Today’s debate is a geometric puzzler. It’s Rubik’s Cube vs. Origami! Catch producer and comedian Aron Woldeslassie going pattern-to-pattern with journalist Jed Kim and see who wins – the cutest cube or the power of the paper.

Vote below for the team YOU think won!

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Audio Transcript

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SUBJECT: From the brains behind Brains On, it's Smash Boom Best, the show for people with big opinions.

MOLLY BLOOM: Hi. I'm Molly Bloom, and this is Smash Boom Best, the show where we take two things, smash them together, and ask you to decide which one is best. Today's debate is a tussle between two terrific puzzlers. It's Rubik's Cube versus Origami. In one corner, it's producer and comedian Aron Woldeslassie ready to roll for Team Rubik's Cube.

ARON WOLDESLASSIE: Paper beware because it's hip to be square.

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, yeah. And in the other, we've got journalist Jed Kim, ready to unfold some fierce arguments for Team Origami.

JED KIM: Kids these days don't know how to entertain themselves. In my day, we didn't have smarty cellular telephones. All we had was paper to play with, and it was awesome.


You did say fierce arguments. I went with geriatric.


MOLLY BLOOM: And here to judge it all is Sophie from Minneapolis. Sophie's a fan of the band Vampire Weekend, plays three instruments, and loves arguing with their friends and family about controversial topics, like how much is too much screen time and can zombies be cannibals. Hi, Sophie.

SOPHIE: Hi Molly.

MOLLY BLOOM: So, Sophie, zombies, have you always had a passion for zombies?

SOPHIE: No, I have not. But my friends and I got into an argument about it less than halfway through our first quarter of freshman year and still are divided.

MOLLY BLOOM: So what side of that are you on?

SOPHIE: I think it is not cannibalism because they're different species.


SOPHIE: And everybody else says it is.

MOLLY BLOOM: You're, like, once you become a zombie, you are no longer human is what you're saying, so it's not cannibalism.


MOLLY BLOOM: What three instruments do you play?

SOPHIE: I play saxophone, clarinet, and drums.

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, my goodness. What was the first one you learned?

SOPHIE: I learned clarinet first and then switched to saxophone and then learned drums my freshman year and then learned clarinet again this summer.

MOLLY BLOOM: Is this like a drum kit, like in a rock band or snare drum? What are we talking?

SOPHIE: I play snare drum for pep bands and then full drum set stuff for a jazz band.

MOLLY BLOOM: Fun. Which is your favorite instrument of those three to play now?

SOPHIE: Oh, I don't know. I really like saxophone because I'm probably best at it. And then I like just playing drums because I like to hit things.


MOLLY BLOOM: Sounds like a great way to get some feelings out when you're having them. And I heard-- OK, you have origami hanging in your room.

SOPHIE: Mm-hmm.

MOLLY BLOOM: And you have a neighbor who is a Rubik's Cube whiz. So do you feel like a special connection to either of these two sides more than the other or is it equal?

SOPHIE: I'd say it's pretty equal.

ARON WOLDESLASSIE: I mean, it's hanging in your room.



ARON WOLDESLASSIE: It smiles upon you every day.

MOLLY BLOOM: Well, will Sophie crown origami or Rubik's Cube the Smash Boom Best? There's no telling. Sophie, are you ready to judge today's debate?


MOLLY BLOOM: Wonderful. Before we dive in, let's review the rules of the game. Every debate consists of four rounds of argumentation, the Declaration of Greatness, the Micro Round, the Sneak Attack, and the Final Six. After each round, our judge Sophie will award points to the team that impresses them the most.

But they'll keep their decisions top secret until the end of the debate. Listeners, we want you to judge, too. Mark down your points as you listen. At the end of the show, head to our website, and vote for whichever team you think won. All right. Aron, Jed, and Sophie, are you ready?



JED KIM: Oh, I am ready to Rubik's Cube, just like anybody else who plays with one for more than two minutes.


MOLLY BLOOM: Then it's time for the--

SUBJECT: Declaration of Greatness.


