16 12 / 2012

There’s an Avengers double feature on the front page of the World Cube Association website today! Native Arizonan, Austin Reed a.k.a. The Human Torch took a bunch of first place spots at yesterday’s Arizona Winter 2012 competition but he also grabbed top honors for winning the main Rubik’s Cube speedsolving event allowing him a headline naming. Marco Mendoza, the Mighty Thor, traveled via Quinnjet with Steven Turner - The Vision - and was able to take second in the main event also earning him a mention on the WCA’s front page. In addition, he took first place for one-handed solving. Though he didn’t get a top-billing of his own, The Vision did place in the top three for two events (Rubik’s Clock and 2x2x2). Congrats to all of them!
-Daniel

There’s an Avengers double feature on the front page of the World Cube Association website today! Native Arizonan, Austin Reed a.k.a. The Human Torch took a bunch of first place spots at yesterday’s Arizona Winter 2012 competition but he also grabbed top honors for winning the main Rubik’s Cube speedsolving event allowing him a headline naming. Marco Mendoza, the Mighty Thor, traveled via Quinnjet with Steven Turner - The Vision - and was able to take second in the main event also earning him a mention on the WCA’s front page. In addition, he took first place for one-handed solving. Though he didn’t get a top-billing of his own, The Vision did place in the top three for two events (Rubik’s Clock and 2x2x2). Congrats to all of them!

-Daniel

13 11 / 2011

We’ve been wondering about this.

-Daniel

15 5 / 2011

Avengers Sweep Main Events @ Caltech Spring 2011

The Avengers showed that they weren’t pushovers yesterday at the Caltech Spring 2011 competition. They took home first place in all three main events (speed, one-handed, and blindfolded) and also had podium finishes for four of the five other events. Deven, a.k.a. The Sentry, finished the final round of the speed event with 12.23 average and the one-handed event with an average of 20.09 putting him in first place. Andrew, a.k.a. Iron Man, took first in blindfolded with a successful solve of 1:51.96. Steven, a.k.a. The Vision, ended the final round of 2x2x2 in first place with an average of 3.62.

Some honorable mentions and interesting facts: The Sentry lost out on first place in the 4x4x4 event by only 3 seconds. The 2x2x2 event ended with a podium consisting only of Avengers. Finally, Marco, a.k.a. Thor, had a sub-10 second speedsolve in the second round of 3x3x3. In short, there was tons of awesomeness on the part of the Avengers at yesterday’s competition! There is definitely more of this to come.

-Daniel

13 2 / 2011

Congratulations to Deven a.k.a. The Sentry!

Several Avengers attended the Caltech Winter 2011 competition just yesterday and the results turned out to be very awesome! Deven won the main event with a 12.03 average and also got second place in both one-handed and 4x4x4. Andrew continues his nearly flawless record with yet another first place win for blindfolded solving. Meanwhile, Steven a.k.a. The Vision took first in 2x2x2 and second place in Master Magic while Marco a.k.a. Thor came in with third for the main event.

This is actually the first time that Deven has won the main event at a cube competition and it is also the first time an Avenger has gotten first place for that since our founding, so major congratulations to him and hopefully there will be plenty more victories like this in the future.

Let’s have a round of applause for these four that have more than pulled their weight at the competition while the rest of us slacked off. We’ll have some pictures from the competition soon!

-Daniel

31 10 / 2010

Quinjet Conversations: The Vision

Steven Turner... turning away.

For the entertainment of you all, I tamed one of our mighty Avengers for a few moments to have a little one-on-one interview. The Avenger in question? Steven Turner, also known as, The Vision! He is one of California’s fastest - if not THE fastest - when it comes to 2x2x2 and, currently, holds the top position for the most top-three podiums of all the Avengers, with eleven medal placements.

As we sped away on our Quinjet to some remote island to save some remote people, The Vision and I spoke about cubing (of course), zombies (whaaaa-?), and Star Trek Wars (huh?). Let’s see how things went:

To get started, the obvious question would be: how did you get into cubing?
I got a twenty-fifth anniversary cube for Christmas ‘05. I could only solve one face at a time… After a month or two, with my cube on my desk and the shiny side solved, I looked up a solution and learned from Tyson Mao’s tutorial on Rubiks.com… A couple days later I decided I wanted to become a speedcuber.

Wow, that’s quite a while ago. The first official WCA (World Cube Association) competition that you attended, however, was in 2008. What took you so long to finally make the trek down to a competition?
I used an almost completely beginner’s solution for the years between then and I had a barely sub-1 minute average. At the time, I didn’t know about the WCA or how frequently competitions were held in this area [Southern California]. I just cubed in my free time for fun. Nothing too interesting. In mid-2008 I decided to get fast, so I learned full Fridrich and competed at the end of the year.

