Google Doodle Commemorates 40th Anniversary of Rubik's Cube

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By Ma Evelyn Castino Quilas | May 19, 2014 11:04 PM EST

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Rubik's cube, Google treats the search engine homepage's visitors with an interactive doodle of the puzzle.

The doodle available in all countries worldwide allows visitors to play the game on the search engine. Once a Google visitor clicks the image of the interactive Rubik's cube, it enlarges enabling the viewer to start playing the interactive game.

According to Rubik's.com, Rubik's cube was originally named Magic cube when Erno Rubik, a young professor of architecture, invented the cube in 1974 at Budapest, Hungary. It was not initially intended for a puzzle but was a mobile sculpture symbolizing stark contrasts of the human condition.

Prof. Rubik showed the cube to his students to help him explain about special relationships. He took more than a month to work out solutions to his puzzle and perhaps did not expect that it will become the best-selling toy of all time.

The first set of manufactured cubes was twice the weight of the later productions. The cubes were distributed in a Budapest toyshop called Politechnika.

So how did the Rubik's cube got worldwide recognition from a communist country like Hungary? Enchanted mathematicians bought the toy to an international conference while an expat entrepreneur from Hungary took it to the Nuremberg Toy Fair in 1979 where a toy specialist named Tom Kremer agreed to market it all over the world.

Ideal Toy Company took over the distribution of the cube in 1980 and the name "Magic cube" was changed to "Rubik's cube" for its international market due to complicated international patenting. Since then the Rubik's cube has gone a very long way from pop videos, Hollywood movies, to television shows and even online.

Patrick Bossert released "You Can Do the Cube" in 1981, which sold 1.5 million copies. A year after, the Annual International Rubik's Championships was born. Diamond Cutter's Inc. created the so-called "masterpiece cube" in 1995. In 2013, Rubik's cube with faster action mechanism and durable tough tiles was created.

There were already over 350 million Rubik's cube sold since its release with one in every seven people alive playing the toy. There are 43 quintillion starting permutations for the  Rubik's cube, although the game can actually be solved with simply 20 moves regardless of the color's arrangement at the start.

Meanwhile, Prof. Rubik became the President of the Hungarian Engineering Company in 1990 and was awarded at the Prizes at World Championships in Budapest in 2007.

Being the inventor of the Rubik's cube, he said, "If you are curious, you'll find the puzzles around you. If you are determined, you will solve them."

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