Rubik's Cube makes a comeback in Ottawa
What could be more frustrating than standing outside for an hour during an Ottawa winter?
How about standing outside for an hour during on Ottawa winter… trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube?
That was the scene today at the Rubik’s Cube Challenge in the Byward Market. Employees from Ottawa tech company, Shopify, held the friendly contest as a fundraiser. Apparently the low-tech toy is quite popular among Shopify's hi-tech employees. “We’re all geeks over there,” says Shopify’s Anna Lambert. “So we really like to cube.”
Despite the cold, the challenge attracted a few “speed cubers” as their called. Shopify’s Flo Wiengarten has competed in several competitions in Europe. “My best official time in the competition is about 10 seconds,” he says.
No one came close to that time today. But the friendly contest wasn’t just about speed. The proceeds from sales of the cubes went to TechYouth – a program run by Compucorps that helps children from low-income families have access to and learn about information technology. "Learning how to code, how to take apart computers, how to refurbish computers, how to upload software," explains Zeina Osman of Compucorps.
Also on hand were representatives of Magmic – an Ottawa company that has a Rubik’s Cube app for tablets and smart phones. “It’s one of our most popular apps. We get a ton of downloads every single day and a lot of people love to play it still,” says Magmic’s James Wilcox.
Not bad for a fairly low-tech toy invented by Hungary’s Erno Rubik some 40 years ago. Rubik’s Cube may have enjoyed the peak of its popularity back in the 80’s. But the devilishly-simple toy is still stumping plenty of puzzlers. And today it even confounded them for a cause.