Still More Quick Snippets

Published on Thursday, October 23, 2008 in , , , , , , ,

LinksThis edition of snippets is dedicated to the humble deck of playing cards!

• If you took all the standard decks of 52 cards that have ever existed into consideration, has every possible arrangement of those cards existed at some point? As this proof shows, it's highly doubtful. There are more arrangements possible for a 52-card deck than there are seconds between now and the time the universe began, especially taking into consideration that humans have existed for only a very small fraction of that time, and the standard deck of 52 cards has only existed for a small fraction of humanity's existence.

• What exactly happens when you mix cards in various ways? This can be answered with the free Windows program StackView! I've mentioned this program numerous times before, but it's worth noting again for those who missed it previously. The related blog, StackView Musings, is also a great source of tricks (especially for those of you who like memorized deck tricks) and information about the program itself.

• Speaking of memorized deck tricks, many of them start with a named card. How do you practice a trick with truly random cards? Random.org's Playing Card Shuffler is an effective answer. Random.org is a site featuring what is a rarity in computer programming - a true random number generator!

• For those of you into both programming and playing cards, I have a few treats for you. If you've ever wondered how to work with playing cards in CSS, Brainjar has the answer! Not only can you use programming techniques to get a browser to understand cards better, but you can also use programming techniques to get your brain to remember cards better, too! For memory competitions, there are more effective techniques, but this method combined with a binary memory system could have some interesting and creative uses.

• Purely for fun, did you know that many cards and card combinations have their own nicknames? Many of the unusual and interesting stories behind them are linked on this Wikipedia page, but you'll have to Google the majority of them to discover the stories behind them.

Don't forget, for those interested in memorizing a stacked deck, I still maintain and update the Memorized Deck Online Toolbox.

Do any of you have more playing card resources you've found interesting and/or useful? Let me know about them in the comments!

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