While many were taking advantage of Stony Brook University Libraries’ newly extended hours this Saturday, Rowe Hessler, celebrated 2-time U.S. Speedcubing Champion, was eyeing this extra time as an opportunity to put himself to a different sort of test. Most had come to the library to cram for upcoming exams, but this former champion was there to make history. Rowe, accompanied by fellow speedcubers from several states, as well as Canada, had assembled to try to beat the Guinness World Record for most cubes solved in a 24-hour period. The number to beat was a daunting 5,800. While some might have shied away from performing any task that required maintaining consciousness for an entire day straight, to say nothing of tackling such a staggeringly high number, Rowe had confidence in himself, not to mention the support of colleagues from The Cubicle
, friends, family, and Library Staff, who showed up to cheer him on and take part in this potentially historical event.
The first cube was solved at approximately 4:30pm on Saturday, December 5th, with the total number of cubes solved increasing every ten seconds or so for the next several hours. A few breaks were taken. Friends chipped in to help feed him snacks while he worked to improve efficiency and keep things entertaining. Some left words of encouragement for the champ on a nearby whiteboard, while many tuned in on Youtube to watch the event streaming live (over 800 views at a time were reported at one point). His effort and the dedication of all involved was inspirational to say the least.
A little before 2pm on Sunday afternoon it was official. Rowe had beaten the World Record by one cube with two and half hours still to go. He took a well-deserved break and then continued solving, with a final total of 6,680 cubes correctly solved in the 24 hour period.
Though Rowe Hessler’s dreams tonight are sure to more closely resemble the storyline of his mother, Celeste Hessler’s fantasy story “The Mysterious Fantasy Cube”
about a character who becomes hopelessly trapped in a cursed cube with little hope of escaping, he can at least rest assured knowing that he has accomplished an amazing feat, and by a comfortable margin to boot!
We hope Rowe’s achievement serves as reminder to all about how much can be done during 24 hours – especially in an amazing place like the Library! You can achieve so much if you put your mind to it – especially if you bring along some friends to feed you snacks as you work (only in areas where eating is permitted, of course!) Keep this in mind as we begin this week of 24 hour access in the Melville Library’s North Reading Room. Whatever challenge you’re facing – you can do it!
Fellow cubers who assisted Rowe:
Robert D’Angelo New York (Stony Brook graduate 2015)
Bob and Jaclyn Burton New Jersey
Collin Burns Pennsylvania
Arthur Adams Connecticut
Phil Yu New York
Justin Mallari New Jersey
Stachu Korick Pennsylvania
Josh Bloch Maryland
Craig Bouchard Canada
Tommy Szeliga Maryland
Associate Dean, Research & User Engagement at Stony Brook University Libraries
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