Looking through my Carnegie Mellon Alumni publication, I found a story about a junior who competes to solve the Rubik’s cube faster than anyone. His best is 6.23 seconds. But that is when he uses his hands. It takes him much longer, when he uses only his feet: about a minute, though his average for three attempts at the competition written about was 2 1/2 minutes. The world record is 28 seconds! He also competes in a blindfolded competition and a one-handed contest. And he practices solving the cube about 100 times a day. We humans sure have interesting pursuits and can do amazing accomplishments with out bodies. I just never thought of this kind of feet competition…did you? You can see all the different kinds and the world records right here. Above is a video of how it’s done with your feet:

When you solve the cube blindfolded, there are no tactile differences. The clock starts when you inspect the cube, memorize all the positions, and then solve it without looking. Check this out:

Staring intently at a scrambled Rubik’s Cube, Evan Liu (S’15) calculates the first move he will make. The CMU computational finance major is not alone in his concentration; he is among a group of competitors throughout the region who are vying to be the fastest at color-coordinating the cube’s six sides. But that’s only part of the challenge. For this particular event, the competitors have to do it with their feet. This could take all day.

The timer starts and Liu presses the puzzle against the ground. One foot holds the cube in place while the big toe of his other foot skillfully turns the colored squares. Amazingly, all the colors align in 91 seconds. His three-attempt average is less than two and a half minutes, about 30 seconds faster than the second-place finisher. Clearly, the Rubik’s Cube is no toy in the hands, or feet, of these competitors.

Liu can’t rest on his laurels; there are a total of nine events, everything from the one-handed challenge to the Rubik’s Clock. In addition, Liu organized the event for “speed cubers” like himself, so he has to make sure everything goes smoothly. Held in CMU’s University Center, the day’s contests are sanctioned by the World Cube Association, which unites all speed cubers and keeps records of the times at each event. Since his first competition in 2009, Liu has been solving the standard Rubik’s Cube about 100 times a day for practice. His personal record when using his hands is 6.23 seconds. Seriously!

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