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Rubik’s Cube Madness

1:45 pm PHT

An officemate of mine, Joanne, gave everyone in our division Rubik’s Cube for Christmas. These are not the official versions, but are imitation versions with maddeningly weird cartoon figures on the stickers. (Solving the Cube with these figures is actually more difficult since not only do you have to have the correct colors, you have to have the center cubes rotated correctly.)

As expected, productivity in our division dropped as those who wanted to learn how to solve the Cube were tutored by those who know how.

After ignoring my scrambled Cube for several days, I finally managed to solve my first Rubik’s Cube ever yesterday! Before, I could only manage to solve one face of the Cube, which is not saying much since anyone can do it with a little bit of spatial reasoning.

I learned from Paul, another officemate, three sequences of moves that one should do once you have solved the top layer. The first sequence solves the middle edge cubes of the middle layer. The second sequence solves the middle edge cubes of the bottom layer. And the last sequence solves the corner cubes of the bottom layer.

I won’t describe the sequences here. They’re hard to describe. Instead, I’ll just point you to this Wikipedia article, “How to solve the Rubik’s Cube”.

The solution I’ve learned will solve the Cube slowly but surely and it will not definitely win any speedcubing competitions. A college orgmate of mine, Jarjar, is our org’s resident speedcubing champion, winning for us numerous points during Eng’g Week. I’ve seen him solve the Cube and it’s simply amazing to watch. Mathematicians have proven that any scrambled cube can be solved in 29 or fewer moves, which I have no desire to learn how.

For those not anymore challenged by the Rubik’s Cube, they should try the Magic Cube. This is a four-dimensional extension of the Rubik’s Cube. Even Jarjar was stumped by this one and can only solve it when the hypercube is scrambled with up to 5 moves.

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