Jacob and the Shape Shifting Cube: North America Tour 2 Continues

Hey Chasers,

One of my favorite parts of our journey has been our chance encounters with really interesting and inspiring people. They may not necessarily be celebrities (yet), or shuttle engineers or technicians, but they have a story to tell, wisdom to share, and sometimes those stories and wisdom come our way when our cameras are not in reach.

Today, while in the Los Angeles Airport on our way to Seattle, we met Jacob. Jacob was sitting across from us at the terminal gate skillfully solving a Rubik’s cube. Once the cube was solved, he would reset a timer on his iPhone, scramble the cube, and within seconds, solve it again. Paul and I were mesmerized by Jacob’s super powers. So we decided to ask what he was all about.

Jacob with Paul and Matthew

Jacob with Paul and Matthew

Jacob explained that he was on his way to the Las Vegas Rubik’s Cube World Championship happening this weekend. According to the website, it is an official World Cube Association competition. I wasn’t even aware something like that existed. Jacob says that he completes between 100 to 500 “solves” a day. I have to admit, it’s very cool.

After solving the Rubik’s cube several times, Jacob showed us a “Shape Shifting” cube. It was color coded, like a usual cube, except not all the pieces were the same shape. When scrambled, it didn’t even resemble a cube anymore with random corners jutting out of the sides. I watched as Jacob effortlessly took this misshapen form, and with a few quick twists of the wrist, it became a cube once again. (Jacob is holding that very cube in this photo). “What you have to do is try and see the cube within the shape before you even start. Then you are able to solve the puzzle.” Brilliant! Reminded me of what Michelangelo is alleged to have said about sculpting; he could already see the sculpture in the stone before he started carving. But even more so, Jacob’s words gave me some thought to the creative process. After the hundreds of hours we’ve shot on Chasing, Paul and I wonder, when ¬†we head into post-production, what will this mass of hours of footage, shape up to be? We definitely have ideas, and Jacob would tell us that those ideas are the cube within the shape that we are aiming for. Perhaps a metaphor for life.

As I was writing this post, I saw some results come in from the tournament today and say that Jacob bested nearly 200 fellow competitors. I’m not surprised! We wish Jacob all the best this weekend, and thank him for letting us geek out over Rubik’s cubes, and life lessons in creation.

Keep Chasing!

Matthew

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