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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » Mark Elsoon’s Rubik Remembered (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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MagicSanta
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Title: Mark Elsoon’s Rubik Remembered
Medium: mentalism, freakin’ em out
Arena: Close up, stand up
Available: Any shop, distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies

It is 1981 on board the USS Simon Lake, midrats, the night meal, is going on and a line of staggering sailors and marines are waiting for a drunken gunners mate to give them a moment of his time. He is drunker than any of them which is good because sober he doesn’t want to be bothered. One by one the drunk gunner is handed a puzzle and his eyes barely open he, in less than 1.5 minutes, solves each and every one of them. He has figured out the Rubiks Cube, the most popular puzzle in history and one of the biggest selling items of the day, sober he can do them in under a minute, but he almost always takes less than two minutes loaded, not bad since none of the rest of us could figure the darn thing out. It has been 27 years since those days and I have had the same puzzle the entire time and other than when I bought it or when I had the gunner work it I’ve never seen it in perfect condition, until today.

Rubik Remembered is a DVD that will teach you how to solve the Rubiks Cube, oh if I only had this when it was found all over the place. The DVD is well shot, no problems with the camera work or sound at all, and the solution is presented as a memory stunt. Let me tell you, no matter how you present it if you sit down and solve a Rubiks Cube only those who have never touched one will fail to be impressed. This isn’t easy and might seem confusing at first, it was to me, until I had that ‘aha!’ moment and realized what Mark was doing on the DVD and after that I was just confused rather than completely intimidated. I watched the DVD, went through it with my cube in hand, and after few hours I solved my puzzle! I’m sure with practice I can learn to do this where it can be presented with a blind fold like Mark does but I’m very proud of myself. This is a very cool DVD.

If you are wanting to really solve a Rubiks Cube get this DVD and study it and listen to Mark. I actually had an upset stomach working a puzzle because it intimidated me for so long and I didn’t think I could do it. What a great DVD this is. To be honest my former shipmate would blow Mark out of the water on speed and simplicity but this works for me and I have no idea what happened to my ol’ shipmate. Thank you for releasing this Mark, just don’t sale too many, I want to be one of the few and proud Rubik masters some day!

Note: I understand there are other sources on solving the puzzle but I've not seen them and am not comparing this product to any other DVD. I am reviewing this DVD stand alone.
Mac_Stone
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If you're just trying to learn how to solve a Rubik's Cube you don't need to go out and buy a DVD. Just run a search on youtube, after about to solid days of practice I manage my best time of just under two minutes. Alas, youtube does not cover solving while blindfolded; although I fail to see how doing so constitutes performing magic.
pepka
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It's not presented as magic, Mark presents it as a memory stunt. He memorizes the order of the mixed up colors, puts on a blindfold, and then solves it.
jstone
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Quote:
On 2008-12-29 00:21, Mac_Stone wrote:
...although I fail to see how doing so constitutes performing magic.

In my mentalism act, I solve the cube (not blindfolded) in about a minute. I present it as a demonstration of my ability to "think critically." I throw in some patter that talks about how this mental skill is useful in "my line of work."

It always plays well even though it's not "magic."
Darren Kidby
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Magic Santa can I ask what is your time?

Darren...
Andi Peters
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I've mastered Mark's method and can do the thing consistenly in 3-4 minutes.

I'm ready to increase my speed. Any tips on how to do a sub 3 minute solve?
Darren Kidby
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That was my next question, I also have mastered Mark,s method and can do it consistently in 3 to 4 minute without a blindfold, so is it just practice from here on in or is there any more tips.

Darren

ps I have greased my cube
MagicSanta
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My time? I've broken the four hour mark! Hey, I never said I was good, I think in actual time spent from getting the thing and solving it has been almost three decades....
Chris K
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Ok, here is my breakdown.

First, there are several "methods" to solving the cube. The first one I came across was a booklet called the "Ideal" solution (or something to that effect). You solve top corners, then top side while keeping one side piece odd as a place holder. You then solve the bottom side, finish the top side, then the middle. I don't know the math myself but my understanding is that this is, GENERALLY, the method with the fewest number of moves. I've had this booklet for a while and, just for me, I HATE the moves. Too complex and, for me the main problem: the last move looks like a cube with a couple pieces out of place. There's no sneaking up to the solve with this method. Best time: 7 minutes because the moves never felt natural to me.

The second method, which I only know about by reference from friends and a 2-second mention int he Elsdon vid, is solving starting from one square and spiralling out.

The method Elsdon teaches is the third major "method" (yes, I know elements can be combined so just stop typing now): starting at some color, then moving down (top, top edges, side, bottom). The benefit of this method is the fact that a base move is used for almost every step (column down, row away, column up, then the reverse). I learned to do the cube with this method easily in 24 hours (Christmas eve, while at the airport, then at the in-laws). Time: 5:46 the first time, 4:20 the second, and I am currently less than 3 but greater than 2 minutes. The secret is chaining moves. For those working on the middle row, let me explain: the final set of moves (assuming switching the square on the middle right): right slice up, bottom to the right, right slice down, bottom slice left. Well, if you make one of the turns reorient the top 2 rows, you are set without having to actually turn the cube to finish the blue side.

