"vi hart"

The Mid-Century Supper Club revives kooky recipes of yore

When I was a kid, my grandmother's holiday go-to dish was a mayo-topped carrot and pineapple Jell-O salad (I still despise mayonnaise to this day).

In the 70s, I remember flipping through my mom's cookbooks and recipe cards looking at all the questionable creations inside. Looking back I can see that the recipes were targeted to ambitious homemakers with plenty of time on their hands. Ungodly (in)edibles like aspic-glazed lamb loafs (below), cocktail weenie trees, and ambrosia salad immediately come to mind.

My pals Karen Finlay and Jennye Garibaldi were also fascinated by the elaborate dishes within these cookbooks. So much so that in 2007, after meeting like-minded folks in a Mid-Century Supper Club Flickr group, the duo started hosting themed potluck parties where invitees were asked to whip up vintage recipes to share with other the guests.

The Mid-Century Supper Club (MCSC) potluck was born and it soon became a big success.

In 2008, the first potluck was held in Karen's Oakland, California flat. By the end of 2012, the annual party had gotten so big that it had to be moved to a rental venue. For the past few years, it's found a home at the (amazing, old school) Eagles Hall in downtown Alameda, California.

A good deal of the MCSC's charm is that it's more than just about re-creating a vintage dish. It's about going all in. To be sure, presentation is key, as laid out in the official rules:

If you've ever looked through vintage cook books and booklets, you know that in the mid-century era, creative and stylish presentation was almost as important as the taste of the food...judging by some of the ingredients, maybe more so!

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Trippy 3D-printed spheres that help conceptualize 4D

Henry Segerman takes a brisk stroll through the world of four-dimensional objects with some really cool 3D-printed sculptures, like this sphere that projects a square grid when lit: Read the rest

Different ways to prove that .999... = 1

In 2012, Vi Hart made this video giving "9.999... reasons that .999... = 1" She also made a video of bad proofs why .999... does not equal 1.

There's some interesting discussion about it at TYWKIWDBI. Read the rest

As usual, Vi Hart's annual Pi Day video is the best way to ring in 3/14

Vi Hart (previously) is the fast-talking, doodling, hyper-charming mathematical vlogger whose Pi Day videos are consistently the best of the season, even when she's pooping on Pi, she always manages to fascinate and delight. Read the rest

Nothing says Christmas like an aluminum tree

Lisa Hix of Collectors Weekly has just published a great interview with Sarah Archer, whose new book, Midcentury Christmas: Holiday Fads, Fancies, and Fun from 1945 to 1970, explains how companies like Alcoa Aluminum used Christmas to capitalize on the technologies it had developed for World War II.

Here's a snip:

The company that produced the most aluminum for the war effort was Alcoa, but there were also some smaller companies, too, many of which were based in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, of all places, which was one of the big aluminum capitals of North America. Like a lot of mid-century Christmas items, including the acrylic rubber that coats Christmas lights cords, aluminum trees came from thinking about repurposing a material produced for the military. The aluminum strips that were used to make the trees were originally designed for something called chaff, which was sprinkled over enemy territories to scramble radar because the little pieces of metal would diffuse the signal.

Many 1950s aluminum tree producers used Alcoa branding. The exterior of the box would say, “We proudly use Alcoa aluminum.” You could put ornaments on these trees, but one of the challenges of decorating them was not getting electrocuted, which was mentioned prominently in the how-to pamphlet that came with the tree. Because it was not safe to put electric lights on the metal, the companies distributing the trees would sell a rotating lamp that would shine different-colored lights on the tree to bathe it in magenta or purple.

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Vi Hart's statistical perspective on the American electoral divide

Fast-talking national-treasure math vlogger Vi Hart (previously) takes a statistical look at the polling data from the 2016 presidential election and concludes that the most significant divide in the country is "old vs young," which drives things like rural/urban (because young people leave failing rural areas for cities) and even racial divides. Read the rest

Dallas police shootings and #blacklivesmatter

Here's the kernel of Vi Hart's #blacklivesmatter video, on how we remember the dead: "The officers who were killed are being treated with dignity and respect as they should be. No one reported about those officers’ past infractions or how many complaints had been made against them or their family members’ criminal records." Read the rest

Vi Hart on shootings, stalkings, and Internetting While Female

Like many youtubers, the incomparable, fast-talking, sharpie-doodling mathematician Vi Hart (previously) was stunned by the Orlando shooting of Christina Grimmie, a Youtube singing star who broke out into the mainstream, and who was murdered by a man who attended her public appearance. Read the rest

Vi Hart Pi Day rant 2016: best one yet

Fast-talking, doodling math genius Vi Hart (previously) really hates Pi Day, and every year, she celebrates her loathing with a fresh video pooping on your 3/14 parade. Read the rest

Space Oddity meets Up-Goer Five

Alaska Robotics perform a very special cover of Space Oddity in constrained-vocabulary phrasing that restates the lyrics using only the 100 most common English words, in the style of Randall "XKCD" Munroe's Thing Explainer/Up-Goer Five.

(via Vi Hart) Read the rest

Parable of the Polygons: segregation and "slight" racism

Vi Hart and Nicky Case created a brilliant "playable post" that challenges you to arrange two groups of polygons to make them "happy" by ensuring that no more than 2/3 of their neighbors are different. Read the rest

Rational numbers are impossible!

Brilliant, high-speed math vlogger Vi Hart has revisited the topic of the sizes of infinities. Read the rest

Songs for the carpool lane

Speedtalking math-vlogger Vi Hart isn't just a math wizard: she's also a brilliant songstress. Read the rest

Vi Hart on the relative sizes of infinities

Just in time for you to get the most out of "The Fault in Our Stars," the incomparable, fast-talking mathblogger Vi Hart's latest video is a sparkling-clear explanation of one of my favorite math-ideas: the relative size of different infinities. If that's not enough for you, have a listen to this episode of the Math for Primates podcast.

Proof some infinities are bigger than other infinities Read the rest

Vi Hart explains Net Neutrality

Fast-talking mathematician Vi Hart weighed in on the Net Neutrality debate with a great video explaining the telcoms' extortion plan with an excellent metaphor about postal delivery.

(Thanks, Alan!) Read the rest

Vi Hart's updated poop-on-Pi video

Math-doodling manic talking charming vlogger Vi Hart has updated her classic anti-Pi rant with a new poop-on-Pi video called "Happy Pi Day? NOPE," in which she explains why we should be wowed by numbers like 4 and 5 and completely blase about Pi and its cohort. Read the rest

Cookie geometry with Vi Hart

Vi Hart, the Internet's favorite manic vlogging mathematician, has released a new video in which she teams up with math artists Andrea Hawksley and Gwen Fisher, and Gwen's sister Ruth of Sweets by Ruth. The four of them bake satisfyingly precise and geometric gingerbread polygons, then build up a variety of astounding three dimensional forms by piecing them together with icing. The video is both hunger-inspiring and brain-inspiring, and is likely to be the best thing you watch this week.

Cookie Shapes Read the rest

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