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How Many Ways Can You Sort a Deck of Cards?

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Given a standard 52-card deck, how many possible arrangements of the cards within it are there? Another way to ask this is: If you shuffle a deck of cards, what are the possible number of shuffled permutations?

The answer is, predictably, a whole lot. But the astounding fact is that if you shuffle a deck of cards right now, it's likely that the order your deck is in has never occurred before in human history.

In fact, the number of deck combinations is so great that if a new deck arrangement were written out every second starting at the Big Bang (which, of course, couldn't have happened, because cards didn't exist...but still...), we would still be coming up with new deck arrangements today, and for millions of years in the future. Because playing cards in their current form have "only" existed for centuries, and the possibility space is so enormous, a unique shuffled order is extremely likely.

Check out this TED-Ed video for an explanation of why this is the case, and the specifics of the math involved.

Check out this TED-Ed page for more resources. I particularly enjoyed the bit under "Dig Deeper" discussing the anagram possibilities of the Harry Potter phrase "Tom Marvolo Riddle."

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Mattel Unveils New Uno Edition for Colorblind Players
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Mattel

On the heels of International Colorblind Awareness Day, Mattel, which owns Uno, announced it would be unveiling a colorblind-friendly edition of the 46-year-old card game.

The updated deck is a collaboration with ColorADD, a global organization for colorblind accessibility and education. In place of its original color-dependent design, this new Uno will feature a small symbol next to each card's number that corresponds with its intended primary color.

As The Verge points out, Mattel is not actually the first to invent a card game for those with colorblindness. But this inclusive move is still pivotal: According to Fast Co. Design, Uno is currently the most popular noncollectible card game in the world. And with access being extended to the 350 million people globally and 13 million Americans who are colorblind, the game's popularity is sure to grow.

Mattel unveils color-friendly Uno deck
Mattel

[h/t: The Verge

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fun
Lightning-Fast Teen Sets New Rubik’s Cube World Record
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In less time than it takes some people to open a pickle jar, 15-year-old Patrick Ponce can solve a Rubik’s Cube. His total time of 4.69 seconds makes him the new holder of the world record for fastest 3-by-3 Rubik’s Cube completion, as highlighted by Compete (and seen in the video below).

Ponce achieved the impressive feat of dexterity at a tournament in Middletown, Virginia, on September 2. He takes the title from the previous Rubik’s Cube speed record holder, Feliks Zemdegs, who solved the puzzle in 4.73 seconds at a competition in Australia in December 2016.

But the teenager may not hold his new position at the top for very long: Expert Rubik's Cubers have been steadily lowering the speed record beneath the 5-second mark since 2015. And human competitors still have a long way to go before solving a cube in 0.887 seconds—that’s the record that was set by a robot in March of 2017.

[h/t Compete]

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