Winner: Aolong Give-Away

Congratulations to Cubing Cubes for winning my Aolong give-away contest. His video was one of 19 walk-through entries and 1750+ subscriber entries. Here’s a video explnation of the winner determination and my walkthrough of the scramble I had provided:

The Scramble

D2 U' R2 U F2 D2 U' R2 U' B' L2 R' B' D2 U B2 L' D'

No one realized that the scramble was the one on which Mats Valk set the 3×3 single world record of 5.55 seconds.

I thought my own walk-through (my first on video, perhaps?) was pretty decent, although it shows (around 5:30) that I could have paired red/green more easily; I forgot that the back/right slot was empty. And, yeah, there’s that pesky editing error in the audio at 7:10. Oh well. Continue reading


Give-Away: Moyu Aolong

It’s been a while since my last give-away of my custom LED-backlit cube. That was in celebration of hitting 1500 subscribers. Well, it’s been six months, and, although my subscriber count did subsequently increase, it’s plateaued recently. Time to attract new subscribers, while giving current subscribers an opportunity to win as well. Here are the details, which are also summarized in this video (embedded below).

Prize: white Moyu Aolong, stickered with my color scheme (gray up, black down, bright sides)

Duration: June 1 – June 13

Process: Winner chosen randomly based on the entries received by June 13

Entry process:
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Winner Announcement: Backlit Cube Give-Away!

Well, the “Hacked” LED-Backlit Cube Give-Away has come to a close. Dozens of new blog subscribers and loads of great youtube comments later, it’s now time to announce the winner.

(music: “Luckie Street Jam” (11.17.2000), String Cheese Incident)

To pick a winner, I first did a virtual coin flip on to determine whether the winner would be a blog subscriber or youtube commenter. Yes, the 50/50 chance gave disproprotionate weighting to the blog subscribers, which are fewer in number than the comments on the video — a thumb on the scale, if you will. No matter, tails meant a youtube commenter. To pick which commenter, I used a Youtube Random Comment Picker tool.

CONGRATS SKCUBER! I’m a new fan of your channel, and encourage others to check it out. It’s got solves, unboxings, creative projects, and good production.

Thanks to everyone who participated. And remember what I wrote in the opening post: If you have any ideas on how to improve the re-wire job or have the skills to partner up on something more ambitious related to it, let me know....

1500 Subscribers + Christmas = Backlit Cube Give-Away!

1500b_300pxWith repeated thanks to CrazyBadCuber, I’ve hit 1,500 Youtube subscribers. (At the same time, my blog subscriptions have increased, but certainly not as dramatically.)

1500 is a big milestone that coincides nicely with the holidays. Time for a give-away!


One of the most popular posts on this blog and videos on my Youtube channel surrounds a LED-backlit Ghosthand Crystal Cube that I “hacked” for constant-on, blink-free illumination. As showcased in the how-to video below, I’ve hacked another one, and I’m giving it away through this contest.

The contest opens immediately, and there are three ways to enter: Continue reading

39-Second Aof5 entry, analysis (cyoubx/mitchell lane competition)

Competing? Really?

golf-swing-analysisYou don’t skip the company’s annual golf tournament because you’re a double-bogey golfer. You go, drink a few beers, have a good time, and learn a thing or two from the guys who live on the course. At least that’s what I do.

And, metaphorically, that’s what I did when I decided to submit an entry into an online competition administered by cyoubx and Mitchell Lane. They provided scrambles for several events (2×2, 3×3, 4×4, pyraminx) and invited people to “compete” by submitting video responses showing their solves. It would be based on the honor system (no way to prevent people from filming themselves multiple times and submitting only their best), and there would be no prizes. The express purpose was “to ‘meet’ other cubers,” “to encourage personal improvement,” and to strengten “a sense of community” among cubers.

I knew there was zero chance I could win this thing, averaging around 42 seconds (with my better solves in the mid-thirties). But I dug the concept and the chance to try something different as part of the community. Minimally, like folks who film their golf swing for analysis, I figured that I could learn something about my technique.

Video Submission, Results

Here is the 3×3 video I submitted, with a best solve of 37 seconds and an average of five of 39 seconds I realize that the edits between each solve give the appearance of multiple attempts. And there were. But not the cheating of multiple solve attempts; worse, it was multiple scramble attempts!?! Half-way through each of the scrambles, I caught myself reversing (or at least worrying that I had reversed) the inverse/non-inverses for Ds, Ls, and Bs. So I had to keep starting over to make sure I got each scramble right. Trust me, if I were going to cheat, I would have submitted better solves without glaring mistakes!?!

Continue reading