So, What’s this Blog All About?

I just posted a bit of an self-reflective video on my Youtube channel discussing my vision for the channel and this blog, and arguing that even a slow solver can be a solid and relevant contributor to the community:

The rough script is below. Continue reading

Still Figuring It Out

A colleague in my office sent me this cartoon from the great Pictures in Boxes cartoon blog.

“Neat,” I thought somewhat dismissively, “a clever cubing cartoon.” But the more I focused on it, the more I came to appreciate the message and title (Still Figuring It Out).

I’m not sure if the author/artist intended it as a literal cubing reference or not, but I personally really appreciate the dual literal and metaphorical meaning.

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Two Years In – Thanks, CrazyBadCuber!?!

I had planned on posting a two year cubeiversary video this weekend, it being almost exactly two years from the first time I solved a Rubik’s cube. It was going to show a 30-second solve, before self-deprecatingly mocking myself for not really improving much this year. Yes, my technique is better. Yes, I know more algorithms. Yes, I’m more consistent. But my cross still sucks and my speed just isn’t falling much. Oh well. I never proclaimed to be fast, and even anointed this blog as one for the mediocre.

Well, instead of waking up and editing the video, I found myself laying in bed puzzling over why I had 400 emails (almost all from Youtube). I finally realized that CrazyBadCuber had done one of his Crazy Bad Promo videos featuring my youtube channel! Sweet! Hundreds of new subscribers! Here’s his video:

I’ve always thought that my video production and blog quality both eclipsed my cubing skills. There’s a bias against slower cubers, and I figured I wouldn’t get much attention until I sped up. Continue reading

The Cubing Spy

Well, Mr. Snowden just can’t stay out of the headlines — and probably doesn’t care to — what with his (not-so-)clandestine flight to Moscow, his newfound alliance with Wikileaks, etc. Dude’s in a mess of trouble.

I couldn’t help but snicker when I read the opening lines in this NY Times article last week:

WASHINGTON — The source had instructed his media contacts to come to Hong Kong, visit a particular out-of-the-way corner of a certain hotel, and ask — loudly — for directions to another part of the hotel. If all seemed well, the source would walk past holding a Rubik’s Cube. They followed the directions. A man with a Rubik’s Cube appeared. It was Edward J. Snowden....

cuber-vs-cuber

(image composited by Adventures in Cubing)

Just one issue: Seems like this self-proclaimed hero du jour didn’t realize that no one over 16 has played with a Rubik’s cube in public since about 1982. (Even our esteemed cubing competitions take place behind closed doors — or, with World in Vegas this year, at least away from anyone who would notice or care.)

Like Manning before him, Snowden seems better at stealing secrets than counter-intelligence. Even our bad spies are no good!?!

Cube Patents

Every once in a while, my hobby intersects with my profession. That was the case a year ago when I wrote about the controversy between Dayan and Seven Towns over the latter’s (largely exaggerated, I believe) position that it had a copyright/trade dress claim against any cube maker using the standard yellow-white/red-orange/blue-green color scheme. And it’s the case again now, with my recent project to decorate my new office. I figured that the lawyer who deals with patents by day and speedcubes in his free time might as well have some topical art.

I downloaded a variety of cube related patents, ranging from the very first related patent of which I’m aware (from the 60s), the Japanese magnetic 2×2 patent from the 70s, the Hungarian and US Rubik patents from the early 80s, the (in)famous Verdes V-Cube patents, and the (relatively) recent Dayan ones. In Photoshop, I assembled them into a composite with the abstract pages and key diagrams, had it printed at 24×36 by Kinkos (for $4.50), and framed it (via Aaron Brothers for $35). Voila! Legal-cube-nerd art:

cube-patent-composite-25%

Click on the thumbnail to expand. I’m not convinced there’s a high demand for this sort of thing, but, just in case, here are links for downloading it:

pdf (15MB) | png (16MB) | png (50% size – 6MB)

(Again, I doubt there’s interest, but I would just ask that no-one commercialize it, and that I get credited/linked-back if anyone uses it online.)

And if the composite file isn’t enough, here’s a video. A veritable multimedia smorgasbord!

(music: “Apache,” Incredible Bongo Band)

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