Category Archives: miscellanea

The Elf on the Cube

Day 7 (2014 Dec 07, 06:45)

The Elf. He came back. Again. Just as the book tells it. This time, trading the shelf for an oversized cube. And he took a liking to my CX3.

A little creepy.

Sec. Def. Tim Howard, The Cubing Keeper

Turns out Secretary of Defense Tim Howard not only could block a record-saving 16 shots against Belgium, but also managed to secure the tie against Portugal while one-handed cubing:

Amazing how shoddy 15 minutes of motion tracking can look, even at low-res! Continue reading

Google Doodle, Hot Mic

Today, Google marked the 40th Anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube with an interactive doodle. Super fun.

I noticed the doodle late last night, but grew frustrated when, like a name-brand Rubik’s cube, it didn’t seem to do easily what my fingers (by way of the mouse) wanted it to do. Trying again with more patience, I got the hang of it and recorded a fun solve taking 2:16, about 4 times longer than my average solve time for (real) cubes.

Hilariously/disturbingly, in so doing, I also joined the list of folks with open/live/hot mic slip-ups — when I didn’t realize until the very end that my Snowball iCE mic was still plugged in. So, yeah, I apparently mutter to myself when I solve, narrating as I go. Awesome.

Not quite as sloppy as Obama’s “last election” comment to Medvedev; as embarrassing as Jesse Jackson’s on Obama; as noteworthy as Bush on the NYTimes; as potentially calamitous as Reagan joking that “we begin bombing in five minutes“; nor as, uh, interesting as Donald Sterling’s. But still pretty funny, especially when I discover the hot mic at the very end of the video.

I generally don’t audbily talk myself through solves. I think it was just the awkwardness of solving through a mouse on a screen.... You can hear my frustration when I got cases with algorithms that would be clunky virtually — and can even hear me grab a Zhanchi when I got halfway through the R PLL, helping transfer muscle memory into mouse clicks.

Great doodle, Google. Thanks for marking the day!

Prose for the Cyst

(A Seuss-ified Tale, Based on Actual Events)**
On his wrist, on wrist…
There’s a cyst on his wrist

I insist, I insist!
There’s a cyst on his wrist

Announced Bartholomew Griffinelbist
Yelling and pounding the air with his fist

Oh dear, what a shame, I just can’t resist
To ask who it is with cyst in his wrist

It is he of the cube, said Griffinelbist,
The one dubbed the cubing adventurer-ist

‘Tis a shame that his wrist seems so badly kissed
Under the skin a boulder from ole Sisyphus

Through pain and discomfort and a drive through the mist
To the surgeon he went, seeking help to enlist

Any method to erase all that seemed to exist
In connection with the giant cyst in his wrist

Excise it, we’ll do, the surgeon he hissed
With the help of a good anesthesiologist

On Thursday upcoming au revoir to the cyst
To that bump that surely will never be missed

Concluded Bartholomew Griffinelbist

** Written in 10 minutes, without editing, as part of a creative writing exercise.
In other words, excuse the metering anomalies, contrivedness, and clunkiness.

rubik’s building

Dude, I have the best idea. We’ll, like, put a whole bunch of, uh, multi-color high-intensity LEDs on like a square building and it will totally look like a Rubik’s cube when it lights up. Like a million throwies got stuck on the building in a totally organized way — like the most regimented rave on the planet. And, man, we’ll use one of those magic 3D printer things to make a cube with room for sensors and trick it out with an Arduino kit. Oh oh oh…a bluetooth modem, too. Duh. And then we’ll make the cube talk to a computer that talks to another computer that’s connected to the building, like a friggin’ twenty-first century game of operator. And people can like use the cube to solve the building, man. And it would would be epic — serious nirvana sublime sh#t, dude.

Like sharks with frickin’ laser beams. Only some Austrians really did it:

Right on, man. Right on.

Red, White, and Cube

Happy Birthday, again, America.  Whatever faults remain, even 237 years later, and whatever new wrinkles you might now countenance, you remain the globe’s shining symbol of hope. And your flag, that enduring icon of freedom, waves proudly still.

A cubing tribute to your Stars and Stripes:

(music: “Yankee Doodle Remix” by Jazbogas)