Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Speed Cubin'...OK, Just Cubin'

One of the great perks of my job is that I get to spend a few days every week just looking through tech e-zines. Whilst spinning through the ether of the Net, I came across a Wired article about how Speed Cubing (i.e. solving the Rubik's Cube) really fast is back "in." It also mentioned that there are many sites that publish algorithms for solving the cube.

I'm a lover of puzzles. So, this article made me want to dig out the old Rubik's Cube and try to solve it. But, I couldn't find the cube. I searched through the kid's stuff in the basement, in all of the closets, in my junk drawers (yes, I have more than one), and even went through my children's closets. It was to no avail. Finally, I called upon my secret weapon. I pronounced that whoever found the Rubik's Cube first could have $2. Frankie found the thing inside 5 minutes! That kid is SOOOO motivated by cash that I'm starting to get worried. He's going to be the kid who bunjee jumps off the school because someone said they'd give him $100.

Anyway - I have to confess that I've never been able to solve the thing before. I remember watching That's Incredible! when I was a kid, and staring in awe as the speed cubers solved the cubes in under a minute. I was never that kid.

Thankfully, there are some really good beginner sites on the Internet now that walk you through the strategy of solving the cubes, and what to look for as you go. It's pretty fun. The first time, it took me quite a while to solve (I don't like to blame my tool, but my cube is a cheap ripoff that doesn't turn very well).

Last night, I triumphantly solved the cube and showed everyone in the house. Not one minute after I solved it, Benjy grabbed it and scrambled it again. [Sigh].

The good news is, I've been able to repeat the process, and now it's become something of an obsession. Once I've mastered the beginner's techniques, I plan to start trying the intermediate algorithms that help you solve the cube in under 30 seconds.

For now, I'm just happy that I can finally say I have solved the Rubik's Cube.

12 Comments:

At 10:59 PM, Blogger sxKitten said...

I can't remember my best time, way back when, but I do remember that my somewhat obsessive brother was able to solve the cube in 17 seconds - he probably wore out half a dozen cubes in his quest for speed.

 
At 1:05 PM, Blogger Jennie said...

I have to say, I'm impressed. I always gave up after like 5 minutes (ADD, much?) and then I'd peel off the stickers to put them in the right places.

 
At 1:59 PM, Blogger Peach said...

Congrats on finding a new talent! I must admit that I've never had the pleasure of playing with a Rubik's cube. Good thing, though, because it would have the same effect on me as Minesweeper I'd probably STILL be in my bedroom trying to solve the damn thing.

 
At 6:36 PM, Blogger Kate said...

That's great. I could never solve it, but my brother could.

I recently got out one of my old toys that you might like to see. Head on over to telling deeds and check it out.

 
At 10:34 PM, Blogger Dean said...

Hey, Trillian!

"Here I go into the brave new world of blogging. I've been an avid reader of other people's blogs and thought it time to start my own."

Happy Belated Blogging Birthday!

 
At 2:51 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Speed cubing. What a fertile metaphor for modern life!

 
At 3:20 PM, Blogger Eddie said...

Great blog, I have only been to Toronto, but I sort of enjoyed myself there. Anyway, I invite you to my blog at stockdiscussion.blogspot.com

Peace out

 
At 3:20 PM, Blogger Eddie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 4:09 PM, Blogger Diva said...

I used to be able to solve it in < 3 minutes, but my brother and I had bought a book that showed us the basics, probably similar to the websites. I have a cube still, but it has little Novell stickers all over the red side (it was a freebie at Brainshare one year).

 
At 2:35 AM, Blogger withknivesout said...

well, i am no genius, but i can spot one when i see one...

 
At 5:28 PM, Blogger Sara said...

I totally wish I had one and those sites. That's something I've sadly wished I could do, too!

 
At 9:43 AM, Blogger Trillian said...

There are lots of beginner sites. I think this one's the best: Rubik's Cube for Beginners

 

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