Getting Drunk On Stars
News > Brain Candy
Robert Krulwich
Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 12:16 PM
Font size: A | A | A | A |

For Vi Hart, a self-professed math geek, patterns, shapes and numbers are like wine; they make her giddy, speed up her already speedy conversational style, and lead her into drawing dizzying illustrations.

If she were an octopus, or an alien from the planet Zantar, I would expect this, but no, Vi Hart is a person, like me, with arms, legs, heart, fingers and toes, and with a mind — ah, that's where I have to draw the line: Vi Hart's mind is not like mine, so not like mine, all I can do is gape in wonder.

She is a math geek. She makes videos for kids who she suspects are like her but don't know it yet. For Vi, patterns, shapes and numbers are like wine; they make her giddy, speed up her already speedy conversational style, and lead her into drunken orgies of drawing and dizzy illustration.

Case in point: This video, which is about stars. Not stars-in-the-sky stars, but stars you draw on paper. Five pointed ones, Jewish ones, asterisk style ones, that's how she starts, but as she gets into it, the narrative gets faster, the drawings busier, out pop 7 pointed stars, then 8 pointed stars, then 11 pointed ones (nope, she can't do those), then stars of superimposed polygons drawn without lifting her pencil, then what she calls "square" stars; she's going faster and faster, pulling out ruler-shaped objects I recognize from math classes I spaced out in, and two and a half minutes in, Vi is travelling on an astral plane so far from where I live, she's shooting stars out of her pencil and all I can do is watch her go.

I don't know what she's saying much of the time, but I find it beautiful nonetheless... [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]



This article is filed in: Brain Candy, Science, Home Page Top Stories

Also in Brain Candy  
Too Many Cooks, Not Enough Fish. What's The Solution?
If we don't notice that animals are in decline, do we keep eating until they're gone permanently?

120 Giants Found Living With 86 Year Old Man
What inspired an 86-year-old to live among giant tortoises in the Indian Ocean?

Actress Mayim Bialik On TV, Science, And The Combo
How Bialik went from 'Blossom' to 'The Big Bang Theory,' and got a PhD in between.

Who Killed Men's Hats? Think Of A Three Letter Word Beginning With 'I'
Robert Krulwich, and his hat-maker father, Allen Krulwich, have a theory on the demise of the hat.

Cracking The Egg Sprinkler Mystery
When a hard-boiled egg is spun in milk, the milk will wick up the sides and spray off the equator.

Comments  
Post a Comment