The Carrot

The WCA's Finest News Source

Magic and Master Magic removed from WCA events, to be replaced with Ball in Cup

SAN FRANCISCO – In a groundbreaking decision announced last week, the WCA has decided to stop recognizing Magic and Master Magic in official competitions. After extensive discussions with competition delegates, it was decided that these events are too difficult to judge properly and are too much trouble to hold. The recent regulation proposal requiring helmets on all Master Magic competitors has also been a logistical nightmare.

Magic enthusiasts need not despair however, as the WCA is considering the addition of an exciting new event to replace the popular plastic puzzle. “We have been testing the Ball in Cup as a competitive event for several years now,” explains WCA Board member Tyson Mao. “Not only is it easier to judge, it is an appropriate successor for the Magic events that preserves the mindless repetition of movement and absence of logical thinking integral to the Magic experience.”

Former delegate Dan Lo has spearheaded Ball in Cup testing since 2006 and currently holds the unofficial world record. “It’s more complicated than it looks,” he explains as he demonstrates the basic solve, placing a ping pong ball in a paper Dixie cup. “Especially when it gets fast.” His hands become a blur, hitting the timer a fraction of a second before the ball lands in the cup. This flourish of movement is his new method, he explains, capable of achieving the fastest times and promising that Ball in Cup can eventually be as exciting and competitive as Magic is currently.

“This is the best decision the WCA has made in a while,” says competition organizer Vincent Sheu. “Paper cups and ping pong balls are widely available, and we no longer have to deal with broken strings and jammed Magic panels.”

Area Man Has Never Peeled Stickers Off

He has never taken his cube apart either

(LOS ANGELES) – TODAY’S human interest story comes from Southern California, where 35-year-old Jason Kuhn was revealed to have never taken the stickers off his cube and rearranged them to appear as though he had solved it.

Kuhn invited us to his East Los Angeles home where he has lived all his life. “Sure, I had a Rubik’s cube,” he said, digging through a dusty box he pulled from his attic. “It was a huge fad when I was growing up in the 80’s. All my friends had one.”

He finally found the cube under a pile of old Transformers toys. It’s still mostly scrambled, but the beginnings of one layer were visibly in progress. The stickers, while worn, are still neat and stuck on tightly. “Yeah, I never felt like taking them off. It just felt like cheating, you know? Also I was a terrible nail-biter as a kid and was never able to peel them off cleanly.”

Friends and classmates had no such qualms. “Every other day someone would bring a solved cube to school in triumph. You could usually tell they cheated though, they always had shoddy misaligned stickering.”

Kuhn might never have been discovered if not for Daniel Lee, 15, one of the burgeoning new generation of speedcubers who weren’t even alive during the original Rubik’s cube boom in the 1980’s. Lee recalled, “I was just practicing my one-hand solving at the bus stop and [Jason] approached me. He told me he had one as a kid. I figured the next thing he was going to say was ‘I used to peel the stickers off,’ but I was surprised.”

Asked what he was going to do now, Kuhn looked thoughtfully at his old cube and said “Well, I might finally figure out how to solve it, now that all the kids are doing it legitimately. I really don’t know if it makes me that special, that I never peeled the stickers off. I don’t think I’m going to let it affect my personal life or go to my head or anything. I’m just like anyone else, trying to live one day at a time.”

Lubix introduces revolutionary new cube design

(DENVER) – Cubing blogs are buzzing over Lubix’s latest cube offering, the Lubix Evolution. Lubix CEO Donovan Cline unveiled the prototype of the revolutionary design yesterday at the Denver Cube Convention to the excitement of cubers around the world.

The Lubix Evolution features several improvements to reduce popping and enhance speed. It is made of components from three different Dayan cube types and contains over 50 internal pieces. It is the first 3×3 design to feature more internal pieces than external pieces. The entire internal mechanism is finished off with a liberal application of Lubix’s proprietary blend of silicone oils.

Cline gave us an overview of the mechanism. “These here are the supertorpedoes. There are two per edge piece and three per corner, and all of them interlock with the pieces and each other in such a way such that separating them is impossible.”

