Friday, April 13, 2007

The Pursuit of Happyness & Rubik's cube challenge

I own a Rubik cube. I am yet to conquer it though. On some days I decide to conquer the silly cube and force it to show me all its colours arranged neatly on each side. It has never happened.

I’ll do one layer. Feel happy and try some more. Mind you, I don’t use any of those fancy algorithms. So usually I just end up messing up. Finally I get bored and move on. Most of the times I just lose patience and put the Rubik’s cube in its corner. Something like a punishment – “Stand in the corner, you silly cube!” The silly cube sits in its corner and mocks me and challenges me for another tussle. I had given up these futile attempts after several humble defeats. Until I saw The Pursuit of Happyness.

When Will Smith did the final Rubik rotate, and cracked the Rubik's code, I felt that this simple scene in the movie had a lot of hidden ideas beneath it. The message being portrayed throughout the entire movie was depicted so easily in that one simple scene.

(For those who haven’t seen the movie and are wondering what I am talking about here’s some F1 - In the movie The Pursuit of Happyness starring Will Smith as Chris Gardner, Smith’s character successfully solves a Rubik's Cube to the astonishment of his future employer, who thinks that it is impossible to solve, and this becomes Gardner’s ticket to a great job and well, happiness!)

So here are a few things I think I really need to finally conquer my silly cube.

Try. Try. Try. Try. Try. If you are not sure, try again.

You are GOD. You decide whether to rotate left or right. Only praying and crossing all your fingers and toes won't work.

If you don't make that move, there's nobody else to make it for you. YOU are the TEAM. You play the coach, the manager, the player....

NOW. You have no control over the past and the future. What you have is NOW. Seize it and do what you want to do or lose it.

You are never wrong. You might be just partially right. But wherever you are, there is still a way to reach where you want to be. There are no dead-ends. But you can always turn back anytime you want!

And who could have done this better than Will Smith, whose life story is no less inspiring.

And one last thing, there’s nothing that you cannot do. And to solve my silly cube, I just had to find this pdf – The Mathematics of Rubik’s Cube. It is a very simple document in which different strategies to solve the Rubik’s cube are explained through very basic Mathematics concepts. If you like Maths, you might enjoy it. Otherwise, a Rubik’s cube can make a very good paper weight too! :)

Some tidbits about the movie and Rubik’s cube:

- Rubik champions Tyson Mao and Toby Mao and Lars Petrus were hired to teach Will Smith how to solve a Rubik's Cue. Smith can now solve it in less than two minutes, it seems!!!

- Rubik’s cube is the same as Hungarian Cube and Magic Cube.

- A Normal (3×3×3) Rubik's Cube can have (8! × 38−1) × (12! × 212−1)/2 = 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 different positions (permutations), or about 4.3 × 1019, forty-three quintillion (short scale) or forty-three trillion (long scale), but the puzzle is advertised as having only "billions" of positions, due to the general incomprehensibility of such a large number to laymen!!!!

- Despite the vast number of positions, all Cubes can be solved in twenty-seven or fewer moves. (This was news to me!!!)

- The official world record based on an average of the middle three out of five Cubes is 11.76 seconds, set on January 7, 2007 in Seoul, South Korea by Yu Jeong-Min.

- Rubik’s cube and I share a special connection. We were both born on the same year! :)


Hard to Handle said...

I loved your analysis of how to overcome the intimidation of the Rubik cube. Esp the "You are God" line made me feel more powerful and suddenly not afraid of the silly cube anymore.
I will rotate it left right and centre next time, yes I will! Btw, this is little pieces of coloured cubes within each face of the main cube, yes? ;)

Girl With Big Eyes said...

I felt so ashamed of myself for taking the Rubik's cube so lightly. I guess that's why I watched this movie. Gained immensely from it :)

Deepak Panigrahy said...

It was a great analysis. Honeslty, I never liked the puzzle of Rubik's Cube and have never grilled myslef on it. One more thing, I do not agree with your statement completely: "NOW. You have no control over the past and the future. What you have is NOW. Seize it and do what you want to do or lose it."Now, as for me, I beleive utilize your NOW for FUTURE learning from PAST. So, we actually control our future by deciding what we want; how we want to lead our life and many more.


T|ttozz said...

jus visited your blog. The guide was a hindu artice

Hard to Handle said...

Hey girl,
I read the above article in the Hindu. Cool! So one more celebrity added to Andeprin. I think Juan & me have to pull up our socks & start cracking.

Biby Cletus said...

Nice post, its a really cool blog that you have here, keep up the good work, will be back.

Warm Regards

Biby Cletus - Blog

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Anonymous said...

I think you you have got something wrong..the Rubik cube was supposedly invented in 1974..

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