Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mission (Not So) Impossible*

Ah...the elusive Rubik's Cube.  For much of my youth I had the colorful cube lying around on some surface of my home taunting me...forever mixed up.  I imagined to solve the puzzle one needed to possess a brilliance the likes of Bobby Fischer.  But I had read that individuals were able to solve a Rubik's Cube in less than 30 seconds.  So it couldn't be THAT hard...could it?

Number 23 on The List is to solve a Rubik's Cube.  I anticipated that I would need an entire year to work out the puzzle and possibly most likely the help of some MIT graduates that I have recently met.  I bought a new Rubik's Cube and got started right away.

 S (who recently made his yearly pilgrimage home from VA) had the honor of mixing up the cube so that my efforts to solve it would not be called into question.  Ed. note: The following are action shots and obviously are not indicative of my amazing photography skills.

So I began with a cube that looked like this and set forth on my mission.

Well.  The Rubik's Cube came with a small instruction manual.  The manual gave vague directions about which blocks should be put in place first and listed sequences on how to turn different faces of the cube. 

I figured the likelihood of stumbling across the correct solution seemed like a statistical improbability so I followed the directions and:

An hour later I solved my first Rubik's Cube!  #23 CHECK!

Long story short...the puzzle is based on algorithms which is a fancy way of saying that the pieces can only be moved into so many positions so if you repeat the correct pattern of movement, eventually the piece will land in the correct spot. 

I made this a goal on my 30 Before 30 list because I thought it would challenge me mentally and require me to exercise focus and patience...which it did...for an hour.

I kind of feel like following the directions was cheating...the equivalent of looking at the cover of a puzzle as you put it together.  However, without following the directions I think this would have been a futile task.  Maybe I'll put together a super hard puzzle to make up for this less than impossible mission.


  1. congrats on your rubix cube. i dont think i would be able to figure it out even with directions... haha.

    PS. No more threats please.

  2. Just checked out your list. Numbers 2 & 17 would be the worst for me. I hate reading and I am not a fan of heights.


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