S Aufrecht

www.exploratorium.edu Page Not Found | Exploratorium (linkrot)I just saw an amazing competition. The best Rubic’s Cube solvers in the world were at the Exploratorium today. I was there as usual as a volunteering making toys with kids. Throughout the afternoon bigger crowds gathered around the Rubic’s Cube area. The ways it worked was that each competitor would give their cube to the staff who would set each cube to the same random configuration. Then each competitor would solve their cube as fast as possible. The fastest guy, Macky, could finish in ~15 seconds. He always wears a blue hat bearing his name. This 15-year old teen just moved from Japan to Pasedena to be near the Rubic’s Mecca–Cal Tech. The slowest solvers took thirty seconds. Macky easily won the 3x3x3 glamour event, but other participants could compete with him at the 4x4x4 (80sec), 5x5x5 (160sec), blind, a fewest moves events. I don’t understand how they could solve it blind. Macky, like all but one of the others, uses Jessica Fridrich’s solving method, which focuses on rows. Jessica was fast, but twice her cube broke during competition. The crowd gasped each time, just like when a figure skater falls. Lars Petrus’s corner method requires fewer turns, but it also requires more thought, and is thus slower (20-30 seconds). When finished, they spiked the solved cube on the table like they had just scored a touchdown. It was better than TV!