Categories
Politics

What are some American practices that Canadians find odd?

  1. Using dollar bills all made of the same color and using old material (cotton). Why not upgrade the bills to make it more fraud proof like Canada did?
  2. Not using the Metric system. God do I hate Fahrenheit especially. Impossible to tell how cold or warm it is.
  3. Love of guns.. why Americans love their guns… its part of their culture. But as a Canadian i still dont get why having a gun is necessary in everyday life
  4. Using a Jury system. We dont have jury duty in Canada. We appoint judges. Having a jury makes it much more likely for the defendant to get away with a lot cases out of sympathy.
  5. Similar to point above Americans sue alot!! Theres like a lawsuit going on all the time it seems. And it can be for the smallest of reasons.
  6. Universal healthcare is considered a “socialist” policy in the US which means its “bad”. Americans have been trained to equate anything “socialist” with venezuela/communism it seems.
  7. Americans HATE taxes. Tax cuts tax cuts all the time. How many Americans would drop dead if they knew our top tax rate kicked in at only $130k and we had a national sales tax?
  8. Pronouncing “Z” “zee” while we pronounce it “zed”. I guess zee is easier to ryhme with in the alphabet song?
  9. Calling my name out at restaurants. Uhh in Canada they just call your number and you get your food. Why do Americans insist on asking my name? Not only could my name be something complicated but what if two people had the same name and same order? What now brown cow??
  10. Age limit of 21 for drinking. Especially odd considering by that age you can already own a gun and drive.
Categories
Music

Building my own guitar

I’ve been wanting to build my own guitar as a project for a while now… at least since high school. So now, I finally had the time and resources to do it!

Keep in mind I haven’t soldered much outside of fixing my old Thinkpad Yoga laptop 2 years ago, so I had to find a ’72 Telecaster Thinline wiring diagram and solder it up. Here are the components:

-Fender Lonestar Deluxe Stratocaster neck (70s style, Maple, 22 frets, Modern C shape)
-Pots, Caps, Switches etc from Emerson
Warmoth Body (Cherry Sunburst, Tremolo Bridge, ‘F’ hole, humbucker pickguard)
Lollar Pickups Lollartron Neck model (4.4k)
Lindy Fralin Twangmaster Bridge model (8600 turns)

I was really interested to see the combination of a Filtertron style pickup (the Lollartron) with a Wide Range Humbucker style pickup (the Fralin Twangmaster) to see what that combination would sound like. I don’t know of any production guitars that combines those two.

For reference, here is a list of all the different production pickups in order of increasing strength:

Single Coil:

-Strat style single coil (used by Fender Stratocaster, Telecasters etc this the most common single coil design)

Strat style single coils
Strat style single coils

-Lipstick style pickups (used by Danelectro guitars and a few others)

Lipstick style pickups
Lipstick style pickups

-Charlie Christian pickups (used by Charlie Christian’s Gibson)

Charlie Christian style pickups
Charlie Christian style pickups

-Jazzmaster pickups (used by Fender Jazzmasters)

Jazzmaster Pickup
Jazzmaster Pickup

-DeArmond / Dynasonic (used by Gretsch guitars)

Dynasonic Pickups
Dynasonic Pickups

-Gibson P90 (used by Gibson guitars)

Gibson P90 Pickups
Gibson P90 Pickups

-Blade style / stacked single coils (usually noise cancelling single coil alternatives to humbuckers)

Joe Barden bladed pickups
Joe Barden bladed pickups

Humbuckers (dual coil hum-cancelling pickups)

-Filtertron (used by Gretsch guitars)

Gretsch Filtertron
Gretsch Filtertron

-Wide Range Humbuckers (used by the ’72 Fender Telecasters)

Fender Wide Range Humbucker
Fender Wide Range Humbucker

-Gibson PAF style (used on Gibson Les Pauls, SGs etc this is the most common style of humbucker)

Gibson Burstbuckers
Gibson Burstbuckers

Anyways thats alot of different styles but I chose to combine the unique Filtertron style with the Fender WRH style…

Building a custom guitar
Building a custom guitar
Building a custom guitar
Building a custom guitar

…And the results speak for themselves!

