Holidays 2016

Post image for Sierpinski “forest” lights up front yard on Lucky Avenue in Menlo Park

A gaggle of elves — otherwise known as students in Paula Hamilton’s Holiday Design Lab — assembled four Sierpinski Christmas trees that are now lighting up 1031 Lucky Avenue in Menlo Park in the best possible manner.

“This is the second year I’ve focused on fractal math during the holiday season,” said Paula, who we profiled on InMenlo in 2014. “It’s a great way to engage the students in interesting math.”

The design students made Stage 0, Stage 1 and Stage 2 Sierpinski Tetrahedron tress that became the basis of the three Stage 3 trees and the giant Stage 4 trees that adorn Paula’s front yard.

According to Wikipedia, “the Sierpinski triangle, also called the Sierpinski gasket or the Sierpinski Sieve, is a fractal and attractive fixed set with the overall shape of an equilateral triangle, subdivided recursively into smaller equilateral triangles.” The math inquisitive can get the full scoop here.

Paula explained that the inverted triangles are all blank with the largest inverted triangle measuring six feet.

“Our neighbors joined the students as part of a community design day,” she said. “We put the lights on after the build. If we had more time, I would have built on some other fractal math shapes.”

For that we await next year, but this year’s trees are enjoyable now.

Photo by Robb Most

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Spotted: Nativity scene re-enacted on Christmas Eve

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For those Christians who follow the liturgical calendar, Christmas isn’t over. Rather it just began on Christmas day and will continue to January 6 when the season of Epiphany begins. So, we feel justified in posting this photo of children at Trinity Church in Menlo Park, recreating the Nativity scene at the afternoon service on Christmas […]

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These Christmas presents and trees are actually cake!

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Each year we enjoy a family Christmas dinner with friends we’ve known almost all of our life. The star of the dinner is always the cake baked by Beth Ann Goldberg, owner of Menlo Park-based Studio Cake. This year’s cake was no exception, a wonderful array of edible packages and well-decorated Christmas trees. It certainly […]

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Spotted: Luminarias are lighting the streets of Menlo Park on Christmas Eve

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As has been the custom for the past few years, luminarias lined Cotton Street in Menlo Park with Hillview Drive fully onboard as well. But maybe the prettiest luminary display is on Olive Street, a few houses in from Santa Cruz Avenue (top). We don’t know if they’ll be out again on Christmas Day evening, but if […]

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As the sun sets, Menlo Park waits for Santa’s arrival

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The kids of Menlo Park and Atherton get squirmier by the minute as they try to make it through a Christmas Eve meal and church. And when they go to bed tonight, they know it’s among the longest nights of the year, both literally and figuratively! InMenlo co-founder and photographer Scott Loftesness captured a few […]

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Happy kids get Christmas toys thanks to St. Anthony’s Padua Dining Room

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The rain cooperated this morning turning into light drizzle as hundreds of kids lined up for a toy giveaway at St. Anthony’s Padua Dining Room, an event co-sponsored with the Menlo Park Firefighters Association. “So far, we have never turned anyone away” said Betty Steidel, the volunteer coordinator of the giveaway. “Other organizations require families to register. We […]

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You’ll go nuts for these Christmas crackers

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It’s not Christmas until my great aunt Nita sends us a batch of her infamous “Dilly Crackers.” Totally delicious, totally addictive. This year I whipped up a few batches to give out as gifts and enlisted a crew of NUTS to watch over the CRACKERS. Aunt Nita’s Dilly Crackers 2-12 ounce packages oyster crackers l-1/4 cups vegetable […]

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Do your holiday shopping right here in Menlo Park

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Each year, we try to spotlight some of the great merchants offering a plethora of holiday gifts right here in Menlo Park. And thanks to long-standing, InMenlo contributing photographers, Irene Searles and Scott R. Kline, we’ve been able to profile many of these merchants – and showcase their wares – over the years. We do […]

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Kids invited to make homemade gift tags at Menlo Park Library on December 17

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On Dec. 17, from 10:15 am to noon, Betsy and Susie from Create Cafe will show us how to create a variety of tags and cards using special paper, stickers, ribbons and more We’ll have a unique craft to decorate your house, too. All materials will be provided, but some may be limited in quantity. […]

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Atherton Police collecting toys for Selby Lane School

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The Atherton Police Department is collecting new, unwrapped toys for families at Selby Lane School. They are accepting new, unwrapped toys for kids ages 5 to 11 years old and are also accepting gift cards for kids ages 12-14 years old. They request all gifts be delivered by Tuesday, December 20. A red/white striped Gift Box marked with the […]

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Gryphon Carolers showcase holiday music from around the world in annual concert

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Although shoppers may get a bit weary of the typical holiday tunes piped through department stores every year at this time, one Peninsula-based vocal ensemble is offering a time-tested cure for holiday tedium. The GryphonCarolers have been lifting audience spirits and calming the effects of turbulent times for the past 35 years. This year’s concert […]

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