Gleaming the Cube

Smart people use the "Fridrich Method" instead of a hammer to solve the Rubik's Cube. Developed by Jessica Fridrich, it requires people to identify and use the correct algorithms in different stages of solving the cube. There are, like, 100 algorithms. You have to memorize them. In 1982, Fridrich did so and won the Czech championships for the cube with a time of 23 seconds. That sounds fast, but Erik Akkersdijk of the Netherlands solved it last year in 7.08 seconds, earning himself a world record. (On Jan. 8, a robot, RuBot 2, did it in TK seconds, also earning a world record — against other robots.) Today, at the International Rubik's Cube Competition, expect more records to fall, as they've done so at every Exploratorium Cube event. Onsite registration — yes, you can enter! — starts at 10 a.m.
Sun., Jan. 18, 10 a.m., 2009

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