Monday, April 13, 2015

Zeke Graham Epic Cuber

Meet 12 year old Zeke Graham, 6th grader at Proctor Terrace Elementary. Born in Santa Monica, Zeke has lived in Venice, Chico, Pacific Palisades and now Santa Rosa. He loves Rubik's Cubes, gold mining, video games, YouTube, RC cars, riding his scooter, the Giants, hanging out with friends and family and mostly his beagle, Carter. A born entrepreneur, Zeke just got a his first camera for Christmas and his first paid job 2 weeks later, shooting video in LA at his friend's bar mitzvah, alongside his mom, MugsyClicks photographer Suzanne Karp. At age 11 ,he invented an all-natural cleaning product called Natura-Clean which finances his Rubik cube passion. Recently Zeke participated in a Rubik's Cube competition at UC Berkeley. Solved a 2x2 cube in 7.47 seconds. Check out the YouTube Channel, "3 Epic Cubers", created by Zeke and his good friends, Caden and Pasha.

When is your first memory of playing with a Rubik cube? Who gave it to you? Where did you find it?

About a year ago I found a Rubik's Cube in my parent's bedroom on the shelf. It belonged to my mom but she was never able to solve more than one side. About 90% of how I learned to solve cubes is from watching instructional YouTube videos.

Why do you think some people like to play with these puzzles and some not?

I think some people get really frustrated but fortunately for me, I seem to have a lot of patience for cubes!

Tell us a bit about what a Rubik's Cube Competition is like?

The recent competition was held in a classroom at UC Berkeley. There were about 125 people crowded into a room that is supposed to hold 50. All of the competitors were standing around spinning cubes, waiting for their turn, while all the parents were waiting in their places with their cameras ready to go. There are many events throughout the day, each one using a different cube - everything from 2x2 up to 7x7, plus extra events like one-handed 3x3. Each competitor has 5 chances to see how fast they can solve their cube, while a judge watches and times your solve. My mom and dad made a timelapse video of the competition that you can see on my YouTube channel. IT WAS THE MOST FUN DAY I'VE EVER HAD. I just signed up for another competition in March in Sunnyvale.

Do you play video/computer games? Which ones? How does the experience of playing those games differ from the cube?

I play Minecraft, Legend of Zelda, Pikman 3 and Sinister.

Top favorite foods?

Bacon, tomato soup, pasta, cherries, Chipotle pork/rice/beans.

Favorite Book?

The BFG, Mr. Lemoncello's Library, Smells Like Treasure.

Favorite movies?

Avatar, Hunger Games, The Hobbit

How many cubes do you own? Are any extra special? Why?

I own about 30 cubes. I've saved money to buy them from selling Natura-Clean, my all-natural cleaning product. I've also saved birthday and Christmas money to buy them. My most special cube is a custom-made, Pyramorphix cube from Thailand.

Fastest time?

1.21 seconds for a 2x2, 19 seconds for a 3x3.

Any secret tips you can share on cubing?

The whole key to solving cubes in learning the mathematical algorithms that apply to each cube when it's in certain positions. I've memorized about 40 algorithms so far.

Who is your hero?

My mom and dad are my heroes.

What do you like in a teacher?

My 6th grade teacher Mrs. Lyon is awesome. I love that she's really calm and always helpful.

What's your favorite color?

Light blue.