What happened in Hungary on 13 July 1944? Erno Rubik was born, that’s what. You may already know what impact he had on the 1980’s, but I feel that a little more information wouldn’t go amiss.
We all know what a Rubik’s Cube is. It’s one of those 3x3x3 cubes with the coloured stickers – yes, but can you do it? Could you do it? Do you need a book to tell you how? Do you still own one? I used to have one, and apart from completing one side was pretty clueless as to how to go any further. We used to unpick the stickers and re attach them in the right order, and when we became bored with that, we started to dismantle the cube, but this was all so unsatisfactory. I mean, the blessed thing then kept falling apart.
But then I got hold of a book, and managed to solve it. By rote I might add, but I could solve it, and I think that my record was something like 2 minutes.
Anyway, the Cube is one of the great 1980’s icons. It was Noel Edmonds who first encouraged the British Public buy the Cube. In the early 80’s on Multi Coloured Swapshop (01-811-8055!) he featured one for 3 weeks running. Where previously sales had been sluggish, now they soared. Eventually some 15 million were shifted in the UK.
It continues to be featured in popular culture. You will no doubt have seen it in 3 episodes of The Simpsons (where Homer eventually solves it), or Armageddon (Steve Buscemi), The Pursuit of Happyness (Will Smith) and also in Wall-E.
See also – Googling the Cube
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