Monday, May 19, 2014

Google celebrates Rubik's Cube 40th anniversary with interactive doodle

One of the most puzzling mechanical puzzles of all times turns 40 today, and Google decided it was such a special occasion that it decided to ruin our productivity for the day with an interactive Google Doodle of Rubik's Cube.

Though Rubik's "Magic Cube" would only become a world wide craze in the 80's, it was actually created by Erno Rubik in 1974 as a way to better demonstrate 3D concepts. The popular 3x3x3 cube soon gave way to infinite variations in shapes and sizes. We can now find 2x2x2 cubes as well as mind-numbing 11x11x11 ones. And from spheres and pyramid "cubes" to X cubes and hollow cubes. But, although those are certainly nice for collectors and enthusiasts... the original Rubik's cube is still "the one".

Rubik's cube has 3x3x3 pieces which you can freely rotate, and the goal is to get all colored pieces in the their respective faces. It's actually simpler than it might look, taking as little as 5.55s to solve it... (for reference, the first record in 1982 was... 19s!)

But more likely, you'll end up like me, with the cube "almost" done, but one or two pieces in the wrong place - and no time/patience to learn the the moves it takes to take care of that. Then, you can easily excuse yourself saying there are 43 quintillion possibilities (that's 43,000,000,000,000,000,000)... and not mention that, no matter which of those permutations the cube is in, it will always be solvable in a maximum of 20 moves. (Or a single one... should you break it apart and put it back it order :).

If the doodle's gone, you can find Rubik's cube interactive doodle here, in Google's Doodle's Gallery.

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