Cubing Through China (34.1 Ao10)

Badly jetlagged from my trip, I had thrown together pretty hastily the preview of my video with 10 solves across 10 unique locations in China. Somewhat better rested now, I pieced together the footage into a (long) video clocking it with an Ao10 of 34.1 seconds. I think that’s my best on camera average, and not bad considering that I was fighting exhaustion the whole trip.

(cube: Moyu Weilong with Cube Specialists fitted Bright+ stickers)

Bad lighting notwithstanding, the video and solves aren’t half bad. Continue reading

Cubing Through China (A Preview)

No, no, no. I haven’t forgotten about the blog. I haven’t given up cubing. I haven’t stopped making videos. I just got, well, uh, busy. And I had that whole surgery thing. And then I got sick. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Excuses excuses.

And while 8 days in China didn’t exactly free up a ton of time, I did manage to get some fun and unique footage of solves throughout my journey. Here’s a preview:

Planes, trains (a very very fast one, in fact), airports, balconies, offices on a fiftieth floor, 11th Century towns, 21st Century streets, and one very humble courthouse. Hong Kong, Guangzhou, and Shanghai. Exhausting trip. Fun footage. And now jetlag hung around my neck like a 50 lb weight!?!

L-Shape OLLs (##47-50, 53-54)

My last tutorial focussed on the Frying Pan OLLs, which I described as the two L-shape patterns with a bar on the side. A youtube commenter quickly pointed out that there were, in fact, four L-shape OLLs with a bar on the side– the two Frying Pan ones (##53-54) and the two Squeezy ones (##49-50). I promised to do a new tutorial that added the Squeezies. Then I realized that there are a total of only six L-shape cases. So, why not add the Breaknecks (##47-48), too, and make it a comprehensive L-shape OLL tutorial?

The video below does just that. While the algorithms are not necessarily hard to execute — for the Squeezies, it’s just about finding the right finger-tricks and flow — the six cases are easy to confuse. Below the video are the algs and some simple rules to help distinguish and orient the cases.

(puzzle: Maru CX3 w/ stock stickers)

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Dual Commentary with TazzVidz

stick-figuresAbout a month ago, TazzVidz approached me about doing a dual commentary on his channel. I was a bit skeptical at first. But then I decided that it might be refreshing to do a humble, earnest dual commentary.

I’ve written here ad nauseam that I think I’m a good cuber, but a mediocre speedsolver — dubbing this site a blog for the mediocre. It was in that vein that I did the interview/commentary. He layered the commentary over a video of *him* doing a 4×4 Ao5. I think it came out great:

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Excuses…Excuses — (0:39) Ao5 with a Cast

Here’s a dirty little (not-so-)secret fact: I’m a mediocre cuber. Indeed, mediocrity is, in a sense, the raison d’être of this blog.

me·di·o·cre [mee-dee-oh-ker]
of only ordinary or moderate quality; neither good nor bad; barely adequate
     synonyms: undistinguished, commonplace, pedestrian, everyday; run-of-the-mill
     antonyms: extraordinary, superior, uncommon, incomparable

More accurately, I’d say that I’m a pretty good cuber, but a very mediocre speedsolver. My technique is decent. I know all PLLs and can execute them efficiently. I understand intuitive F2L very well, and have learned a lot of tricks for more complicated cases. And I’ve got about 60% of the OLLs under my belt. But when it comes to putting them all together into full solves, I’m just not that great. My cross stinks. My look-ahead is non-existent. And, under the pressure of the clock, I tend to confuse F2L cases and forget OLL cases. That’s why I average just under 30 seconds.

And that’s why I very rarely record full solves and, even more rarely, averages. Well, after my surgery and with this damn cast still on my arm (¡au voir mañana!), I thought I could record an average of 5 (Ao5) with a built-in excuse. And so I did. Here’s the video with a 39 second Ao5 (and with BIG apologies for so much of it being out of frame!):

(puzzle: Dayan Zhanchi w/ Cube Specialists fitted bright stickers; music: String Cheese Incident performing “Galactic > So What?” on 7.30.03)

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Frying Pan OLLs (##53-54)

Here’s a quick follow-up to my C-Shape OLL tutorial, this one focussed on the “Frying Pan” OLLs (##53-54). Why “Frying Pan”? I have no idea. Leave a comment if you know.

I filmed this at the same time as the C-Shape one, trying to squeeze in as much production before my wrist surgery. It follows the same multi-cam approach:

(puzzle: Maru CX3 w/ stock stickers)

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C-Shape OLLs (##34, 46)

My Two-Look OLL post inspired me to keep pushing along with learning more OLLs. I had started learning the C-shapes (##34 and 46), but got distracted when I couldn’t find a decent flow for the latter. Now, I finally found an alternate algorithm for it. Here’s a video tutorial, followed by further explanation:

(puzzle: Maru CX3 w/ stock stickers)

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