Title:
Passive learning system for international code flags or signaling flags
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A passive learning system is provided herein. The passive learning system may comprise a plurality of cards which define a deck of cards. Each card in the deck of cards may define a front surface and a back surface. The front surface may have a unique card identifier, corresponding flag indicia and corresponding flag descriptor indicia. The unique card identifier may be typical of a conventional deck of cards (e.g., ace of spades, queen of hearts, etc.). The deck of cards may be used to play any game such as poker or blackjack, etc. As the participant plays the card game, the participant may be dealt random cards having random unique card identifiers, flag indices and corresponding flag descriptor indices. The participant may simultaneously learn to recognize the signaling flags and their meanings in a fun low stress environment.



Inventors:
Valdes, Vincent A. (Santa Ana, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/417456
Publication Date:
11/08/2007
Filing Date:
05/04/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/306, 273/307
International Classes:
A63F1/00; A63F9/20
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FERNSTROM, KURT
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Vincent Valdes (Newport Beach, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A passive learning system for learning associated meanings of signaling flags, the system comprising: a deck of playing cards defining a back surface and a front surface, the back surfaces of the playing cards having a common indicia, the front surfaces of the playing card having a unique card identifier, a flag indicia and a corresponding flag descriptor indicia.

2. The system of claim 1 wherein each playing card of the deck has at least two flag indices and corresponding flag descriptor indices.

3. The system of claim 2 wherein a first flag indicia and corresponding flag descriptor indicia is inverted and aligned with respect to a second flag indicia and corresponding flag descriptor indicia.

4. The system of claim 1 wherein an outer periphery of each card of the deck is pentagonal.

5. The system of claim 5 wherein the border is rectangular, square, circular, or pentagonal.

6. The system of claim 1 further comprising a border containing the flag indicia and flag descriptor indicia to demarcate the unique card identifier from the flag indicia and the corresponding flag descriptor indicia.

7. The system of claim 6 wherein the border is pentagonal.

8. The system of claim 1 wherein the cards are fabricated from a durable material.

9. The system of claim 8 wherein the durable material is resilient.

10. A method of learning to recognize the signal flags and recall their meanings, the method comprising the steps of: a. providing a deck of playing cards defining a back surface and a front surface, the back surfaces of the playing cards having a common indicia, the front surfaces of the playing card having a unique card identifier, a flag indicia and a corresponding flag descriptor indicia; and b. playing a card game with the deck of playing cards.

11. The method of claim 10 wherein the card game is gin or crazy eight.

12. The method of claim 10 wherein the card game is poker.

13. The method of claim 12 further comprising the step of designating a joker card in terms of one of the signal flag.

14. The method of claim 13 wherein the joker card is identified as “alpha” flag.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable

STATEMENT RE: FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH/DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND

The present invention relates to a passive learning system utilizing a deck of cards for learning U.S. navy meanings or international means of international code flags or signaling flags.

Even in these days of radio and satellite communication, ships still rely on visual signals to communicate with other ships and to communicate with shore based base stations. One advantage of communicating via visual signals instead of electronic communications is that such visual signals are not reliant upon electricity or other technology. As such, ships are able to communicate with other ships and base stations even if there is a power shortage on the ship or at the shore based base station. Moreover, in military applications, Navy ships may communicate with other Navy ships or the shore based base station while maintaining electronic silence to avoid detection by the enemy.

The visual signals are transmitted between ships or the shore based base station via hoisting a flag or series of flags on a halyard. For naval applications, navy ships may have a set of U.S. navy signal flags. Each U.S. navy signal flag may have a unique shape, color or pattern, name, U.S. Navy meaning, and international meaning. The navy ship may raise and lower one or more U.S. navy signal flags to communicate with other navy ships or the shore based base station. For non military applications, ships may have a set of U.S. international signaling flags. Similar to the U.S. navy signal flags, each U.S. international signaling flag may have a unique shape, color or pattern, name and meaning. The ship may raise and lower one or more flags to communicate with other ships or the shore based base station.

