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Tibetan singing bowls, supersized Rubik's Cubes and sound-squeezing soda cans in this week's news

Supersized Rubik’s Cubes solved
Solving a Rubik’s Cube with more squares than the original toy requires fewer moves than expected. A new algorithm developed by MIT computer scientist Erik Demaine and colleagues spots situations in which several squares can be put in place at once with a few simple twists. This efficient strategy outperforms the usual approach for solving supersized cubes — which concentrates on one square at a time — and challenges the prediction that the minimum number of moves needed is proportional to the number of squares on one side, the researchers report online June 28 at arXiv.org. —Devin Powell

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