I've always been attracted to puzzles (both real and figurative) and typically don't like reading the directions first... So, naturally I decided to pick up a Rubik's cube and see if my crazy mind could conquer it. Much to my dismay, after solving a side or two I would have to mess up my solved sides in order to solve another one! So I finally gave up and started looking for help. What I found was both surprising and enlightening...

Not only do you not need a degree in quantum physics or engineering to solve it, but even a child can do it (the packaging says it's for ages 8 and up, oof!) and with practice it can be done extremely fast, some people even solving it one-handed or with their feet, or even blindfolded! How?!?

You see, it all comes down to something called algorithms, or a series of deliberate moves that when repeated get the desired result every single time. Also, I was taught to think of the cube not in terms of six sides that need solving, but rather just three layers, the bottom, middle and top. These pointers eventually led me to achieving my goal and then to something called 'speed-cubing' and even to solving bigger more complicated cubes, it's crazy! Watch the video below if you're curious:

In light of the Summer Olympics going on right now, once you get good you can even compete with some of the world's best who can solve a completely scrambled cube faster than you can SAY "Hey man, yo can solve that thing?" Now I'd have to quit my job at the station here in order to get as good as these world champs, so I was just happy solving the dang thing at ALL much less quickly, but after a few weeks I was able to grab any scrambled cube and solve it in about a minute! The kid below is the current world champ solving it at under 6 seconds! Maybe you'd like to challenge him to a duel?

Maybe you don't wanna do the Rubik-lympics and are perfectly happy watching the real Olympics and twisting and turning your cube during commercials, but once you become a master of the standard 3x3 cube, you can then move on to the Rubik's Revenge which is a 4x4 cube or even take on the Professor's Cube which is a 5x5! If that doesn't satisfy your mad cubing skills, then there's actually another puzzle called the Megaminx which is a twelve-sided dodecahedron! I went through all of these and it sounds harder and harder but the base techniques for solving them all are learned on your standard cube which, unlike in the 80's actually comes with instructions when you buy it!

Speaking of 80's or rather 90's, and just in case you think I'm waving my geek flag WAY too high, the Fresh Prince himself, Will Smith took the plunge and someone thought enough of his skills to even include shots of him solving it in one of his movies, "In Pursuit of Happyness". Here's a video below of him demonstrating how he does it.

So, dust off that cube that's been lying around your house thumbing it's nose at you and get cracking...  You'll find yourself addicted and maybe even happier in no time!!