Rubik's cubing // the true sign of a nerdMy brother introduced me to the challenge of solving a Rubik's cube when he received one during a "white elephant" gift exchange one Christmas. He had been taught by a friend to solve the cube and was able to demonstrate the first two layers to me. I was immediately intrigued and looked up solution methods on the internet. Finding the one I had begun to learn, I learned the method by practicing over and over.
Upon arriving at college, I was introduced to the art of "speedcubing" by lubricating the cube with silicon spray. With a smooth cube, my solve time immediately decreased from around 3 minutes to about a minute-and-a-half. Picking up some finger tricks and reworking my moves for maximum speed was all it took to get my times consistently under one minute. Recently, my solves have been in the 50-60 second range.
[p cube_record.jpg Personal record]
My first cube wore out from excessive use.. so it was time to find a new one. I'm a fan of the $10 cubes available at Walmart, but the stickers peal off quickly and they require adequate lubrication and breaking-in. So I ordered nice PVC stickers (from Canada), and after lubricating the cube nicely, I stripped the stickers off, cleaned it well, and applied the new stickers. Now it has a nice clean look and feel, and it's served me well for over a year now!
[p cube_1.jpg Worn out cube and new one][p cube_2.jpg The new cube with stickers stripped off][p cube_3.jpg Squeaky clean][p cube_4.jpg Finished cube, with nice new stickers][p cube_sudoku.jpg A true sudoku cube]
My girlfriend Jaimie got me that sudoku cube as a gift. It's pretty awesome! Each face is a complete sudoku puzzle, so it's trickier to find the pieces to place. Initial solve took me about an hour... and with some practice I've been able to solve it in about 15 minutes. The key is recognizing the orientation of the numbers on each piece ;-)
I generally try to avoid getting "really into" something that's not all that beneficial... but it's just neat to show people who think it's cool to see if solved. I've also enjoyed teaching others how to solve it themself!