Sunday, March 27, 2011

RoboCup Iran Open

Next week I was planning to travel to Iran with the UBC RoboCup team to compete in the Iran Open. After the competition I was planning on doing some travelling in Thailand. Unfortunately, the trip got cancelled. Since UBC is one of the team sponsors, they have a policy which requires that we get permission to travel to DFAIT level 3 regions. The official response was that the faculty would not give approval for the trip (due to the current threat level and the fact that the trip is not academically essential). Since we had already purchased plane tickets, the cancellation cost the team quite a bit of money. In July our team will be travelling to Turkey to compete in RoboCup 2011.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Today I purchased a domain name for the HTML5 card game website Simon and I have been working on:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

HTML5 Card Games

Simon and I have been making steady progress on our multiplayer card game website. The project is currently hosted at We have implemented one game so far (German Bridge) which should be mostly functional. Let us know if you see any bugs or have feedback.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Face Cards

I have released a new version of my vector playing cards. It turns out the designs for the face cards are in the public domain. I compared several brands of cards and they use the exact same designs. I scanned the cards and vectorized them using potrace. After vectorizing them I did a lot of touch-up work using Inkscape.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Today I learned...

...that I am currently travelling at the speed of light. In fact, all objects in the universe are travelling at exactly the same speed. Although I am travelling slowly in the three spatial dimensions, I am travelling quickly in the time dimension. The combined speed of any object through the four spacetime dimensions is exactly the same. Light travels completely in the three spatial dimensions and doesn't travel at all through time. Photons never age. This also explains why we can't travel faster than the speed of light.

I am quite surprised I didn't learn this fact earlier in life. I somehow managed to make it through physics and astronomy classes learning about Einstein's relativity without ever making this simple connection!

Friday, March 04, 2011

Vector Playing Cards

I have started working with Simon on a project to create a multiplayer card game website hosted by Google App Engine. For the website we need high quality images of each poker card. Ideally the images would be in a vector format so that we can scale them to any resolution. We found that there are not many options that don't have restrictive licenses (here is one exception).

Instead I decided to create a deck of vector graphics cards from scratch using Inkscape. I created most of the artwork myself except for the ace of spades:

I based this design on artwork by Suzanne Tyson. Since the source image was rasterized, I used the potrace algorithm to vectorize it.

I am releasing the images into the public domain. This means that they can be used for any purpose without any attribution (although attribution would be appreciated). I have created a Google Code project to host the SVG source code and also posted pictures of the cards to my Picasa account.