MOLLY BLOOM: In this round, our debaters will present a well-crafted, immersive argument in favor of their side. Then they'll each have 30 seconds to rebut their opponent's statements. We flipped a coin, and, Aron, you're up first. Tell us what makes the Rubik's Cube the coolest cube in town.



MR. MICROPHONE: Hello, Mr. Microphone here, and welcome to the red carpet of the Toy Hall of Fame ceremony. I'm seeing some of the greatest toys of this and previous generations. Oh, hey, look, it's Barbie.

BARBIE: Hello, everyone. What a wonderful day.

MR. MICROPHONE: Oh, up next, it's GI Joe.

GI JOE: Knowing is half the battle.

MR. MICROPHONE: And here comes the Slinky.


So many iconic toys. Oh, and look. It's the toy of the hour, LEGOs and Jengas, it's the Rubik's Cube.

RUBIK'S CUBE: Hello, Mr. Mic, it's a beautiful evening to join the Toy Hall of Fame.

MR. MICROPHONE: RC, you are such an icon. You've been working hard since the 1980s. How do you look so good? Oh, oh, oh, and what colors are you wearing this evening?

RUBIK'S CUBE: Well, I sleep in a vat of lotion, and I'm rocking the classic white, yellow, red, blue, orange, and green on each side respectively. I call this look "Solved."

MR. MICROPHONE: And you look great. But I have to know. How did you become one of the world's most popular toys?

ARON WOLDESLASSIE: That's a really great question. Well, persistence for one thing. This fun, stylish toy started out as a simple teaching tool developed in 1974 by an architecture teacher named Erno Rubik. Rubik would use an early version of his toy to teach his students about 3D movements.


ERNO RUBIK: All right, Class. Who did their three-dimensional design homework?


SUBJECT: Not me, Teach. I'm never going to, like, design school. I'm going to use all my education time drinking soda and ignoring my potential.

ERNO RUBIK: Mm, how do I reach these kids?


ARON WOLDESLASSIE: Rubik continued to tinker until he built the now-famous cube. He used an early version with his students. They loved it. Soon, more people fell in love with the toy, and it became the "it" toy of the 1980s.


The Rubik's Cube was on the cover of Scientific American. It had its own animated TV show, and it spawned a best-selling 1981 book, The Simple Solution to Rubik's Cube. Why all the cube craze? Because the Rubik's Cube demands persistence.

Solving it requires a personal commitment to push your mind and will. And unlike vague art forms that have no definable goal and require you to waste perfectly good paper, the Rubik's Cube has a finish line in the form of uniformity. And if you get really good at solving a Rubik's Cube, you won't just feel accomplished. You'll be eligible to enter tournaments all over the world as a speedcuber.


ARON WOLDESLASSIE: That's right. Speedcubing is the sport of trying to solve a Rubik's Cube in the shortest time possible. It's played all over the world. And there are various ways to speedcube, blindfolded solving, solving with a single hand, and solving with the fewest moves. Winners receive prize money, awards, and probably the keys to a super cool speedcubing clubhouse.


By the way, the fastest cuber ever, currently it's 21-year-old Californian Max Park. He solved one in 3.13 seconds. For context, here's 3.13 seconds of "Hip To Be Square" by Huey Lewis and the News.


HUEY LEWIS: (SINGING) It's hip to be square.

ARON WOLDESLASSIE: Super short, right? You know what you can do with 3.13 seconds of origami? Get a paper cut.


ARON WOLDESLASSIE: See, pretentious paper folding may be a risk to your safety. But by solving a Rubik's Cube, you push your brain to think abstractly towards a single solution. You unconsciously learn the patterns of twists and turns you need to solve them, more than 43 quintillion variations of the cubed.

Plus, puzzles like the Rubik's Cube have been shown to help improve your memory and fight dementia and Alzheimer's. It's fun and good for you. There are a lot of great reasons to love the Rubik's Cube.

It's good for your brain. It's a sport taking the world by storm. But, most importantly, it teaches people that no matter how daunting a puzzle might be, with persistence and creativity, anything can be solved.

MR. MICROPHONE: Oh, oh, oh, before we lose you, Rubik's, do you have any words for the kids at home?

RUBIK'S CUBE: Follow your dreams, listen to your mothers, and, remember, it's hip to be square.


