Sunday, December 25, 2011

Rubik's Cube

Guess what I got for Christmas this year from my sixteen year old son?

Yup, all of you 80's lovers know what that is. It's a Rubik's Cube, the colorful and often frustrating puzzle toy invented by Erno Rubik, a Hungarian engineer, back in 1974.

I previously talked about the Rubik's Cube on my blog way back in 2007 (click here for that original post).

So, the other day we're over at Kohl's, looking for my wife's Christmas present. My son and I pass by a little toy display that had Rubik's Cubes. Instintively, the motor-memory of all those years of cubing back in the 80's kick in. My hands start to do the moves even though I don't have a cube in my hand. Phantom stuff. Really weird. I tell my son I am sure I could still solve one to this day because of that. "Buy one" he insists. I say no, not today.

Jump to this morning at 1:45am when we get home from Midnight Mass and begin to open our presents. There, in my stocking, is a Rubik's Cube from my son. What a surprise!

So, I open it up and give it a few twists. Nice and loose. Not like my old cube that was so long ago gone (back in the day you could by Cube Lube to loosen them up so you could fly while solving it and get better times).

I hand the cube to my wife and she gives it a nice scrambling. She hands it back to me.

Well, it wasn't my best time showing by any means but I was able to get it solved in about ten minutes. It took a few minutes for the old algorithms to come back to me. What's the one to shift the lower corners again? How do I get the those last four side-middle pieces to shift again? But, yes, it all camee back to me and I proudly showed it solved to them both.

My son was ready to scramble it again.

I told them no, not tonight. See back in the day my ADD would have kicked in and not allowed me to leave my Cube unsolved before I went to bed. It was just one of those things. That seemed to return too.

So, it will be good to keep my old mind sharp by doing the Cube a few times a week. And maybe it'll keep the arthritis that I am sure I'll eventually get (my mother's side of the family has a history of it) at bay.


Martin Gray said...

Well, clever fella, and fun son - have a very Cubist Christmas!

Carol Covin said...

Our children keep us honest.