Tell the truth now: How many times did you solve the Rubik's cube? And how long did it take you? Just when you thought it was safe to forget that mid-1970s fad, along comes Dan Knights to wrench it back into public consciousness again. Last weekend in Toronto, the San Francisco software developer defeated all other competitors for the world champ-ionship of cube-twisters, in an average time of 20.2 seconds. That's a new record, too. The old mark was 22.95 seconds.
And on the political correctness front, Australia's outspoken conservative Prime Minister John Howard has allowed it to get under his skin again. "Just ridiculous," he fumed in an interview on a Melbourne radio station. "We are losing control of reality. What is wrong with this?" This ... is the wearing of Superman, Batman, and Hulk costumes by small children, which the city's day-care centers have banned. The Hulk is especially popular because Australian actor Eric Bana plays the green giant in the new hit movie. And why are such costumes a no-no? Because they "encourage aggressive play."
Those seeking some end-of-summer fun this Labor Day weekend might consider hopping aboard Superman Ride of Steel at Six Flags New England in Agawam, Mass., or Raven at Holiday World in Santa Claus, Ind. The thrill rides were named best steel and wooden roller coaster, respectively, by Amusement Today. The trade monthly's picks of the best parks of 2003, in select categories:
Best park: Cedar Point; Sandusky, Ohio
Water park: Schlitterbahn; New Braunfels, Texas
Water ride: Valhalla, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, England
Kids' area: Paramount's Kings Island; Kings Mills, Ohio
Food: Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg, Pa.
Most beautiful park: Busch Gardens Williamsburg (Va.)
Cleanest park: Holiday World; Santa Claus, Ind.