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Rubik's Cube's History and Effect on Popular Culture

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Charles Ang

on 14 April 2015

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Transcript of Rubik's Cube's History and Effect on Popular Culture

Rubik's Cube
The Popular Culture Behind It
First Public Appearance
The rubick's cube was first released under the name of "Magic Cube" and people immediately began to love it. It quick gained a lot of attention because of how simple the idea of realigning all of the colors was, and how hard it was to achieve. Hungary, being communist at the time the rubick's cube was first released, did not let the rubick's cube be sold outside of the country. It was not until 1979 that the rubick's cube was relased to the rest of the world. That year, the rubick's cube was first massed produced by the company Politechnika.
1980s Popular Culture
It was not until the 1980s that the rubik's cube reached the western stores. Like before, it immediately became popular because of the simple task with a complicated solution. Its popularity kept growing and soon it was used in film and television. The rubiks cube made an appearance on television shows such as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Seinfeld, Doctor Who, The Simpsons, and Everybody Hates Chris. The media helped its popularity spread faster than before.
Popular Art
Many artists began to make murals with Rubik's cubes such as this mosaic of Martin Luther King Jr. made by Peter Fecteau called "Dream Big." This artwork is made entirely out of rubik's cubes. The worlds larges rubik's cube mural is 60 meters long and uses over 85,000 rubik's cubes.

Another reason to why the rubik's cube has gained popularity over the years is because of speedcubing. Speedcubing is solving the rubik's cube as fast as one possibly can. Many people have discovered new and faster ways to solve the rubik's cube. Solving the rubik's cube this way requires an extreme amount memorization. The current world record of the rubik's cube is 5.55 seconds set by Mats Valk. He used the fridrich method of solving the rubik's cube which divides the rubik's cube into layers. The fridrich method has over 120 algorithms with and average of eight turns per algorithm that is needed to be memorized.
Other Brands Inspired By the Rubik's Cube
There are also many other brands of Magic Cubes each brand having a different design
How It Began
Erno Rubik, the inventor of the rubik's cube, grew up in Hungary during World War II. His mother was a poet and his father was an aircraft engineer. He went to a small college called Academy of Applied Arts and Design. There he studied architecture and interior design. He invented the rubik's cube with the intention to solve the structural design problem "How do blocks move without falling apart."
How it made its name
How a Tool Became a Toy
Erno marked each side of the cube a different color to show that each of the twenty-six pieces can move without falling apart. After turning the faces a few times he found it satisfying to watch the different colors of the cube get all mixed up. After playing around with it he found that realigning the cube proved to be difficult. It took him a whole month to realign the cube, and at the same time he invented the first solution.
Other companies have constantly changed the design of the magic cube making it turn faster, smoother, and with less resistance. They release a new design of magic cube about every year. Rubik's however, has not changed their cube design in a long time. Because of this many speedcubers choose to use magic cubes made by brands other than rubik's. They say that other magic cubes are "far superior in quality."
Effect on Popular Culture Today
Unlike the others, the Rubik's Cube does not change its design very often. It only changes it design about once a decade. Most of the changes the Rubik's company have made are very minor, and their current deign is still very similar to the design that Erno Rubik first invented.
Other Puzzles inspired by the Magic Cube
Today there are puzzles that are all different sizes and shapes. There are 2x2x2 all the way up to 13x13x13. There are tetrahedrons (3 sided), octahedrons (8 sided), dodecahedrons (12 sided), icosahedrons (20 sided), and many more. There are shape shifting puzzles that can have a countless number of sides.
Today there have been over 300 million rubik's cubes sold world wide. This year's speedcubing world championships had over 575 participants from 37 different countries, each of them passing the qualifying time of a 15 second solve on the 3x3x3. Not only do people use rubik's cubes for speedcubing, they also use them as decorative items. Many doctors and CEOs of large corporations have stated that they keep a solved rubik's cube in their office. People of all ages buy the rubik's cube whether they know how to solve it or not. Though the Rubik's cube reached its peak in the 1980s, it still is one of the most popular toys sold today.
Works Cited
Ament, Phil. "Rubik's Cube History - Invention of the Rubik's Cube." Rubik's Cube History -
Invention of the Rubik's Cube. Vaunt Design Group, 6 Dec. 2006. Web. 01 Nov. 2013.

Angelo, Rommel. "Rubik's Cube." Rubik's Cube. N.p., 7 Aug. 2009. Web. 01 Nov. 2013.

Eising, Arjan. "Rubik's Cubes in Movies." Rubik's Cubes in Movies. N.p., 2012. Web. 02 Nov. 2013.

"The History of Rubik's." Rubik's Official Online Site. Rubik's Co., 2010. Web. 01 Nov. 2013.

Wilkey, James. "The History of the Cube." Totally Cubed- History of the Cube. N.p., 2008. Web.
01 Nov. 2013. http://iml.jou.ufl.edu/projects/Fall08/Wilkey/history.html
Rubik's Cube in Film
By Charles Ang
Full transcript