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Getting Drunk On Stars

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...

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Robert Krulwich works on radio, podcasts, video, the blogosphere. He has been called "the most inventive network reporter in television" by TV Guide.
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