RIP, Zhanchi No. 1

PROLOGUE: We can make type look like HEADLINES or fine print; emphasize the important parts with color, boldfacing, italics, or highlight; use superscript or subscript notation; strike-through to show edits,

blockquote (like this) to draw focus,

and switch to fixed-width to show code. But there is no neat, and tidy way to indicate “hey, I’m about to get all facetious and sardonic on you.”

I hereby propose Comic Sans as the official signal of sarcasm on the internet.And, even if you never read another word on my blog again, I’ll be ok — as long as you promise to read this McSweeney’s opus: “I’m Comic Sans, A**hole.” So. Friggin. Good.

My Zhanchi died last Thursday. FUBAR. In the middle of learning the N Perm, it locked up on me. And not just an align-better-and-proceed lock up (à la Rubik’s brand cubes). Jammed. Stuck. No bueno. With some elbow grease, I eventually got it unstuck, by which I mean that the yellow-green-orange corner and yellow-orange edge each violently ejected. The corner piece was gnarled and twisted so badly that, even after straightening it by hand, the cube would barely turn when I replaced the pieces. Open heart surgery — some heat, crazy glue, counter-twisting, etc. — barely helped. The re-assembled cube just didn’t want to turn any longer. I pronounced the cube dead a few minutes later. Continue reading

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Family Guy / Rubik, the Amazing Cube

Huge Family Guy fan here. Who isn’t? Bad, mean, wretched people. That’s who. So color me terribly amused when I just happened upon an interview in which the show’s creator, Seth MacFarlane, goes on a rant about an ’80s Saturday morning cartoon called…wait for it…Rubik, the Amazing Cube:

They did an animated series in the ’80s that was based on the Rubik’s Cube, which was popular at the time. The premise was — I’m not making this up — that these three Hispanic children find a Rubik’s Cube, and every time they solve it, it flies and helps them solve crimes. I swear it’s real. Look it up on YouTube. It’s ridiculous.

So look it up on youtube, I did. Continue reading

Out-Cubing the Bieber

Peruse YouTube for a couple minutes, and you’ll find hundreds of videos showcasing sub-20-second speedsolving.  You may even stumble onto Feliks setting his 5.66 second world record.  Crazy impressive on all sorts of differents levels.  Good for him.  Not the least bit of enmity or jealousy on my end.

But dig a little deeper and you’ll find, as I did, something more sinister: a clip of Justin Bieber on Spanish TV solving a cube in 1:26.  While I find his music beyond abhorrent, I can at least appreciate that the kid has some singing and dancing talent.  Good for you, Justin.  But I simply could not allow myself to be out-cubed by the pretty-boy.  Not competitive by nature, I succumbed to an unusual, embarrasing, almost preternatural drive to beat him.  Then, after two weeks of further practice, I did:

(White Dayan Zhanchi, with tunes by Bassnectar.)

Take that, Biebs.

REVISIONIST HISTORY: Although I posted this after my inaugural post, I’ve pre-dated it to keep things chronological.