Once upon a time, this blog was something other than just a collection of my embedded Youtube videos. In fact, it was more like a repository of neat things related to cubing. Besides acting as an online chronicle of sorts, which is a function I still really dig, I want to steer the blog back to including other content.
This recent Cubing World video is a great excuse to do that. A follow up to last year’s Twelve Cubers, One Scramble video, this one features thirteen fast 3×3 solvers (two the current world record holders) each doing CFOP walk-through solves based on the same scramble:
L2 B' L2 B' D2 B' R2 D2 F2 R2 B' L B' U' R' D' B2 L2 U' B U2
This video is great. As I commented on it, the solves demonstrate really well that solving a cube is not just a robotic application of memorized steps — naysayers’ favorite criticism. No doubt there is a formulaic element of “see X and apply Y,” especially at the OLL and PLL stages. But the amount of variation in these walk-throughs showcases the high degree of analysis, problem solving, and creativity that go into a really good solve. And these are no lackeys. That some of the best cubers in the world each approached the same scramble differently is a testament to the deep complexity of the cube.
From Alexander Lau’s Roux and Phil Yu’s ZZ mind-benders to Justin Mallari’s impressive dexterity and finger tricks to Feliks’ and Mats’ always brilliant solves, the video is riddled with nuggets of awesome tricks and techniques to study. I can watch these over and over again…and have!
It seems that there’s a new sheriff in town. I awoke this morning to a youtube stream full of buzz about Mats Valks 5.55-second solve yesterday at the 2013 Zonhoven Open. For those keeping score, that’s a new world record — topping Feliks Zemdegs 5.66 solve from the 2011 Melbourne Winter Open.
Unlike Feliks solve, there’s a pretty decent video of Mats’ that he posted on his youtube channel just after the Open:
Pretty remarkable solve. Continue reading
Just found this while flipping through today’s NYT mag, which is also available online:
I do suppose I’m a part of the “recent resurgence … led by an interest in speedcubing and the desire of some Gen X parents to share a toy of their youth with their kids.” Gotta love Feliks’ comment on practice: “Q: How do you practice? A: I don’t really do much because it’s not really that difficult to maintain my speed, I guess. So I just solve it casually.”
Since launching this blog a couple weeks ago, I’ve grown a bit more self-conscious about it. Not so much because of the mockery – I can endure that, especially when dished by anonymous web denizens. But more a fear that having a cubing-themed blog might project a self-deluded, misplaced belief that I’m actually pretty good at this whole cubing thing. There’s a sort of hubris that attends launching a hobby blog, a sort of “look at me, and look what I can do.” It requires a lot of chutzpah in the face of the dozens of other really good cubing blogs run by folks that can solve a cube 4 times faster than I can. Continue reading