A bunch of couple of years ago my oldest kid (who is turning 18 this year) was introduced to Magic: The Gathering at the after-school activity program at his middle school. At home, being the oldest, his siblings were just a hair too young to be able to fully comprehend the nuances of the game, and so they were quickly defeated and quickly demoralized. That’s when I got involved.
A couple decks later, a few tutorial sessions with an adult friend who had played since the beginning, and several e-bay bulk lot orders and I suddenly found myself with WAY more decks and cards than I knew what to do with. So what does an autistic nerd do? Obviously not save both time and sanity ordering a couple of deck cases and some bulk storage boxes online. Instead I designed custom tuck boxes and custom dividers for the bulk storage boxes (that, at least was something I had quite a few of).
As part of the From the Archive series, I am reposting the files (printable pdfs are below – ai files, fonts, and other resources can be found in the .zip file at the bottom of this post.
These are intended to be printed duplex on heavy card stock. The trim and fold lines end up on the inside, with the colorful graphics on the outside. After cutting out each box with a hobby knife and a ruler, I used the ruler and a semi-sharp tool (I think I actually used the pocket clip of the cap of one of those blue Bic pens) to score the fold lines so that I got nice clean edges and corners. After that was just a glue stick and some assembly.
These are also intended to be printed on heavy card stock (although not duplexed). I used a hobby knife and a straight edge to cut all the straight lines and then very carefully trimmed the radii of the tabs. These are separated into files by color. Each color has the following dividers:
As always with these types of things, I have to state that MTG is the intellectual property of Wizards of the Coast. I do not own the copyright or trademark to any of the branded materials in the files. These files are made available for educational purposes. And anything else I should have said.
Today’s post is part of a new effort to bring back some of the most successful context from turtlshel.org’s long history. These posts will cover the full range of past TS topics, including Japanese language learning resources, geography, Esperanto, international futbol, NERD stuff, bread baking, fly tying, and data science stuff. The original article was published on turtlshel.org in 2005.
The area of a surface with square corners and straight edges on a map or photo can be found by multiplying the length of the surface by its width and then converting to real-world units using the scale of the image. What do you do if you need to find the area of an organic shape, or of a very complex geometric shape? One method that is widely used is the dot count using a dot grid.
A dot grid is a transparent sheet printed or drawn with dots arranged in a regular and even pattern such as a grid. When the dot grid is calibrated to the scale of the map or photo you are studying (finding the number of dots that falls in a known area), the area of an unknown surface can be found by laying the dot grid over the area, counting the number of dots that fall in and on the surface, and dividing that number by the number of calibrated dots per unit area. This gives you the area of the surface you are estimating in the units of your calibration.
As an example, let us suppose that I have calibrated my dot grid on an aerial photograph using a farmer’s field, bounded by section-line roads, as my known distance. How do I know the area of the farmer’s field? Often, fields are laid out along the US Public Land Survey System, with roads following the 1-mile edges of sections. A field bounded by such roads would be 1 square mile. These human features are obvious in aerial photos and on maps, and are very useful for establishing scale and for calibrating dot and square grids. Calibrating against the 1-square-mile field, suppose that I find that my dot grid is a size that there are 225 dots per square mile.
Now suppose that I have to find the surface area of a lake on the same photograph as the 1-square-mile field. Using the dot grid that I have just calibrated, I cover the lake with the dot grid and count 675 dots on the lake. The number of dots in my area-for-estimation (675), divided by my number of dots per unit area (225 dots per mile square) gives the lake an area of 3 square miles.
There are a few key points to using the dot grid:
A dot count is a statistical method. It is important that you don’t line up the grid to get the best fit to count in your object. The whole point of the dot count is to see how many dots randomly fall within the area when the dot grid is placed in a random relationship to the area.
When you are counting dots, each dot that falls completely within the area is given the weight of 1 full dot. Any dot that touches the side of the object, whether it is inside, outside, or one the line, gets a weight of 1 half dot. The number of whole dots plus the number of half dots (or the number of half dots divided by two, actually) is the total number of dots to be used in estimating the area of a surface.
Once you have begun counting dots, don’t move the dot grid. If you do accidental move the grid, don’t just keep counting. You have to start over from the beginning.
I have created a dot grid for you to use in trying this method out. To use the dot grid, click on the image above to download “dotgrid1.pdf.” This file needs to be printed on plastic transparency, which is available for inkjet and laser printers, as well as copy machines for between $0.15 and $0.75.