Monday, October 31, 2005

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Average of 10: new personal best time (26.31s)

I got a new best average today. It was also my first average where all the solves were sub-30s! :) Here are the details:

Average: 26.31s
Fastest: 23.95s
Slowest: 29.61s
Individual times: (29.61), 25.52, 25.55, 24.34, 27.93, 28.55, 24.99, 27.98, 24.31, 24.45, 29.52, (23.95).

The other personal record I broke today is the number of consecutive sub-30s solves: 18

spinning Rubik's Cube
For scrambles and timing I used Doug Reed's iCube iPAQ cube timer on my iPAQ hx4705.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Xtreme card manipulation

We've all seen people do card manipulation tricks before, but have you ever seen Xtreme card manipulation?

Xtreme card manipulation involves manipulating the cards while underwater, in the wind and... while the cards are on fire!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

New personal best time: 20.87 seconds

I was cubing on the train this evening. I set all my best times on the train. The two reasons I can think of for this are: (i) the bright white lights on the London tube are excellent for cubing; and (ii) the majority of my cubing practice is done while on train rides.

Anyway, I was cubing on the train this evening and I set a new best personal time (non-lucky): 20.87 seconds. I'm so close to getting a non-lucky sub-20s solve!

I have done two sub-20s solves, but they were both lucky cases. One was a PLL skip and one had two F2L pairs solved after the cross. Definitely lucky cases.

solved cube

Saturday, October 22, 2005

First extended cross and new best lucky time

I got a new best lucky time today (17.16s). After I finished the cross, two of the F2L pairs had happily fallen into place. Basically, it was a double extended cross, but as I didn't see it during inspection and didn't work for it (it just happened!), this counts as a lucky solve.

I wish I had seen, and planned for, the double extended cross during inspection because the 17.16s would then be my actual new best single time. This would be very exciting because it's over 4 seconds faster than my current best time and it would be my first sub-20s non-lucky solve! Oh well. Will just have to keep working at it.

I did do a regular extended cross today as well. This was one I spotted during inspection and worked for (so it counts). It was a very fast solve for me: 21.69s. This was my fastest solve of the day and only 0.28s behind my current best time (21.41s).

scrambled cube

Friday, October 21, 2005

Cubing success continues

I was cubing on the train this morning and I got a new personal best single time (21.41 seconds) and a new best average (26.80 seconds)!

The individual times for the average were: 24.76, 26.68, 27.85, 25.08, (32.66), 23.42, 25.89, (21.41), 29.28, 28.69, 26.13, 30.22

solved cube

If only I could get these times in competition...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Very successful week of cubing

The past week has been one of my most successful cubing weeks ever. In the days leading up to the Dutch Open Rubik's Championships I broke three personal records:

  • 3x3x3 best non-lucky single time: 21.72s
  • 3x3x3 best lucky single time: 19.40s
  • 3x3x3 average: 28.10s (individual times: 28.11, (26.12), 28.25, 29.60, (31.96), 29.78, 27.97, 26.51, 28.43, 28.38, 26.89, 27.12)
Then at the Dutch Open on Sunday I set 6 Australian records:
  • 3x3x3 (single): 30.62s
  • 3x3x3 (average): 34.77s
  • Magic (single): 3.98s
  • Magic (average): 4.33s
  • Clock (single): 27.64s
  • Clock (average): 34.96s
I'm pretty happy with my results, but it now means it will be much more difficult for me to set new records at the World Championships next month!

The other exciting thing about the Dutch Open is that I finally managed to convince Peter to compete in a Rubik's Competition! He competed in the Rubik's Magic event and got a very respectable 4.07s best single time and a 4.74s average. I'm hoping this will encourage him to learn more puzzles and compete in future cubing competitions. :)

Monday, October 17, 2005

Dutch Cube Day a success!

Just got back from the Dutch Rubik's Open. Had a fantastic time - The Netherlands is great! Also did quite well in the competition - set 6 new national records. Will post more later.

Full results are available from

solved cube

Friday, October 14, 2005

Cats in sinks

"What is Cats in Sinks? It's obvious. It's about cats. And kittens. Who like sinks. And basins."