Unfortunately, most ships do not regularly use signaling flags to communicate with other ships. As such, most ship personnel have not memorized all of the flag designations and must refer to a flag book when communicating with other ships or shore based base station via the signaling flags. This may be too slow in cases of emergency. Also, if the flag book is lost, then the ship may be incapable of communicating with other ships or the shore based base station except via radio communication.

Accordingly, there is a need in the art for a method of learning to recognize the flags and their meanings.

BRIEF SUMMARY

The passive learning system disclosed herein addresses the needs identified above, below and those that are known in the art.

The passive learning system may include a deck of cards. In each deck of cards, there may be fifty two (52) cards plus two jokers. Each card may define a front surface and a back surface. A common indicia may be printed on the back surface such that while a participant plays a card game with the deck of cards, other players are not able to determine which card (e.g., ace of spade, queen of hearts, etc.) the participant is holding. The front surface of the card may have a unique card identifier (e.g., ace of spade, queen of hearts, etc.), a flag indicia and a corresponding flag descriptor indicia printed or applied thereto. The unique card identifier may be applied to the upper left and lower right hand portions of the front surface of the card. The flag indicia and corresponding flag descriptor indicia may be placed or applied to a central portion of the front surface. A rectangular border may circumscribe the flag indicia and flag descriptor indicia to focus the user's attention on the flag indicia and the flag descriptor indicia and also to clearly demarcate between the unique card identifier from the flag indicia and corresponding flag descriptor indicia. The front surface may have at least one flag indicia and corresponding flag descriptor indicis. Preferably, the front surface has at least two flag indices and corresponding flag descriptor indices.

The deck of cards described above may be used to play a card game such as poker or blackjack, etc. The card game may use all fifty two cards plus two jokers or any portion thereof. As the participant plays the card game, the participant may view the unique card identifier (e.g., ace of spades, queen of hearts, etc.) to play the card game, but also, simultaneously, the participant may view the flag indicia and corresponding flag description indicia to learn to recognize the signaling flags and recall their meanings. In this manner, the participant learns the meaning of the signaling flags while playing a fun card game.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other features and advantages of the various embodiments disclosed herein will be better understood with respect to the following description and drawings, in which like numbers refer to like parts throughout, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a top view of a deck of cards in a fanned configuration;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged top view of a front surface of one of the cards shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3A is a first page of a chart of signaling flags showing the flag indicia, flag descriptor indicia for the flag indicia in terms of the U.S. navy meaning and international meaning;

FIG. 3B is a second page of the chart shown in FIG. 4A;

FIG. 3C is a third page of the chart shown in FIG. 4A;

FIG. 3D is a fourth page of the chart shown in FIG. 4A; and

FIG. 4 is a chart of unique card identifiers and associated flag indices and corresponding flag descriptor indices.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring now to the drawings which are for the purpose of illustrating preferred embodiments of the passive learning system and not for the purpose of limiting the same, FIG. 1 is a top view of a deck of cards 10 in a fanned configuration. The deck of cards 10 may have a conventional rectangular configuration with rounded corners, although other configurations (e.g., pentagonal, square, circular, etc.) are contemplated and employable in the passive learning system. The deck of cards 10 may be fabricated from a durable material which may withstand bending and flexing of the cards 12 during play with the cards 12. By way of example and not limitation, the deck of cards 10 may be fabricated from a durable material such that the cards 12 do not crease when the cards 12 are being shuffled, the user flexes the cards 12 to mix the cards 12 with each other or the user bends the corner of the card 12 to hide a unique card identifier 14 (e.g., ace of spades, queen of hearts, etc.) from other players while viewing his/her own card 12.

Each card of the deck 10 may define a front surface 16 (see FIG. 2) and a back surface 18 (see FIG. 1). The back surfaces 18 of the cards 12 may have a common pattern such as shown on a leftmost card 12a of the deck 10 shown in FIG. 1. The common pattern may be applied (e.g., printed, etc.) to the back surface 18 of each card 12 via common techniques know in the art. By way of example and not limitation, the common pattern (i.e., common indicia) may be applied to the back surface 18 via screen printing, litho-printing, etc. A protective coating may also be applied to the back surfaces 18 of the cards 12. By way of example and not limitation, the back surfaces 18 of the cards 12 may be coated with a UV coating, a water-based coating or other coating to protect the back surfaces 18 of the cards 12. The common pattern applied to the back surface 18 of each card 12 should be identical for each of the cards 12 in the deck 10. More particularly, by way of example and not limitation, the common pattern may be a collage of international code flags or signaling flags, as shown by the left most card 12a in FIG. 1.

