foreign loner (possibly) Professor Erno Rubik is,
undoubtably, a genius - albeit probably only in the same
manner that Albert Einstein is, y’know, a
"genius" for inadvertently inventing a weapon
which has, inevitably, doomed the human race to
extinction. Having said that, not even in our most
fevered moments would we ever contemplate Erno Rubik’s
invention as being possible of genocide.
fact, during the 1980s, the Rubik’s Cube temporarily
distracted us all from our imminent radioactive demise.
It was a three-by-three square, multi-coloured,
cube-shaped puzzle, the aim of which was to twist and
turn its individual sides until each of the surfaces of
the cube were all one colour. Or different colours, if
you catch our drift. However, the most popular methods
of solving the cube were to peel the coloured stickers
off, or smash the thing apart, and put it back together
in the correct configuration. Nevertheless, there was
always one geek, in your school (usually a prefect, and
head of the maths class) who could complete the thing in
ten seconds. Behind his back. With one arm. While being
hit in the face with a geography textbook, and having
dog shit smeared on his blazer.
Rubik’s craze reached fever pitch during the early to
mid eighties, with the ultimate accolade being bestowed
upon Professor Rubik: a tribute pop single which reached
the lower regions of the Top 100. Who can forget the
refrain of the chorus, which chanted "Mr Rubik,
Rubik, Rubik", and was inevitably altered by
schoolchildren to "Mr Pubic, Pubic, Pubic"?
Rubik’s empire temporarily thrived, with non-cube
spin-offs including the Rubik Snake (not a puzzle as
such, but a segmented snake shape, which could be
contorted into a ball, playing card, and, if you were
really tedious, a dog - though most people managed only
the "slightly bent stick"), Rubik’s Magic
(some sort of spin on those sliding tile games), and the
Rubik’s Revenge (an absurdly difficult
four-by-four-by-four version of the cube). Unofficial
spin-offs included a spheroid "cube", a
pyramid, and a hexagon. By far our favourite was the
all-white "Irish Cube" (which wouldn’t be
allowed in this era of shamrock glasnost, when we are
friends with the Irish, and not just victim to their
bombs and explosives).
say, the flame which burns the brightest burns the
shortest, and Rubik’s flame was well and truly doused
by the piss of public apathy after two good years.
He’s resurfaced of late, working for Hasbro in some
sort of advisory capacity, still churning out endless
dilutions of his original concept in the vague hope that
someday one of them will click. Sorry, Professor, but
these days kids just want PlayStation, cigarettes and
the correct answers by using the drop down menus.
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If you get any wrong you will have a tick against the
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