Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Way Back WhensDay: The Rubik's Cube

The Rubik's Cube
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

It’s hard for me to believe that the Rubik’s Cube recently celebrated its 40th birthday.  I didn’t realize the popular toy of the 80’s was so close to my age.  I don’t remember exactly how old I was when I got my first cube, but we had several through the years.

I tried in vain to solve the complex puzzle for a good portion of my youth.  I don’t remember anyone ever really figuring it out either.  But as an adult, I see people all the time matching the colors on each side of the cube.  Not only are there folks who know how to solve the puzzle, they can do it blindfolded, behind their back, or even underwater.  It blows my mind.

I fall to pieces...
The only time I ever came close to figuring out the cube was by cheating.  I’d pop the little blocks off the cube and reassemble it the right way.  I know that defeated the purpose of playing with the Rubik’s Cube.  Most of the time though, I’d twist and turn the sides, hoping that it would be the time I’d finally get it.  I never did though, but I had a lot of fun trying.

The Rubik's Orb
Besides the cube, Erno Rubik had a variety of other puzzling toys.  I tried my hand at the Rubik’s Orb, a sphere with colorful little balls on around it that needed to be slid into the right order.  I don’t remember much of this, but I do believe I conquered this one.  

Rubik's Link The Rings
I also had success with the Rubik’s Link The Rings.  It was a flat puzzle that folded in sections.  The object was to get the colored links imprinted on it to connect.

Several years ago, my kids got a version of the Rubik's Cube that lights up, but the pieces didn’t turn.  I’m not really sure what the point of it was.  When I was a kid though, we would spend hours trying to figure out how to solve the cube.  Now kids are playing Mind Craft and Flappy Bird.  I wonder if they’re will ever be an app for the cube…

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