ABOVE: Kirt can see a pattern, and we’re sure you can, too. PHOTO BY WARREN HEGGARTY
By Grant J Everett and Warren Heggarty
It would have seemed impossible had we not seen it with our own eyes…
The Panorama staff were discussing ideas with a group of people who access our services when we were treated to an impromptu display of Rubik’s Cube speed solving. Kirt, who formerly accessed Flourish Australia’s Young People’s Outreach Program (YPOP) at Kogarah, claimed (correctly) that he could solve the puzzle from any random setting in under ten seconds.
For those who don’t know, a Rubik’s Cube has six faces made up of numerous randomly coloured tiles. The idea is to rearrange the tiles so that all the colours match on each of the six faces. Ten seconds seemed a bit unrealistic, to say the least, as it would take the Panorama staff longer than that just to figure out which end was the top and which end was the bottom! Assuming Rubik’s Cubes have tops and bottoms, of course…
While we all gaped slack-jawed in amazement, Kirt showed us exactly how it’s done, and well within ten seconds. Even with a slow motion replay, we found it a challenge to keep up.
Kirt assured us that there are patterns to look for, and if you learn to logically following those patterns, voila! You’ve solved a Rubik’s Cube. From there it’s simply a matter of practicing to improve your time.
“You should get paid for that!” we said.
“I actually compete,” said Kirt, “so I do get something out of it.”
Rubik’s Cube solving is a serious business, and there’s even a World Cube Association that runs competitions in speed solving.
“The last one I went to was a few weeks ago, and I’ll be heading to another one in about two weeks time at Turramurra High School. There’s a large hall there that people use for competitive speed solving,, and there will be about 100 other competitors and their families, so it’s quite a busy day!”
“Do you bring your own cube?” we asked. “Yes, you bring your own,” said Kirt. “They don’t provide it for you, but they have rules and regulations to make sure everything is fair.”
“And what’s your record time?”
“Six seconds,” Kirt told us, matter-of-factly.
Kirt, who also likes to sing, has recently started an Information Technology job with Flourish Australia. Kirt handles the Help Desk, where he responds to requests from workers who are having problems with their computers and related paraphernalia.
“After finishing a Diploma in Software Development at TAFE, I had been applying for work. Around the same time I had also gotten involved with the YPOP Kogarah group. They offered to help in my search for employment.
“They organised a placement for me at the Flourish Australia IT help desk. After 2 weeks of placement, I was offered a part time position.
“I’ve been working as an IT Desktop Support Officer for 9 months now, and I’m very happy working with the Flourish Australia team.”
The 6AM starts were a bit of a shock, leaving a little less time for honing his cube skills, but we have a feeling Kirk might be well suited to this new lifestyle.
It’s probably expecting too much of Kurt to solve our-day-to day computer glitches in under ten seconds, but with practice…who knows?
Young Person’s Outreach Program (YPOP),
Level 1/15 Kensington Street, KOGARAH NSW 2217
1300 779 270