Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube! If you’ve never seen one of these, refer to the pics in the header. For the puzzle to be solved, each face of the cube must consist of one color only (refer to header pic on the right). The Rubik’s Cube is a 3-D combination puzzle invented in 1974 by sculptor and professor of architecture Erno Rubik, who wanted a way to help explain 3-D geometry. Originally called the ‘Magic Cube’, it reached its height of popularity in the 1980s.
After invention, the Rubik’s Cube became a hot commodity in Hungary (where Erno was from), but it took Mathematicians taking it to international conferences and toy fairs to make it the world’s best selling toy. To date, over 350 million have been sold. I had one of these growing up and I loved trying to solve it. It’s a good logic game that helps develop critical thinking skills among other things. If you don’t have one, get one! They are cheap and fun to work on. Here is a good quote from Erno Rubik that I think we can all apply to our every day lives:
“If you’re curious, you’ll find the puzzles around you. If you are determined, you will solve them.” -Erno Rubik
Some people can solve a Rubik’s Cube in seconds. There are competitions around the world to see who can set new records for solving the cube. There are many cheat sheets and videos online available with helpful tips. I just watched a bunch of Rubik's Cube youtube videos. Check out this video containing some world record holders solving the cube (they are called 'Speed Cubers'). Watch how fast they go! Mats Valk of the Netherlands is the current record holder - he solved it in 5.55 seconds. I wish I had a Rubik's Cube here with me - I would like to test my skills! How fast can you go?