# Potatoes and MathNovember 22, 2012 9:09 AM   Subscribe

Maximum gravy: Vi hart, daughter of George & mathemusician at The Khan Academy, cooks mathematical potatoes to go along with a symmetrical Turduckenen. Have a delicious Thanksgiving. posted by growabrain (21 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

The larger circle of potatoes will have more surface area, thus increasing the rate at which both the potatoes and the gravy cool. In the limit, the walls of your potato circle would have 0 width, meaning it will have no heat retaining capacity. You need to specify some sort of loss function so you can balance the two desired quantities, heat and gravy-holding capacity. Once you've specified the loss function, you can optimize it with several algorithms; optimization over two variables is fairly easy.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 9:23 AM on November 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

I love the tau pie!
posted by aspo at 9:31 AM on November 22, 2012

Math does this fake shit all the time, but it is normally too complex or abstract for us to actually see the results, so we believe it. When we do get a glimpse of the fakery--like with money, for example--it's hilarious. You can count the number of bills, but the value is always changing. Who the fuck came up with that idea? Math wasn't like that when I was a kid. Five cents would always buy me a Coke. Do not be fooled; the only real math is limited to fingers, and maybe toes.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:35 AM on November 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

I should probably devise an extension of IUPAC nomenclature to name her turduckenen that provides an unambiguous name from which the structure and constituents of any stuffed meat product can be deduced.
posted by peeedro at 9:57 AM on November 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Math does this fake shit all the time, but it is normally too complex or abstract for us to actually see the results, so we believe it. When we do get a glimpse of the fakery--like with money, for example--it's hilarious. You can count the number of bills, but the value is always changing. Who the fuck came up with that idea? Math wasn't like that when I was a kid. Five cents would always buy me a Coke. Do not be fooled; the only real math is limited to fingers, and maybe toes.
what
posted by Evernix at 10:28 AM on November 22, 2012 [3 favorites]

For some reason, I thought you left the bones in the birds for a turducken. I really like her boneless version. It looks fantastic.

I also noticed, in the turducken video, that she has one red and one black sleeve. Seemed a bit odd, at first, but then I figured even Vi Hart must sometimes get tired of all that math symmetry.
posted by Malor at 10:30 AM on November 22, 2012

Math wasn't like that when I was a kid. Five cents would always buy me a Coke.

That has less to do with math and more to do with the peculiar contractual obligations of the Coca-Cola company.
posted by baf at 10:47 AM on November 22, 2012 [5 favorites]

I love her videos.

My favorite part of those linked above is the end of the turduckenen - "No matter how crazy people are, at least mathematics is always there for you making sense and truth and beauty"

Which to me is simultaneously inspiring and sad.
posted by Gorgik at 10:52 AM on November 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

There's no way she cooked that many potatoes until soft in that size pot in fifteen to twenty minutes.
posted by kenko at 11:06 AM on November 22, 2012

one red and one black sleeve
posted by Rat Spatula at 11:07 AM on November 22, 2012 [7 favorites]

Fortunately her arms are not arranged according to the red-black tree constraint.
posted by kenko at 11:12 AM on November 22, 2012

I want to make a trinary branch bird now, with 1 chicken, 3 large sausages, and 9 quail eggs. Maybe add in 27 spinach leaves to add bulk and a vegetable.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:16 AM on November 22, 2012

I want to make a finger-tree turkey, where up to four other bird wings dangle from the wings of the turkey.
posted by kenko at 11:24 AM on November 22, 2012

Actually, that's not true. I just wanted to make a finger-tree joke, and I don't think I even succeeded at that.
posted by kenko at 11:24 AM on November 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

my dad does stuff like this. We have to make sure he gets the gravyboat last when we're having a family dinner, or no-one else will get any gravy. Also whipped cream. He has a very specific way that he will apply whipped cream to his desert to allow optimal cream application to his dessert, ending up with a sort of fluffy white ziggurat.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:32 PM on November 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

that is the most charming person ever. wow.
posted by runincircles at 12:55 PM on November 22, 2012

Functional food whimsy is a close-to-complete joy. And yet, that knife needs to be sharpened. /tangent
posted by datawrangler at 2:56 PM on November 22, 2012

A cranberry cylinder and some bread spheres.
posted by JHarris at 4:38 PM on November 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

TURDUCKENENDUCKENEN. omg I'm squeeing how undignified
posted by JHarris at 4:41 PM on November 22, 2012

And yet, that knife needs to be sharpened. /tangent

Yeah, it's not that hard to look after your utensils properly. /sinh
posted by benito.strauss at 8:03 PM on November 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

Darn! I just realized that I could have named the post 'Math Potatoes'...
posted by growabrain at 11:26 AM on November 23, 2012 [2 favorites]

« Older The best kind of fall   |   RIP Austin Peralta Newer »