The international code flags or signaling flags are used for communication between two ships or between a ship and a shore based base station, as discussed in the background. Each of the signaling flags may have different colors, shapes or markings. Also, the signaling flags may be used individually or in combination with each other and have different pre-defined meanings, as shown in FIGS. 3A-3D. The international code flags or signal flags may have twenty-six (26) flags which depict the letters of the alphabet (i.e., alpha through zulu), ten flags for ten numeral pendants, one flag for one answering pendants and three flags for three substituters or repeaters. FIGS. 3A-3D illustrates all of the signaling flags for the international code flags as well as their U.S. Navy meaning and the international meaning.

The front surface 16 of each of the cards 12 may have the unique card identifier 14, a flag indicia 20, and a flag descriptor indicia 22, as shown in FIG. 2. Similar to the common pattern applied to the back surface 18, the unique card identifier 14, flag indicia 20 and flag descriptor indicia 22 may be applied to the front surface 16 via screen printing, litho-printing, etc. A protective coating may also be applied to the front surface 16. By way of example and not limitation, a UV coating, a water-based coating or other coating may be applied to the front surface 16. The unique card identifier 14 may be a combination of a specific single digit number 26 and a card suit 24. By way of example and not limitation, the specific single digit number 26 may be one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ace, king, queen, or jack. Also, by way of example and not limitation, the card suit 24 may be club, diamond, spade or heart. The unique card identifier 14 may be applied to the front surface 16 of the card at its upper left or lower right corners 28, 30, as shown in FIG. 2.

The flag indicia 20 and the flag descriptor indicia 22 may be applied to a central portion of the front surface 16 of each card 12. The flag indicia 20 may be indicia representative of the flags shown in FIGS. 3A-3D. The flag descriptor indicia 22 may be the U.S. Navy meanings, international meanings, or both (see FIGS. 3A-3D). A single deck of cards 10 or portion thereof may have flag indices 20 and corresponding flag descriptor indices 22 for all of the signaling flags applied to the front surfaces 16 of the cards or portion thereof. FIG. 4 shows an example of pairing flag indices 20 and flag descriptor indices 22 to unique card identifiers 14 such that a single deck of cards 10 has flag indices 20 and corresponding flag descriptor indices 22 for all of the signaling flags. The pairings of unique card identifiers 14 to flag indices 20 and flag descriptor indices 22 shown in FIG. 4 is shown by way of example and not limitation. Other pairings of unique card identifier 14, flag indicia 20 and flag descriptor indices 22 are also contemplated.

The flag indicia 20 and flag descriptor indicia 22 may be circumscribed by a rectangular border 32 (see FIG. 2) so as to clearly demarcate between the unique card identifier 14 and the flag indicia/flag descriptor indicia 20, 22. It is contemplated that the border 32 may have shapes such as rectangular, square, circular, pentagonal, and the like. The border 32 shown in FIG. 2 is rectangular. The flag indicia 20 and flag descriptor indicia 22 may be printed or applied to the front surface 16 of the card 12 within the border 32. In each border 32, one or more (preferably two) flag indices 20 and corresponding flag descriptor indices 22 may be placed within the border 32. The flag indices 20 and corresponding flag descriptor indices 22 may be arranged and printed within the border 32 such that one is upright and the other one is upside down. A first set of flag indicia 20 and corresponding flag descriptor indicia 22 may be vertically aligned with a second set of flag indicia 20 and corresponding flag descriptor indicia 22. For example, as shown in FIG. 2, a flag indicia 20 for foxtrot may be placed above a flag descriptor indicia 22 “Foxtrot.” When the card is rotated 180°, a flag indicia 20 for romeo may be vertically aligned to a flag descriptor indicia 22 “Romeo.”

