Friday the 13th. NO! International Puzzle Day!!!!

Can’t you see kids playing with this light up cube under the blankets after bedtime?

Friday is Friday the 13th. Spooky Stuff! Not really. I don’t intend to talk about it. Instead, I wanted to tell you that it is also International Puzzle Day.

I’ve mentioned the Bottom Line before. A one page sheet of reading material placed in sleeves on the inside of the stall doors of our company bathrooms. It talks all about the Rubik’s Cube.

So I thought I would do a little write up to share some of the more interesting aspects of it. I would give her credit for what she pulled together, but I have no idea who puts these together.

Apparently, the creator, one Erno Rubik of Hungary, created his hand made cube because he wanted a challenging, three-dimensional puzzle that also had aesthetic value.

This is where my brain snapped. Aesthetic? Really? Are you kidding me? It is an ugly little square with colored squares on it that don’t really look all that great together. It reminds me of the display lights on the computers in the Original Star Trek.

Hmmmm. This toy was created in 1974. There might be reasons this looks a bit like those computer panels. And when I think about some of the buildings built in the 1970’s, they were blocky, ugly, and the ‘decorative’ portions were usually divided up into rectangle and square color blocks.

Okay, maybe in 1974 there was something aesthetically pleasing about it. I didn’t see them until the 1980’s and I still fail to see anything pleasing in its form or function. Mostly, it made me mad enough to throw across the yard once or twice.

In fact, it wasn’t sold outside of Hungary until 1980. In the first year after that it sold 5 million toys. Between 1980 and 1982 it sold 100 million toys. In 1981 it was placed on exhibit at the New York Museum of Art. Once again, I think my brain broke over that factoid. Art? Really? Are you serious? That stupid, ugly, square with more colored squares on it?

In fact, it is protected from reproduction as a work of art. The original makers won lawsuit after lawsuit against makers of fake cubes. I think I had a fake cube. It was actually pretty with lovely soft pastels that actually harmonized and looked good together. I was so girly.

I even had a key chain with a tiny Rubik’s cube. Fully functional. (Now I have Voltaire’s Sexy Data Tango running through my head. To this day I cannot say or thing the words ‘fully functional’ without adding ‘and anatomically correct’)

I’ve never solved one. Not really. I once learned a method of patterned turns that will solve the cube so long as you already have two sides solved. Well, solving two sides was easy. I don’t think that really counts. I also could disassemble a cube that was hopelessly jumbled and reassemble it so it started from solved. Yes, I cheated when using a Rubik’s cube. It was that or keep throwing it across the yard.


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