JERSEY CITY - It's craziness- cubed- at the Liberty Science Center with an exhibit and competition featuring the classic toy and mathematical masterpiece known as the Rubik's Cube.
Enthusiasts say the Cube involves engineering, memory and problem solving. Paul Hoffman, the CEO of Liberty Science Center, says an exhibit devoted to the ubiquitous toy is a good fit.
"Rubik's Cube has incredible connections to science," he says. "It's a mathematical object. There's an incredible number of possibilities with Rubik's Cube." It's somewhere around 43,000,000,000,000,000,000, actually.
This exhibit includes one of the puzzle's first prototypes as well as a collection of the cube's many cousins.
But the biggest draw to the Liberty Science Center this weekend is the 2014 Rubik's Cube National Championship.
The fastest of the fast are called Speedcubers. Twenty-year-old Anthony Brooks, of Texas, is Liberty Science's "Speedcuber in Residence."
Friday, Brooks set a new world record for solving five Rubik's Cubes underwater with a single breath.
"I eventually developed my own techniques to get a bit faster," he says. "Six years later, it takes me about 8 seconds on average."
There is also a contest for competitors who memorize a scrambled cube - then solve it, blindfolded. Noah Arthurs told News 12 New Jersey how it's done. "You have as long as you want to look at it, but that's part of your time," he says. "So my fastest solve in competition is 27 seconds. So I spent about 9 seconds looking at it and then 18 seconds solving it."
An estimated one billion Rubik's Cubes have been sold worldwide.