As anyone who lives with cats know, cats love sinks. Now there is a website dedicated to this phenomenon. Thousands and thousands of cats in sinks. Very cute.

Happy clappy kitty

Monday, October 10, 2005

Dutch Rubiks Open this weekend

The Dutch Rubiks Open is this weekend and I'm excited! It's going to be quite international as there will be competitors from 9 countries (Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, United Kingdom, USA, Australia, Czech Republic and Norway) participating this weekend. Should be lots of fun. :)

I've registered to compete in three events: the 3x3x3 speedsolve, the Rubik's Clock and the Rubik's Magic. Peter is registered for the Rubik's Magic. This will be my third official Rubiks competition and Peter's first. Well, actually, this is the third official Rubik's competition that Peter has attended, but the first in which he is competing. :)

I was a bit concerned the other day when I wanted to do some Clock practice and couldn't find my Clock! I had thought it was in my puzzle box with my other puzzles, but it wasn't. Dearie Me! It's all okay now though because I found it in a drawer at work today. I'd taken it in to show someone and had forgotten to take it home again.

scrambled cube

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Cutest little blue character ever

I was just looking through Pocket PC Thoughts and saw an article about the Aqua Game Series. I didn't really read the article, but I did notice this adorable little guy. He's definitely one of cutest little blue characters ever!

Cute little blue guy

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Ordered stickers

As all speedcubers know, the original stickers that come with the Rubik's cube are not very good. They wear out very quickly, especially the orange stickers. The orange stickers are almost falling off the cube after 2 weeks.

The answer to this problem is: Lots of cubers around the world have bought stickers from the Cubesmith and they all rave about how they are the best stickers ever. And that's not all. The Cubesmith also makes stickers for the 4x4x4 (Rubik's and Eastsheen), the 5x5x5 (Rubik's and Eastsheen), the Megaminx, the Square-1 and many more.

I've been meaning to order some stickers for quite some time now and just haven't got around to doing it. However, with two competitions coming up (Dutch Open and Worlds), I really need to get some decent stickers, so I have finally placed an order!

scrambled cube

Monday, October 03, 2005

Apparently you can still get books made of paper and ink

Yesterday I did something I haven't done in a very long time. I started reading an old fashioned style book. By "old fashioned" I mean a book that's made of paper and ink. Makes me feel like I'm back in the stone ages! ;)

Ever since I got my iPAQ hx4705 I declared that I would only read books in ebook form. However, there was one book for which I'd said I'd make an exception - Harry Potter 6. The reasons for the exception are:

(i) Peter and I have HP1-5 in old style books and it would be nice to continue the collection;
(ii) Peter also wants to read HP6 and is not yet convinced by ebooks; and
(iii) HP6 is not available in ebook form.
HP6 is a reasonably long book (over 600 pages) and it felt weird to be holding a physical book again. I'd definitely never go back to this form long term. In fact, lack of availability in ebook form would now pretty much be a reason for me to veto a book altogether!

Anyway, I'm now one chapter into HP6 and I'm already enjoying it more than HP5. I wasn't a huge fan of HP5. It definitely ranks bottom of my HP preference list.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Comment spam is lame

I've recently started getting a little comment spam on my blog. Nothing terribly offensive, just annoying (e.g. ads for insurance, online degrees, etc). I'm actually quite surprised that it's taken this long for the spam-bots to find me (I started this blog in August 2004).

Anyway, in an effort to combat this I've enabled Blogger's comment word verification. This means that when you post comments on my blog, you'll be be shown an image of a word and asked to type in this word to verify that you're a person and not a spam-bot. Sorry if this is a little bit annoying, but I'm sure it will be far less annoying than receiving comment spam!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Do you need a truck monkey?

Check out this crazy series of trunk monkey advertisements:

  • Episode 1: Trunk Monkey handles road rage
  • Episode 2: Trunk Monkey chases kids
  • Episode 3: Trunk Monkey bribes cop
  • Episode 4: Trunk Monkey theft retrieval system
  • Episode 5: Trunk Monkey paediatric edition