The deck of cards 10 described above may be used to learn to recognize the signaling flags and their associated U.S. navy meanings and international meanings. By way of example and not limitation, various games may be played with the deck of cards 10 and as the user is playing the game, the participant may memorize the flag indicia 20 and corresponding flag descriptor indicia 22. In particular, the participant may play poker, blackjack, gin, etc. with the deck of cards 10. When playing blackjack, the participant may be initially dealt two random cards 12 from the deck of cards 10. The participant may view the unique card identifiers 14 of the two random cards 12 by flexing a corner of the dealt cards 12 to determine whether to “hit” or “stand.” Simultaneously, the participant may view the flag indicia 20 and corresponding flag descriptor indicia 22 within the border 32. In this manner, the participant may memorize the flag indicia 20 and the corresponding flag descriptor indicia 22 as the participant plays the card game. Moreover, as the participant continues to play the card game, the participant is presented with additional random cards 12 with different flag indices 20 and flag descriptor indices 22. For example, if the participant “hits”, then the participant will be dealt a third random card 12. The participant may view the unique card identifier 14 and also the flag indicia 20 and corresponding flag descriptor indicia 22. Over a period of time, the participant will have repeatedly viewed all of the cards 12 within the deck 10 and thus all of the flag indices 20 and corresponding flag descriptor indices 22. Eventually, with repeated use (e.g., game play, etc.) of the deck of cards 10, the participant may learn all of the flag indices 20 and corresponding meanings (i.e., international meaning and/or U.S. Navy meaning). The deck of cards 10 described herein permits the participant to learn the international meanings and/or the U.S. navy meaning of the signaling flags in a fun low stress manner.

As shown in FIG. 4, each of the cards 12 of the deck of cards 10 may be paired with two flag indices 20 and corresponding flag descriptor indices 22. FIG. 4 illustrates a specific combination of flag indicia 20 and corresponding flag descriptor indicia 22 that may be associated with each of the unique card identifiers 14. Other pairings may be applied to each card 12 or associated with each unique card identifier 14. For example, for the international code flags, AC means “I am abandoning my vessel.” In this regard, the flag indices 20 and flag descriptor indices 22 for the pairings A and C may be applied to the front surface 16 of one card 12. It is also contemplated that each unique card identifier 14 may be associated with three flag indices 20 and corresponding flag descriptor indices 22. For example, the flag indices 20 and flag descriptor indices 22 for Z, D and I which means “please report me to the Coast Guard, New York” may be applied to the front surface 16 of one card 12. In this manner, the participant may learn meanings for combinations of signaling flags.

The card game may also incorporate the flag indices 20 and corresponding flag descriptor indices 22. By way of example and not limitation, the card game may designate additional joker cards or wild cards by naming the signal flags. For example, instead of designating the “suicide king” or the “two of spades” as the joker card, the card with the “alfa” flag indicia may be designated as the joker card, wild card, ace card, etc. In this manner, the participant would not only look at the unique card identifier 14 while playing the card game but would also have to review the flag indicia 20 and the flag descriptor indicia 22 applied on the card 12 dealt to the participant to determine whether he or she is holding the designated joker card.

In a method of learning to recognize the signal flags and recall their meanings, the method may comprise the step of providing 100 a deck of cards defining a back surface 18 and a front surface 16. The back surfaces 18 of the playing cards 12 may have a common indicia, the front surfaces 16 of the playing cards 12 may have a unique card identifier 14, flag indicia 20 and corresponding flag descriptor indicia 22. The method may also comprise the step of playing 104 a card game with the deck of playing cards 10. The method may further comprise the step of designating 102 a wild card or joker card in terms of one of the signal flags.

The above description is given by way of example, and not limitation. Given the above disclosure, one skilled in the art could devise variations that are within the scope and spirit of the invention disclosed herein. Further, the various features of the embodiments disclosed herein can be used alone, or in varying combinations with each other and are not intended to be limited to the specific combination described herein. Thus, the scope of the claims is not to be limited by the illustrated embodiments.