Friday, December 07, 2007

A Date with Mr. Rubik

Matt generally works on Friday nights and gets home sometime after 8 p.m. (Yes, we look forward to the day that this isn't so.) So, between that and getting a call from him that he had a flat tire and it's snowing like mad outside, I settled down with the kids' Rubik's cube. I've never solved it, not even close. Never even had an inkling as to how the whole thing worked either. How do those super solvers do it? I've tried spinning the little cubes around really fast just like them but mine don't organize themselves into obedient one-colored sides like theirs do. Then I try to stifle just feeling pissed and frustrated before I toss it and move on to something more congratulatory.

Not tonight.

I was feeling rather dedicated, plus I had decided to cheat, something that wasn't an option in my childhood Rubik's days. After a little Googling, someone by the name of Peter had provided me with a splended set of instructions for solving this colorful little beast. The solution is based on the strategy of solving by layers; there are three. Here's the kicker, I got to use algorithms to do it! I've never come close to knowing what an algorithm is or using one for anything in my life, and here was my chance to feel undeniably super-smart. This is as far as I got:

Two layers solved....

What's an algorithm good for if it can't take you by the hand and walk you through solving that third layer, darn it? Just so you know, I am eluded by only two of those nasty little cubes.

Oh, so close!!!

I'm an almost-Rubik's-solver. This will have to be good enough as my dedication has worn off, and the magic dust left over from my algorithm intoxication has dissipated. I'm off to find a chess club.


Celia Fae said...

Every time you post I'm terribly amused and impresseed by your writing skills. Plus, you can spell algorithm! And you know what one is!

Courtney said...

I love Google. I'm glad it was invented, and don't we learn a lot of stuff from it? Yes. More stuff than I did in school--at least it feels that way sometimes! What an impressive, almost-solved cube you've got there! More progress than I ever did or ever will make on one of those.

No, Elise is not code for Amelia. Amelia is code for Annalise, her real name. Wendy forgot, and sometimes we call her Alise, but Wendy didn't technically give us away because she misspelled it!!! Take THAT, department of health and welfare!

jociemw said...

I was OBSESSED with rubics cubes when I was a kid. I even makde a pac-man rubics cube costume for halloween one year out of a big cardboard box. I think I was just into it for the 80's craze that it was, not so much solving it, because I was never able to get as far as you did in one night. So bless you google and your algorithms. I wonder if Mom has a photo of me in that costume somewhere???