MOLLY BLOOM: Wow, that Cube puzzled its way into all of our hearts. Sophie, what stood out to you about Aron's Declaration of Greatness?

SOPHIE: I think the history behind it and how inspiring it was because it can help fight dementia and help your memory.

MOLLY BLOOM: Yeah, very useful indeed. But, Jed, I'm sure, has some other things to say about it.

JED KIM: Mm-hmm.

MOLLY BLOOM: It's time for your rebuttal. You've got 30 seconds, and your time starts now.

JED KIM: Yeah, I looked it up. More than 350 million Rubik's Cubes have been sold worldwide. That's according to The New York Times, 350 million chunks of plastic that are now sitting in landfills because that's what you do with Rubik's Cubes. You throw them away. There are probably dolphins swimming around with these frustrating, unsolved puzzle boxes in their gullets.


JED KIM: Meanwhile, origami made out of paper, which is recyclable and biodegradable, Sophie, the choice is clear. Boom, Rubik's Cube.

MOLLY BLOOM: And time.

ARON WOLDESLASSIE: Just so we're clear, Jed, your argument is that you don't want dolphins to be playing the Rubik's Cube because you don't think dolphins are smart. Is that what you're saying?


MOLLY BLOOM: All right. Jed, it's time for your turn. Please tell us why origami is, oh, so awesome.

JED KIM: Eh, how should I start? The possibilities are endless, which is actually one of the coolest things about origami. I take a plain piece of paper.


And you can make practically anything, at least that's what I told my five-year-old son. What do you want to make, pal?


JED KIM: A cat, huh? That sounds kind of tough.


Whoa, you are just diving right in. All right. I can't let a five-year-old show me up, just pick a fold to try, preferably one of the ones with a cool name.

SUBJECT: Mountain Fold.

JED KIM: Oh, that wasn't so hard. Actually, that's the second thing that makes origami so great. Yes, you can make mindbogglingly complex things, but you can begin with simple stuff. Paper airplanes are origami, so are those paper fortune teller things you make your friends do on bus rides.

Pick a number. 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, and open it up. You are totally going to beat Rubik's Cubes and be rich. Excellent.

SUBJECT: Valley Fold.

JED KIM: No, no, I didn't want to do that. And if you mess up, it's no big deal.


It's just paper. If you keep with it, you can take origami to the next level, paper cranes, boxes, flowers. Once you learn the basics, you don't even have to follow directions. You can be creative on your own. I've seen artists that have folded paper into super realistic insects or fantastical creatures, even robots.

SUBJECT: (ROBOTIC) You're doing a great job, Jed. Keep it up.

JED KIM: It's not really known when or where origami began. Some think it was about 1,500 years ago in Japan. Others say it really started in China after paper was invented.

What is clear is that it's evolved into a science as well as an art. Masters at folding use computers to design plans for things you'd never believe. I mean, I've even seen Iron Man folded from paper.


SUBJECT: Miura Ori.

JED KIM: Not only does origami benefit from science, science benefits from origami. Have you ever heard of DNA origami? DNA is like the blueprint for living things. Researchers have figured out how to fold long strands of DNA into microscopic structures that do things like deliver medicine straight to cells.

Other scientists are using origami to make really big things in space. See, scientists can't easily send up big things. So what do they do? Fold them to fit inside a spacecraft and have them unfold once they're out in space.


Like NASA's starshade, it's a giant sunflower-shaped disk that will unfurl in space and help block light around our telescopes up there. That way, those space telescopes can see even more new stuff.

SUBJECT: Houston, we have a starshade.

JED KIM: Finally, origami is cool because it's kind of like us. As kids, we start off like a blank piece of paper. Each thing you learn, every experience is a fold that makes you stronger, makes you into something more complex and wonderful.


Rubik's Cube is all about conformity, making things the same, taking a colorful cube and making it just one color per side.

SUBJECT: (MILITARILY) Side, why? Sir, sir.

JED KIM: Sure, it's challenging. I've never solved one. But then I don't really see the point in trying really hard to make something boring.


JED KIM: You don't have to be boring. There are an infinite number of things you can become. And it's always exciting to see what turns out, like this hat I made. Ta-da!

