Rubik's Rubicon
September 28, 2003 4:06 AM   Subscribe

I'm starting to think I was only one to ever buy a Rubik's Clock. The hours I spent trying to work it out, the effort I put in, whilst all along there's a simple solution to the infernal thing. While we're on Rubik's games, this man with an audiacious mullet has lots of tips on solving them, and another man can solve the Rubik's Cube in 16 seconds (.mpg file). Impressive, although his social life must have suffered...
posted by wibbler (16 comments total)
In response to the video: Damn!
posted by Keyser Soze at 4:22 AM on September 28, 2003

I couldn't get past the jargon in the first linkbut it sounds like my strategy of making a plus sign pattern seems to be the root of it.
posted by Space Coyote at 4:25 AM on September 28, 2003

That's not a mullet. The sides and top have to be cut short while the back remains long -- a hideous two-length effect that creates dual-purpose on-the-job and on-the-make hair. Not that I did much making while I sported one.
posted by rcade at 4:45 AM on September 28, 2003

What rcade said. That's the combination of male pattern baldness and long hair.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 5:20 AM on September 28, 2003

(Video) Wow, that's faster than it take me to explode mine...

and, uh, Rubik's clock?

I got the pyramid, but it broke before I could fix it...
posted by Busithoth at 5:35 AM on September 28, 2003

We had one of those Rubik's Clocks way back when. Goddamn it was difficult. I don't think we ever managed to solve it (admittedly, we were only at primary school...)
posted by adrianhon at 5:50 AM on September 28, 2003

What I find interesting about the guy who can do the Cube in 16 seconds is that he's somewhat sloppy with his movements and does not even seem to be going very quickly. A couple of times he even pauses for a moment. He seems to be relying on a superior algorithm, which means he might be able to go even faster than that.

My fastest time is 46 seconds, back when I was 13. More often I averaged about a minute and a half.
posted by kindall at 9:11 AM on September 28, 2003

the video is played backwards.
posted by dabitch at 9:21 AM on September 28, 2003

That was my first thought regarding the video, db, but on looking closer, it seems pretty clearly to be normally recorded. Even simple motions like these have a natural "envelope", like most normal sounds, and if you even just "rewind" the video using the QT controls, it looks much more jerky and less natural than forward. (Plus the fact that there are _tons_ of documented examples of people who can do cubes in this sort of timeframe--the official world record is apparently an average of 20.25 secs over several cubes. I'm sure that with a lucky start, there are hundreds of folks who could match this on an occasional cube.)
posted by LairBob at 9:39 AM on September 28, 2003

For those interested in solving their screwed up Rubik's Cubes, there's a neat javascript solver located here. Here's a flash version that also can solve itself.

Here's an alternative site for Rubik's clock solutions.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:44 AM on September 28, 2003

well, my first thogught was "awesome" when I saw the video, the sound aroused my suspicion. First I thought he might be saying "femton" (15) in swedish at around 15 seconds. Then I see the dutch email and tried to figure out what he was saying in Dutch... can't heard what it might be, then I played it backwards and it just looked 'better' to me all of a sudden. I might be wrong.
posted by dabitch at 10:26 AM on September 28, 2003

It's storytime....

A friend of mine could do a Rubik's cube in 11 seconds when he was 12. (The world record is 9 seconds or something close to that.) It got to the point where the only things slowing him down was the mechanism, so he would have to oil it. Some of his friends used butter, but J. would use Pam. He bought his own can and kept it on his closet shelf.

One day his mother was putting away laundry and found the Pam. When J. got home from school he found the Pam sitting on the dining room table and his mother said, "Young man, I want to have a talk with you."

She said, "Are you doing drugs?" J. protested wildly, "No, Mom, I'm not doing any drugs! I swear it! If you found drugs anywhere I didn't put them there!" Well, she believed him, but she stared at him with a puzzled expression on her face. One second went by. Two seconds... then the puzzled expression was superseded by one of absolute horror.

She said, "OH MY GOD!!!! Go to your room! I don't want to hear about it! Go to your room!"

J. went to his room, got his Rubik's cube collection, came back to his mother and showed her what he used the Pam for. She said, "Ohhhhhhh," and gave him back his Pam.

The really funny thing was that she'd given him a new idea for his use of Pam. He tried it out, but said it didn't do a thing for him - it was too slippery.

I love to tease J. about his first girlfriend.... Pam.
posted by orange swan at 10:31 AM on September 28, 2003

That's the combination of male pattern baldness and long hair.

Or- as some call it- a "skullet"
posted by Uncle Ira at 1:07 PM on September 28, 2003

i have a cousin who can do the rubiks cube behind his back. took him a bit longer than 16 seconds (maybe a minute or two?) but it was still darned impressive.
posted by juv3nal at 1:37 PM on September 28, 2003

I had a Rubiks Snake and had lots of fun with it.
posted by SisterHavana at 6:14 PM on September 28, 2003

There's an interview with one of the Rubik's Cube speed-solving champs from the early 1980s in the current issue of Giant Robot magazine. It's entertaining to read about the attention he got at the time, and even today. Apparently a Mexican television network bought the rights to some tv show he made an appearance on and have been airing it in the past year, so he's starting to be recognized again.
posted by mikeh at 1:11 PM on September 30, 2003

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