Profile

Cover photo
Don Kirkby
Works at BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS
Attended University of British Columbia
Lives in Vancouver, Canada
448 followers|99,066 views
AboutPostsPhotosYouTube

Stream

Don Kirkby

Shared publicly  - 
 
I just published a set of domino puzzles called Moonside. It's inspired by Rush Hour and Mahjong matching puzzles. Visit the link for the free rule book, dominoes not included.
I demonstrated it to a group of people tonight, and they happily worked through the full set of puzzles, so I better generate some more.
The software that generates the puzzles was an interesting project. It generates random layouts, tries to solve all of them, and keeps the ones with the most interesting solutions. It then mutates the best ones to see if it can find anything better using an artificial evolution algorithm.
1
Don Kirkby's profile photoRon Hale-Evans's profile photo
3 comments
 
I really enjoy the Domino Bead Game. I also recently playtested a friend's amped-up version of Mexican Train (like you, I'm not too fond of the original). Pagat.com also has some tantalizing domino games.

My game group tends to like parakeety Euros, so it's often hard to get abstracts to the table.
Add a comment...

Don Kirkby

Shared publicly  - 
 
I'm already a big fan of Pop Culture Happy Hour and Mystery Show, but there are a bunch of others in this list that I hadn't tried before. So far, Extra Hot Great wasn't any of those things and Maltin on Movies didn't thrill me, but I've got many more to try. Anyone see their favourites in there?
We've already rounded up the best comedy podcasts around, but as fall approaches and the onslaught of new series, books, and awards-buzzy films begins, we wanted to direct your attention to the pod...
1
Add a comment...

Don Kirkby

Shared publicly  - 
1
Rod Vance's profile photoDon Kirkby's profile photo
2 comments
 
It's a neat effect, isn't it? Thanks for checking it out, +Rod Vance.
Add a comment...

Don Kirkby

Shared publicly  - 
 
It's been almost two years since I put out a release of Live Coding in Python, but I put a new one out today. If you haven't seen it, it lets you run Python code while you're typing it, and shows you instant feedback on the state of variables during execution. It can also show you the result of running turtle graphics commands while you type them. Read the linked post or watch the video for a demonstration of its features.

The new version focused on making sure that your Python code only runs when you ask for it - no accidentally running some code that wipes out important files! See the release page for more details:
https://github.com/donkirkby/live-py-plugin/releases
1
Add a comment...

Don Kirkby

Shared publicly  - 
 
My daughter didn't understand how I could have a T-shirt that Leonard Nimoy signed, so I decided to follow +Scott McCloud's advice and use juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence (a comic) to explain it to her. Spoiler alert: it worked.
Thanks again to all my friends at Zaber for such a thoughtful gift when I left. Even though it's been two years, I still miss you.
1
Bryan Cassidy's profile photoDon Kirkby's profile photo
2 comments
 
Yes, I thought you turned out better than I did.
Add a comment...

Don Kirkby

Shared publicly  - 
 
It took me almost a year, but I've just published a new release of Vograbulary. It's a set of word challenges for your web browser or Android device. There's a new challenge called Bacronyms, but that's not why it took me a year.
When I tried to add the ability to drag the Russian doll words through each other, I found that the libgdx platform I was using just wouldn't support it. I fought with it for a while, tried another platform called PlayN, and finally decided to have separate projects for Android and the web. I do share the same rules and logic code for both projects, and I published a small demo project to show how that works:

https://github.com/donkirkby/webandnative

It's based on what I read about Google's Inbox project, and I summarize some of the other options for writing projects that are portable across mobile and web platforms.

Hopefully, the next release will be in two months, instead of a year. Try it out, and tell me what you think.
Vograbulary : Add new words to a student's vocabulary and make the words stick (grab them).
1
Add a comment...

Don Kirkby

Shared publicly  - 
 
+Dan Ariely  and Michael Norton have a couple of interesting suggestions for how to make wealth redistribution more palatable. I hadn't heard of this one before:
"In the domain of inequality, think of leaving tax rates unchanged right now but pegging changes in those rates to changes in inequality. In fact, Yale’s Robert Shiller has proposed that if inequality increases, the rich bear a larger tax burden; as inequality decreases, that burden lessens."
They make the point that most people agree that the ideal wealth distribution would far more even than it currently is, but nobody wants to reduce their own income now.
Rich and poor, left and right, we all agree the world should be more equal. Dan Ariely and Michael Norton have spent the past decade analyzing the data. Now, they tackle what to do next.
1
Add a comment...
Have him in circles
448 people
Александр Пирогов's profile photo
Robert Monteux's profile photo
Agape Holdings's profile photo
Kp Health tips's profile photo
Kennocha's profile photo
Ecaterina Hardon's profile photo
Nenad Ukropina's profile photo
PAULO SERGIO SILVA's profile photo
Sabelo Ndebele's profile photo

Don Kirkby

Shared publicly  - 
 
I just put out a new release of my Vograbulary word games collection. This release adds a timer to the Ultraghost game, and that avoids problems with players who slow the game down by thinking too long. I also added a simple animation to spin the words around in Bacronyms.