Let’s see, so you’ve been cubing for almost five years now - that’s quite a long time. Why have you stuck with the hobby? What makes it so interesting to you?
There’s a lot to do in cubing. I can spend all of my time learning new algorithms if I wanted to, or I can just do some 3x3 speedsolves. When I get tired of the usual events, I tend to start practicing a different puzzle. This way I never get bored with what I’m doing and I improve in most of my events. Earlier this year, 4x4 blindfolded took up a lot of my free time. Now, I’m spending time mastering EG-1 on 2x2 and I’m trying to get my Square-1 solve times to be less awful.

Do you have a favorite competition event?
Yes.

What would that be?
2x2x2 speedsolve.

Ah, the pocket cube. Why is this your favorite event?
It was easy to get fast at.

So, you are actually cofounder of your high school cube club. How did that come about?
My cube club came about because there was some interest in cubing at my school from my cubing in most of my free time. Brandon (a.k.a. War Machine) goes to my school and we formed the cube club together to teach those interested in cubing how to solve a cube. Last year, we didn’t have very many members. One of them competed in an official competition, but has since graduated. This year we have many more members and we are more organized. So far, we have four or five members who can solve the cube, and they are getting faster every day. I believe they will be quite fast by the time the school year ends. I don’t know exactly what will happen to the club after I graduate this year, but hopefully one of the new members will take over for the next few years.

As a cuber, how far do you expect to take this hobby? Do you have any goals and are you in it for the long-run?
I don’t plan on ever stopping cubing. My shortish long-term goal is to get a world record in anything. I assume, if I don’t get one soon, they’ll become so ridiculously fast that I’ll never get one. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep up with the changing times of the cubing community. For now, I’m pretty slow compared to most people, so maybe I can catch up soon…

I’m sure you’ll be able to with just a bit of practice, considering how fast you already are at 2x2x2… Moving on, what other hobbies do you have, aside from cubing?
I used to be really into pen spinning, but I don’t do that much anymore because my modded pens either get lost or eaten by my dog. Cubing is my only real hobby at the moment.

You are a big Star Trek fan - a Trekkie, in fact. When did your fascination with that series begin?
I don’t even remember exactly when I started watching Star Trek. I believe it started following the first convention I attended, which was in Pasadena in early 2005. I was there to meet Mark Hamill because I was such a huge Star Wars fan. I didn’t really even know what Star Trek was before then. I think Star Trek: The Next Generation started airing [again] regularly on TV right around then, and that’s when I first started watching it. Then, of course, I bought a ton of DVDs and and watched every episode of The Original Series and The Next Generation. I went to a lot of conventions after that.

Sounds like Star Trek has become a major passion of yours. Why do you like it so much?
First of all, it’s an awesome sci-fi series and after over forty years it still has a huge fan following. It is an optimistic vision of the future, focusing on exploration and learning about the universe rather than on wars. Well… at least The Original Series and The Next Generation were - Not a big Deep Space Nine fan. But really, overall it’s just pretty awesome. Great stories, great characters… It’s cool. You should watch it. All of it. kthx.

Haha, your love for all things Trek seems to be infectious because you’ve turned other Avengers into fans of the series. I also hear you are into comic books. Any favorites?
The Walking Dead is an awesome series. It has zombies and people and people killing zombies and zombies killing people… Mostly though it’s about the people dealing with living in a post-apocalyptic world, which is pretty great. It’s got a TV series now, so go watch it!

I am a fan of that series myself! Unfortunately, that’s about all we have time for today. Thanks for sitting down and having a chat. It was a pleasure, Steven.

-Daniel

17 10 / 2010

Photo by Ian Jone’s dad.
The Avengers did really well at our last competition, Marymount Open 2010, which took place in Rancho Palos Verdes at Marymount College. Marco took third place for the main event, 3x3x3, and won the unofficial head-to-head racing event. Deven won the Rubik’s Clock event and placed second for one-handed solving. Steven got second for 2x2x2 - no one knows what happened there - and third for both blindfolded solving and Rubik’s Clock. Finally, I got third place for one-handed solving. This means we got a total of seven top-three places in five of the eight events! Hopefully we can do even better for the Caltech Fall 2010 competition.
-Daniel

Photo by Ian Jone’s dad.

The Avengers did really well at our last competition, Marymount Open 2010, which took place in Rancho Palos Verdes at Marymount College. Marco took third place for the main event, 3x3x3, and won the unofficial head-to-head racing event. Deven won the Rubik’s Clock event and placed second for one-handed solving. Steven got second for 2x2x2 - no one knows what happened there - and third for both blindfolded solving and Rubik’s Clock. Finally, I got third place for one-handed solving. This means we got a total of seven top-three places in five of the eight events! Hopefully we can do even better for the Caltech Fall 2010 competition.

-Daniel

16 10 / 2010

A little bit of nostalgia. The photo is missing Andrew Le/Iron Man who would have completed our, then, seven member group. Still a fun photo nonetheless.
-Daniel

A little bit of nostalgia. The photo is missing Andrew Le/Iron Man who would have completed our, then, seven member group. Still a fun photo nonetheless.

-Daniel