Oh, and I’m now finished porting my Java based stock simulator (such a hassle to download csv’s from the deprecated Google Finance API and install a JVM on the computer to run) to React/Node so now it has a complete graphical UI and fetches in real-time. Which is nice, but it still needs stock index fetching capability. Github repo link here check it out.

… and also had enough time to make a video about all my UMPC gadgets! yay!

Categories
Magic

Magic cards translated into Hearthstone!

As people who watch my youtube and read my blog know, I’m a big fan of both Magic the Gathering and Hearthstone! I started playing Magic when I was 13, in grade 8. My childhood friend introduced me to it, and I played Magic with people all throughout high school. In university and beyond, I took a break and play it occasionally on Magic Online.

Now I’m pretty much all into Hearthstone, which remains a better implemented online version of Magic, minus all the fancy rules and multiplayer options. Also way more randomness. Despite that, its still pretty fun to play.

My favorite Magic sets are: Tempest, Urza’s Saga, Mirrodin, Invasion and Shards of Alara. The reason is because I love artifact cards and I love multicolored cards. These blocks are well known for fairly high power creep too, so I enjoy playing with high level cards. My favorite core set is by far 7th edition. Not only was it the latest core set to come out when I was playing, but also because I felt that 7th edition was very balanced and simple to understand compared to other Core sets. The latest Core sets including Magic Origins introduced alot of mechanics to the game that I felt was unnecessary with a Core set.
7th edition keeps it simple; only basic keywords are there, no planeswalkers, no fancy spells or legendaries. Just simple to understand, well balanced cards. It was also the last core set with the “old” card borders, and Counterspell.

That said, I found an online website, http://www.hearthcards.net/ that lets me generate my own Hearthstone cards. So I took my favorite set, 7th edition and ran it through with all the cards that could be reasonably translated. Alot of cards couldn’t, obviously. Some notes while I did this:
-that have activated abilities; Hearthstone has yet to have minions that have activated abilities.
-The new Inspire mechanic roughly maps to a tap mechanic in Magic
-Battlecry maps to “comes onto the battlefield”
-Deathrattle maps to “when this creature dies”
-Charge maps to Haste
-Divine Shield maps to Regeneration
-Windfury maps to Double strike. But because there’s not too many creatures with double strike, I mapped it to First strike as well.
-Flying, protection, landwalk, reach, blocking abilities, vigilance have no Hearthstone equivalent so they can’t be mapped.
-Shroud and Hexproof map to “can’t be targeted by Hero powers or spells”
-Deathtouch maps to “destroy any minion damaged by this minion”
-Taunt is hard to map, but I usually put it on walls. Creatures with Reach and Vigilance can also loosely map to this, I guess.
-There’s no rough equivalent to Artifacts and Enchantments. Some of them can be translated to spells.
-Instants can roughly translate to Secrets.
-Finally for colors, Red cards usually go to Warrior and Shaman; Blue cards usually go to Rogue and Mage; Green cards usually go to Druid and Hunter; Black cards usually go to Warlock; and white cards usually go to Priest and Paladin.

Without further ado here’s a sample of cards I’ve translated:

Might of Oaks
Might of Oaks
Serra Advocate
Serra Advocate
Kamahl, Pit Fighter
Kamahl, Pit Fighter
Sengir Vampire
Sengir Vampire
Arc Lightning
Arc Lightning
Temporal Adept
Temporal Adept
Lightning Helix
Lightning Helix
Wrath of God
Wrath of God
Nightmare
Nightmare
Blinding Angel
Blinding Angel
Gravedigger
Gravedigger
Maro
Maro
Armaggeddon
Armaggeddon
Loxodon Hiearch
Loxodon Hiearch
Ambassaor Laquatus
Ambassaor Laquatus

I love elegantly designed creatures. Creatures that are simple to understand and powerful. Here are ten of my favorite Magic creatures translated to Hearthstone:

Hypnotic Specter
Hypnotic Specter
Ohran Viper
Ohran Viper
Shadowmage infiltrator
Shadowmage infiltrator
Flametongue Kavu
Flametongue Kavu
Cho-Manno
Cho-Manno
Troll Ascetic
Troll Ascetic
Fiendslayer Paladin
Fiendslayer Paladin
Kitchen Finks
Kitchen Finks
Wall of Blossoms
Wall of Blossoms
Ball Lightning
Ball Lightning