Does anyone remember the 1980's instrument of torture known as Rubik's Cube? It was invented by a Hungarian guy (guess his name!) who created a revolution in toys and games. His creation is a 3x3x3 cube with 54 individual mini-cubes in 6 different colors on its 9 faces. The trick is to scramble this 3-D puzzle and figure out a way to, well, unscramble it. This is no easy task and, to that end, numerous volumes of text have been dedicated to The Cube's solution...or I should say "solutions", as there are many.
Sometime in December of 2017, when establishing my goals for the current year, I decided that learning to solve Rubik's Cube was a noble task that I should undertake. Toward that end, I would solve The Cube by December of 2018.
Much as I learned how to properly unplug a toilet or stuff a pill down a dog's mouth, I went to that veritable fountain of knowledge known as YouTube for direction. Honestly, most of The Cube instructions on YouTube, while being deadly accurate, are done by experienced, high-speed "cubers" who rip through instructions at breakneck speed. Little do they know that their simple method is not-so-simple to the uninitiated. Thankfully there was one source of instruction which I found to be most enlightening. It was from a man named Noah Richardson who produces nicely done, well thought-out instructional Cube videos. His instructions, combined with several other sources, were instrumental in getting me through eight weeks of mental torture. At the end of that time period I was able to complete The Cube albeit with the occasional use of a cheat sheet.
The next goal was to be able to complete the entire solution without the use of supplemental aids. Said task was completed, believe it or not, in Mexico. Yes, while lying on a chaise lounge in 80 degree sunny weather, Piña Colada in hand, there I was - working by trial and lots of error through the elusive solving of The Cube. And, by some strange miracle, I had it nailed by the end of our 10-day vacation. Truthfully, there's nothing about solving The Cube that requires a degree from Cal Tech - just a lot of time, patience and many Piña Coladas.
For many cubers, the next goal after learning to complete the task is to work on improving one's time. As for me, I'm happy just to be able to finish it without a cheat sheet. And besides, what's the rush?
"José, another Piña Colada, por favor."
Readers, enjoy your day.