Try it in your web browser, or ask me to add you to the Android beta testers group.
Vograbulary : Add new words to a student's vocabulary and make the words stick (grab them).
1
Add a comment...

Don Kirkby

Shared publicly  - 
 
The International AIDS Society Conference just ended today in Vancouver. I was excited to go, because we had a poster describing one of the software projects I've been part of since I joined the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS last year. However, the big news at the conference was a study that showed benefits from starting treatment immediately after a patient is diagnosed with HIV. Currently, most countries wait until the infection has progressed to a certain point before beginning treatment. With the new study showing benefits to the patient, and a previous study showing that treatment reduces the risk of infecting others, there could be big changes in the way we treat HIV. Manufacturing and delivering a lot more drugs will be a big challenge, as will paying for them.
 
Landmark Study to Transform Global AIDS Strategy - About.com

While the term "breakthough" is used far too often when covering AIDS research, it is one that inarguably applies to a piece of research presented at the 2015 International AIDS Society conference on Monday.

Like the PACTG 076 study in 1994 (which showed that the use of a single HIV drug could prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV), the discovery of protease inhibitors in 1996, and the iPrEx study in 2010 (which demonstrated the efficacy of HIV pre-exposure prohylaxis), the new START study will most certainly transform the global AIDS strategy moving forward by endorsing treatment for all persons with HIV at the time of diagnosis.
A landmark study showed that the treatment of HIV on diagnosis decreased the risk of illness by 57%, findings of which will transform global strategy.
View original post
1
Ron Hale-Evans's profile photoDon Kirkby's profile photo
2 comments
 
In the very long term, perhaps, but remember that this is a treatment, not a cure. Patients will be taking the drugs for the rest of their lives. There was also lots of talk about cures and vaccines, but progress is slower there.
An earlier benefit would be reduced transmissions so fewer people get infected and require care. People also contribute more to the economy when they aren't sick.
Add a comment...

Don Kirkby

Shared publicly  - 
 
Nicky Case makes a nice argument that being right isn't enough to persuade people. Adding emotion and storytelling is measurably more effective than logic alone. His description of educational soap operas is fascinating.
We're doing it wrong. Doing what wrong? The way we, activists and storytellers, seem to go about trying to change peoples' minds: by more or less just telling them “you're doing it wrong”. And to be fair, I used to...
2
Add a comment...

Don Kirkby

Shared publicly  - 
 
The Smithsonian Institution is giving an online course on the history of Superheroes in culture. Stan Lee will be involved. I'll check it out, but I'm terrible at predicting which courses will be interesting.
I'm in the middle of a good course right now: Nand to Tetris. You start with Nand gates and flip flop gates, and build a computer from there. Each week you build a set of components in a simulator, and then use those components to build more complex things in the next week. You go all the way up to writing a game of Tetris on the computer you've built. It's a similar experience to following Euclid's geometry from a small set of axioms.
https://www.coursera.org/course/nand2tetris1
1
Add a comment...

Don Kirkby

Shared publicly  - 
 
May the fourth be with you, everyone! This was a nice surprise on our way to Chinese school on Saturday. I'm not sure if it's public art or a prank, but it made us laugh. I was also surprised when my daughter said, "Too bad Yoda's lightsaber is the wrong colour." I don't think I could have told you what colour his lightsaber was (green, by the way). Getting trivia schooled by your daughter is a proud parenting moment.
1
Add a comment...
People
Have him in circles
448 people
Александр Пирогов's profile photo
Robert Monteux's profile photo
Agape Holdings's profile photo
Kp Health tips's profile photo
Kennocha's profile photo
Ecaterina Hardon's profile photo
Nenad Ukropina's profile photo
PAULO SERGIO SILVA's profile photo
Sabelo Ndebele's profile photo
Education
  • University of British Columbia
    Physics, 1987 - 1989
  • Computer Science, 1990 - 1992
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Story
Tagline
coder, board gamer, skeptic, 学中文
Work
Occupation
Computer Programmer
Employment
  • BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS
    Computer Programmer, 2014 - present
  • Amazon.com
    Computer Programmer, 2013 - 2014
  • Zaber Technologies
    Computer Programmer, 2008 - 2013
  • Sierra Systems Group, Inc.
    Computer Programmer, 1996 - 2008
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Vancouver, Canada
Previously