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Rubik’s

Forty years later, Erno Rubik says he’s come to appreciate his cube’s enduring popularity, reports Jackie Bischof in The Wall Street Journal (4/26/14). "If you’re able to do something that at first sight seems unsolvable or very difficult for you especially, and if you succeed, that’s very emotional," Erno says. "The player thinks ‘I am somebody; I am able to do something.’ That’s very important." That wasn’t necessarily how Rubik’s Cube was initially received — it was a tough sell because it was so hard to solve.

This never mattered to Erno. "I made something I found interesting and my idea was, ‘It’s good, and I want to share it with other people’ … I was not thinking about the size of the popularity and that kind of thing. It’s happened because of the cube, not because of me." The Cube’s popularity was phenomenal at one point, and continues to fascinate a good number of people. Its many qualities are celebrated in a multimedia exhibition, Beyond Rubik’s Cube, now running at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, NJ.

The exhibits includes one in which "robot bees navigate a maze in an effort to explain the algorithms that are useful in solving the cube … for cultural types, there is a ‘Haikube’ where visitors can manipulate words on each of a cube’s ‘cubelets’ to create a haiku." Anthony Brooks, a speed-cubist, says Rubik’s Cube "represents ingenuity, creativity," adding that "the concepts behind the cube are applicable to all sorts of fields." Beyond Rubik’s Cube "will go on an international tour in November."