As promised earlier, the Carnival of Mathematics #53 is up at The Math Less Traveled. It has a healthy number of posts on topics from brain exercises to hyperbolic models to Sangaku and GeoGebra. The Carnival may be a bit unpredictable these days, but it’s good to see that it’s just as fun to read!

Speaking of Carnivals, we went to one tonight — a real live one. And we did the Cake Walk (and won some vivid cupcakes that might be interesting to view under a black light to see if they would glow), but before doing it I did a quick estimate as to whether it was better for four of us to play in a single 10-person game, or to spread it out over more than one game [two going in one round and two going in another]. This is similar to the Box Top problem, but has a different answer because the number of people per round is fixed: the expected number of wins is the same whether or not we all go in the same round, but we’re more likely to win at least once if we all go at the same time. In particular, although we lose the possibility of winning more than once by going in the same round, that’s offset by an increase in the probability that we’ll win at least once. (I find it interesting that it has a different answer than the Box Top problem, which I still don’t feel 100% settled about.)