was a lesbian drug addict. The entries are in the new coffee-table book Life Inside the Playboy Mansion. ``That was a private moment,'' she said of the photos in question. ``That was a different lifestyle that I was living at the time. Now I'm a wife and mother and a businesswoman.'' Leigh, now 35, moved in with Hefner in 1983 and said that for the five years she lived with him the relationship was ``as monogamous as any relationship gets.'' She added that she used drugs in the 1980s ``but not abusively and not in the manner which they're trying to portray me.'' In her suit, Leigh, who now runs her own adult Web site, seeks unspecified damages for breach of contract, invasion of privacy and defamation.

CASE CLOSED * O.J. Simpson's daughter Arnelle Simpson, 30, has paid more than $10,000 in restitution for damaging a bus bench and a Beverly Hills apartment building last April in a crash while driving drunk. Arnelle Simpson was not in court Wednesday when a Los Angeles prosecutor told a judge that the case had been resolved with her payment. She also was sentenced to two days in jail, fined, and ordered into a rehabilitation program, which she has completed.

HE WANTS YOU, BABE! * Cher's ex-manager, Bill Sammeth, is suing the singer for unspecified damages, saying he had a deal with her to receive 15 percent of the profits from her hit album Believe. Sammeth says that after 22 years as Cher's personal manager, the star fired him without explanation just days before she sang the national anthem at the Super Bowl in January.

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