Even unscrewing the center pieces won’t work on this model; Cline has added a tab under the center caps to block access to the screws. He explains that consumers will not need to adjust the tension on their cubes, as he personally sets each cube to the perfect tension. “When inexperienced cubers try to set the tension on their own cubes, you get inconsistent tensions and the consumer is rarely satisfied with the end result.”

Lubix is calling the Evolution the most perfect cube ever made. “We try to put features in cubes that consumers don’t even realize they want yet,” said Cline. It is also virtually unbreakable unless dropped or hit.

Indeed, this new product is already on plenty of cubers’ wishlists this Christmas, although it will not be on sale for another two months. “I’ll buy any cube as long as it’s fast and made by Lubix,” said convention attendee Greg Higby.

The Lubix Evolution will retail for $50 when released in October.

12-Year-Old Unveils Revolutionary New Method, Discovers It Is Just Petrus

(TORONTO) – 12 year old Nick Kalman excitedly unveiled his revolutionary new solving method at the Canadian Open last Saturday to an audience of Canada’s best cubers. Asked about the story behind the method, Kalman explained “I started cubing a few months ago, and learned about this method called ‘Fredrich’ or something, that’s supposed to make you faster. I looked it up, and it was just hundreds of algorithms. I tried memorizing them, but it was too hard. So I started playing around with other ways instead, and came up with a new way to do F2L.”

Kalman’s new method eschews the traditional cross and involves building blocks of adjacent pieces until two layers are solved. “I think this method really has potential. I haven’t figured out all the algorithms yet, but I’m sure it’s capable of sub-20 times. Everybody starts with a cross; this method is very unique.”

Other cubers are less inclined to agree with that statement. American cuber Dae Young Yoon commented, “Yeah, I don’t think I’ll be switching from Fridrich, but this really isn’t anything we haven’t seen before. It’s just another block building method. You could just use Petrus.”

Lars Petrus of Sweden could not be reached for comment. His eponymous method is well established and has been used by many to solve the cube for the first time.

WCA Outlaws G Perms, World Records Smashed

F and N perms also banned

(SYDNEY) – IN an unprecedented move by WCA officials Saturday, the execution of several PLL algorithms were outlawed effective immediately. Citing difficulty in execution, Ron van Bruchem banned all G, F and N permutations. Consequently, all solve attempts finishing with one of these permutations are now automatically considered solved.

Feliks Zemdegs of Australia promptly set new world records in the 3×3 speedsolve event with a 3.55 second single and 5.79 second average in the first round of the Sydney Open on Saturday morning. “Two of my solves ended in G perms, and another one was an N perm,” said the record holder, whose records are now even more unapproachable by mere mortals. “It’s like getting free PLL skips!”

Andrew Nelson of the United States, co-founder of “Who Does the F-perm?”, the campaign to outlaw the F perm started in 2008, is thrilled that his movement has gained international acceptance and legitimacy. “For the past three years, I’ve only known 20 PLLs,” said Nelson, who refuses to accept the existence of the F perm. “Now I can forget even more of them.” He did note the irony that Michael Bennett, the other co-founder of “Who Does the F-perm?”, is one of the few people who cannot realize the full advantage of this new regulation. Bennett uses the Roux method, which does not deal with PLL at all unless certain steps happen to be skipped. Bennett could not be reached for comment, and there is speculation that he is on permanent vacation in his homeland, the landlocked island of Smerbia.

Not all cubers are as enthusiastic about the ban. American cuber Daniel Hayes is ignorant of PLL names. He deals with the new regulation by assuming all his PLLs are G perms and stops solving. “I’ve set a new personal best, but my DNF rate has skyrocketed,” he said.

WCA Board member Tyson Mao seems hesitant about the new change and subsequent loophole allowing the new world records. “I don’t want to formally recognize these new times as world records until after all the kinks have been ironed out. This is the first time we’re allowing unsolved cubes as a valid solved state.” But as news of Zemdegs’s record spread, Mao dreads dealing with the fallout that would occur if the recognition were rescinded. “Clearly, we didn’t think this through,” he said.