Outdone Once Again, This Time by a Nine-Year Old

A couple of days ago I wrote about how I thought I was pretty good at planking, going for almost five minutes. That sense of superiority went completely away when I read that the current world record is over 10 hours.

And just a few weeks ago I wrote about how I had successfully relearned how to complete Rubik’s Cube. I did point out that there were people much younger than me who could complete it much faster, do it with their feet, or do it blindfolded.

But at least we were all doing the same thing, solving the cube.

After all, that’s what the cube is for right? You scramble it up, and then you solve it.

Apparently you can do a whole lot more than that.

Well, I can’t, but 9-year-old Benjamin Russo certainly can.

Benjamin can form multiple Rubik’s Cubes into specific patterns, forming essentially photomosaics.

Benjamin recently used 750 cubes to form a large portrait of wrestler John Cena.

I’m not sure what part of the process is harder: deciding how the top surfaces of all 750 cubes need to be placed next to each other to form the portrait or once that is sketched out, actually solving the pattern for each individual cube.

Benjamin made a video of the process, and what makes this even more impressive is that Benjamin notes that he has dyslexia.

But he seems to have a positive attitude about it. Benjamin uses a series of written notes during the video explaining his dyslexia, noting ” “I mix up my words. I get very frustrated and upset too sometimes. But having dyslexia also means I can do something amazing! Like this…”

Here’s the video (you may want to turn the sound down):

John Cena even gave a shout out on Twitter to Benjamin:


I find Benjamin’s creation simply stunning. But this wasn’t a one and done. Benjamin has also created a portrait of Keanu Reeves.

While reading about this, I did come across a couple of other videos where the cubes were used to create photomosaic type portraits:


It’s a use for a Rubik’s Cube that would have never entered my mind, thanks to functional fixedness.

The people here see the Rubik’s Cube as something that can be used to make art; I look at a Rubik’s Cube and all I can see if a 3X3 cube that needs to be solved.

So I think I need to stop my humblebragging about planking and cubing. I’m just embarrassing myself…

26 thoughts on “Outdone Once Again, This Time by a Nine-Year Old

  1. Just goes to show that art can come from anywhere, anything, or anybody. I think you have to step your game up, Jim. How about solving three Rubik’s cubes while you juggle them?


  2. What a brilliant application for the cube.. Have not picked up one for 20 years.. my mother-in-law was fascinated by them and we bought her one which she set to and mastered very quickly.. Wonderful that this little boy has such an amazing talent and is getting the recognition for it.. thanks for sharing Jim.


    1. it is quite an application of the cube; I remember reading about how smart your mother-in-law was, so it does not surprise me that she mastered the cube.


  3. One of the annual events at my former elementary school was the Talent Show. The “talent” usually involved kids singing to Brittany Spears or Taylor Swift. You can only watch so many of these performances before you crave something else. There was a kid in my class (3rd grade) who interrupted the litany of non-performers by solving the Rubik’s Cube in less than a minute. The other kids in the class asked, How can you do that/” His response, “My dad taught me the algorithm.”

    When he was in my class I can remember thinking, “There is a certain irony that I am teaching a kid who is going to grow up and be far more intelligent than I’ll ever be.” He received pre-admission to Stanford during his junior year of high school.


    1. it’s funny how sometimes you can just pick kids like that out so early as future academic stars. I’m sure your third-graders were left to ponder what an “algorithm” was…


    1. I know it’s probably not a very marketable skill, but their is something about the creative aspect to create these portraits, as well as the Rubik’s cube part; solving 750 cubes to get them just the way you want them cannot be an easy task.


  4. Woah! Amazing! On a side note, people with dyslexia sees the world in a different way and create a lot of wonderful stuff. I once shared a poem by an 8-year-old with Dyslexia, on a first read was depressing but reading it backward gives a completely different meaning.


    1. Thanks, Jessica. I had heard of a poem like that, where you get two different meanings, depending on whether you start at the beginning or at the end….


  5. How awesome is that, Jim? I’d love to know how long it took to design and make the mosaics. Such a great combination between cleverness (mathematically) and creativity.


      1. I think the colour by squares would be ‘easier’ for me, though I’d probably fail at that too. Unless I kept trying until I succeeded. πŸ™‚


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