The nice thing about this method for my application is that the last move (flipping the edges), makes the cube look very mixed before you start the reverse sequence (top left twice, etc.).

In any case, as somebody who is familiar with the Ideal solution as well as this solution, I highly recommend Elsdon's DVD if you are new to the cube. His tips and tricks about the blindfold aspect are important, esp. the part about "looking away" as I have personally seen several blindfolded performers make this mistake (I would even say MOST).

Finally, in regards to Mac_Stone saying he doesn't see how this constitutes magic. Fair enough but my counter-question is whether he does everything exactly like a book or video. If so, then I understand his question as it is born of a lack of creativity. Otherwise, I don't understand. My personal approach is to the do the solve blindfolded (I have a distinct rationale which is also rationalized in the next portion, and no, not sharing it), then the SPECTATOR does it blindfolded. She gets close, very close. Only a few seconds away, in fact, which I proceed to show her.

If you don't think a spectator solving 99% of the cube blindfolded is magic to the audience... well, I just can't conceive of any performer actually thinking that. Not an attack, merely a statement.

Lem
Mac_Stone
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For me its more of an ethical issue. Anybody can solve a Rubik's Cube, I tell that to everyone who seems astonished when I solve one, to try and convince some one otherwise is just plain flim flam. It's not a trick it's a skill, magic should be the impossible not the improbable.

A good trick with a Rubik's Cube is instantly solving it.
MagicSanta
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Anyone can solve it, the vast majority, I mean dang near every body who has one, will not solve it. I don't know how old some of you are but you had to be around in the early 80s to understand how popular that dang thing was and I only met two people, my shipmate and another guy, who ever solved it.
Turk
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From where is Mark Elsdon's Rubik Remembered available for purchase?
Magic is a vanishing Art.

This must not be Kansas anymore, Toto.

Eschew obfuscation.
Peter Nardi
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Hi Turk,

You can get it here http://www.alakazam-usa.com

Regards

Peter Nardi
EscapeMaster
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>magic should be the impossible not the improbable

So any card at any number is a bad effect we should take out of our repertoires?
Alan Rorrison
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On the any card at any number improbibility argument. Get Joshua Jays dvd from Big blind media. He has a FANTASTIC any card at any number that adds in the impossible elament


Alan
Chris K
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Quote:
On 2009-01-02 09:10, EscapeMaster wrote:
>magic should be the impossible not the improbable

So any card at any number is a bad effect we should take out of our repertoires?


Yes, that would seem to follow the argument. I fail to see how he addressed how my example fits/doesn't fit. To reiterate, an untrained spectator attempts to solve a Rubik's Cube with their eyes closed/blindfolded. They end up only a few moves away (not a whole solve, literally like 3 moves before the cube can be shown solved and passed out to the audience for verification).

Finally, I think the example itself is very poor. There is no distinction between improbable and impossible, ESPECIALLY in magic and/or mentalism. To understand the basic problem with the argument, I recommend Mac_Stone, and anybody else interested, read The Elegant Universe. I won't say more because there really isn't a point however I think making a distinction between improbable and impossible is merely a matter of opinion, and one that doesn't seem supportable based on what we do.

Lem
Mac_Stone
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Not that I should have to defend myself but my comments were made in regard to simply solving a Rubik's Cube whilst not blindfolded and trying to pass it off as someting ridiculous. Again, like I said, for me the dilemma is purely of an ethical nature; not that I lack the creativity to come up with such a premise but that I choose not to because I feel it crosses the very thin line between what we do and what those like Uri Gellar do, flim flam.

With respect to Any Card at Any Number, I am unfimiliar with this plot so I have no comment.
MagicSanta
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It is an effect where you find any card at any number position in a deck.
Chris K
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My apologies if I made anybody feel they had to defend themselves. Not what I meant, I just meant to put forth my rationale and approach, in case it might help somebody. I've said before, and should have repeated, this is just my opinion. Of course I feel passionately about it but I don't mean to be rude.

Lem

PS- Hovering just over 2 minutes, even on the best cube "format". 3-4 minutes on average but usually closer to three.
Geoff Weber
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Imagine being able to solve a genuine Rubik's Cube from memory, whilst blind-folded, in less than two minutes every single time!

Forget about all the other Rubik's Cube tricks you've ever seen: matching mixed cubes, predictions, 'magically restored' cubes, etc. When laymen see a Rubik's Cube, they are thinking just one thing - can the magician solve it? After you've studied this DVD the answer will be simple, "Yes!"


I feel this would be more fairly advertised as a beginners guide to solving the cube. The tips on theatrical presentations are good ones but it doesn't begin to cover any speed cubing algorythms or memorizations strategies that I was hoping for.
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