- happy birthday May 19
Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Rubik's cube, the world's best-selling toy, and Google has created an interactive, playable digital version in its honor. Here are a few things you might not know about the iconic toy.
1. The Rubik's cube was invented by a professor.
The Telegraph reports that Erno Rubik, a Hungarian professor of architecture and design, "wanted a working model to help explain three-dimensional geometry" to his students.
2. The toy was originally named the Magic Cube.
In a recent interview with The New York Times, Rubik admitted that it was strange to refer to his creation as a "Rubik's cube" and says that he calls it "my cube." Rubik introduced the toy as the Magic Cube in Hungary, named for his theory of "magic cubology," but the Ideal Toy Corp. dubbed it the Rubik's cube in 1979.
3. All possible Rubik's cube combinations can be solved in 23 moves.
Our sister site Mental Floss found that no matter how the cube starts out, its colors can be perfectly rearranged in 23 or fewer steps. If you're addicted to the toy, whether in physical form or on Google's homepage, Mental Floss has the secrets to solving any Rubik's cube in 23 moves.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- 7 tips for keeping your man (from the 1950s)
- Why does Fareed Zakaria still have a job?
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Does solar energy have a battery problem?
- 4 simple steaks you can cook in a pan
- How the elderly are treated around the world
Subscribe to the Week