Saturday, January 3, 2015

The enchantment of Rubik’s cube – by Lily

My dad gave me a Rubik’s cube when I was about 10 years old. It has kept me spellbound ever since. I remember being dazzled by the movement of the colorful cubes, trying out combinations of algorithms, and duking it out with neighborhood boys and winning the competition at the end.

After a while, the Rubik fever faded away and it became a memory. My second encounter with Rubik’s cube didn’t happen until more than a decade later. When I was in graduate school, a classmate brought one into the lab. Not sure if I could still solve it, I picked it up tentatively. After some turning and trying, old memories kicked in. It took me a few hours to solve it, but I was glad that I could still do it.

When Justin turned 10, I gave him a Rubik’s cube and awed him with the flashing colors and the magic of the algorithms. He was hooked. He learned how to solve it from me first, then picked up other tricks from his friends. It was fun to see him carrying the cube around all the time and spinning the cubes and solving the puzzle while talking to other people. I was happy to pass the cube down to him, especially he could do it much faster than I J

However, when I saw a customized Rubik’s cube in one of my colleague’s office the other day, My mind was itching again. Rubik’s cube has advanced to many variations, different numbers of layers or different shapes. It’s about time for me to try out the new versions. I ordered a set of 4 Rubik’s cubes, 2x2x2, 3x3x3, 4x4x4, and 5x5x5. They came during the Christmas holiday, and the whole family got our hands busy.

Nicholas had never showed interest in solving the Rubik’s cube before. But he thought the 2x2x2 cube was really cute and started working on it. He learned how to solve the 2s and is working on the 3s now. I was super excited about the solutions that came with the cubes, the algorithms are different than what I learned and are so much better! My old record was easily broken. The 4s is super fun to play with, but the 5s is a beast. I was at a lost first, it took me a few hours to solve it following the instructions. It’ll take more playing time to really understand what is going on J

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