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YouTube / Numberphile

Let's Roll a Yahtzee

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YouTube / Numberphile

Okay, Internet, let's get nerdy. There's a 1 in 1,296 chance of rolling a single-throw Yahtzee—that's five dice all landing on the same number in one throw. (Note that this is the chance of rolling any Yahtzee; if you're going for a specific set, such as all-sixes, the odds are 1 in 7,776.) Given this stupidly tough challenge, Brady Haran of Numberphile decided to film his adventure in repetitive rolling, then challenged his viewers to do the same. Strap yourself in, we're about to roll!

First up, Haran explains the math(s) and attempts to roll a Yahtzee, fueled by Diet Coke. My favorite part is around 5:00 when Haran loses hope. "That hopefulness is gone, that optimism. Now I'm just facing the reality of probability," he says, then fails again. For all the failure in this video, it really is a special kind of fun:

Predictably, the Internet responded. Here's two and a half minutes of viewer Yahtzees, complete with bleeped expletives. Fun:

Okay, so how about six minutes of success? I love the awkward pause between a throw and the realization that it worked.

And it keeps going! Seven and a half more minutes of this. I find it delightful how people count their attempts, using apps, calculators, paper and pencil.

Haran is on vacation in the Maldives...but is still trying to achieve single-roll Yahtzees.

Finally, Vi Hart gets in on this with tetrahedral dice and an innovative foot-counter.

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Courtesy Ben Barrett-Forrest
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Design
Learn All About Fonts by Playing With These Poker Cards
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Courtesy Ben Barrett-Forrest

Want to learn about fonts? Try playing poker with the Font Deck, a pack of cards designed to help users learn the finer points of typography and font design.

The deck is the work of Canadian designer Ben Barrett-Forrest, who runs a graphic design studio based out of Ontario and the Yukon. In 2014, Barrett-Forrest designed the precursor to the Font Deck, a product called the Design Deck that aimed to teach users about the ins and outs of graphic design. Some of the Design Deck cards feature typography lessons, but the Font Deck—available for $17 a deck on Barrett-Forrest’s website or on Kickstarter—gives the topic a deeper dive.

A male hand holds fanned-out cards next to a Font Deck box and a stack of playing cards.
Courtesy Ben Barrett-Forrest

The deck includes topics like letter anatomy, old style typefaces, the difference between a font and a typeface, and profiles of specific typefaces, like Helvetica. The cards themselves are printed by the same company that makes popular playing cards like Bicycle and Bee, so they’re gambling ready, if you feel like betting your fortune on that slab serif card.

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iStock
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Dungeons & Dragons Gets a Digital Makeover
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iStock

Since the 1970s, players have been constructing elaborate campaigns in Dungeons & Dragons using nothing but paper, pencils, rule books, and 20-sided dice. That simple formula has made D&D the quintessential role-playing game, but the game's publisher thinks it can be improved with a few 21st-century updates. As The Verge reports, Wizards of the Coast is launching a digital toolset meant to enhance the gaming experience.

The tool, called D&D Beyond, isn’t meant to be a replacement for face-to-face gameplay. Rather, it’s designed to save players time and energy that could be better spent developing characters or battling orcs. The resource includes a fifth-edition rule book users can search by keyword. At the start of a new campaign, they can build monsters and characters within the program. And players don’t need to worry about forgetting to bring their notes to a quest—D&D Beyond keeps track of information like items and spells in one convenient location.

"D&D Beyond speaks to the way gamers are able to blend digital tools with the fun of storytelling around the table with your friends,” Nathan Stewart, senior director of Dungeons & Dragons, said in a statement when the concept was first announced. "These tools represent a way forward for D&D.”

This isn’t the first attempt to bring D&D into the digital age; videogames inspired by the fictional world have been produced since the 1980s. Unlike those titles, though, D&D Beyond will still highlight the imagination-fueled role-playing aspect of the game when it launches August 15.

[h/t The Verge]

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