You call it a triangle on my head. I call it a hat. Origami is often abstract.


Like whatever my son is making.

SUBJECT: Mountain Fold, Mountain Fold, Valley, crumple, crumple, smoosh.

JED KIM: How's it going there, buddy? Are we going for a kitty cat? But wait a minute. That kind of looks like-- is that a--




MOLLY BLOOM: Wow, celebrating the creativity in all of us, from teeny tiny to out in space, incredible. Sophie, what stood out to you about Jed's argument?

SOPHIE: The not having to follow directions stood out to me because I am not one to follow directions when they are in front of me.

JED KIM: That's right, Sophie.

MOLLY BLOOM: You like the you can be follow your own drummer.


MOLLY BLOOM: All right. Aron.


MOLLY BLOOM: It's time for your rebuttal. You've got 30 seconds to crumple Jed's argument, and your time starts now.

ARON WOLDESLASSIE: Ooh, let's begin the crumpling. So you're telling me that origami is so good and incredible. But at the same time, it's so ignorable that we don't even know when it originated.


People just started doing this. And they're, like, oh, yeah, when did this come up. Who cares? I'm not going to write this down. That's how origami started?

Also, you mentioned all the great things origami can be. Isn't it interesting that origami never asks us to do something original. It just asks us to imitate reality by forming pieces of paper into interesting shapes that we can kind of approximate into pieces of art.

MOLLY BLOOM: And time.

JED KIM: What's original about a cube?


ARON WOLDESLASSIE: It's the original original.


MOLLY BLOOM: Sophie, it's time to award a point. You get two points to award now. You're going to give one point to the Declaration of Greatness you liked best and one point to the rebuttal that won you over. You get to decide what makes a winning argument.

Did one team's jokes make you giggle? Was another team's logic to die for? Award your points but don't tell us who they're going to, both points to go to the same person or each person could get a point. Have you made your decision?



MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent. Jed and Aron, how are you two feeling so far?

ARON WOLDESLASSIE: I'm feeling very good, a little attacked but I'm otherwise good.

JED KIM: I'd be willing to try a Rubik's Cube. Can my opponent say the same, Aron?

ARON WOLDESLASSIE: I would absolutely try a Rubik's Cube, yeah.


I'm definitely going to do that. But to answer your question, yes, I could see some paper folding in my future.

JED KIM: Oh, you like to fold?


MOLLY BLOOM: Oh! It's time for a quick break. Let's all practice patience, precision, and attention to detail.

SOPHIE: And we'll be right back with more Smash Boom Best.


SUBJECT: You're listening to State of Debate, home to rage and rhetoric and awe-inspiring argumentation.

TODD DOUGLAS: Hello, you adorable debate buddies, I'm Todd Douglas here with my number one pal, Taylor Lincoln.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: And, today, I've got a doozy of a logical fallacy to share with you.

TODD DOUGLAS: Fallacies, more like "fail-acies." Get it? Because they make your arguments easier to defeat.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: Oh, they sure do, and this one is called the anecdotal evidence fallacy. It's when you make a big sweeping argument based on someone's personal experience.

TODD DOUGLAS: Woof, that's a big no-no.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: Woof is right. Check out these two pups who got into a debate at the dog park.

SUBJECT: Who's a good boy? That's right you are.


SUBJECT: Woof, woof. Hi, Archie.

SUBJECT: Oh, hey, Gertie.

SUBJECT: Woof, woof.

SUBJECT: Guess what.


SUBJECT: There's a new member of my family, one of those human babies. Have you seen a human baby?

SUBJECT: You bet. And all I can say is, ew.

SUBJECT: Ew? What? I love my human baby. The human baby that lives in my house is the best. She smells great. She makes funny noises. I love her.

SUBJECT: Take it from me. Human babies, all of them, are terrible.

SUBJECT: All human babies, I'm not so sure.

SUBJECT: I met a human baby once. It came to a barbecue in my backyard. It pulled my tail hard and wouldn't share its toys with me either. From that day on, I've always said, human babies are bad.


TAYLOR LINCOLN: Woof, Archie really stepped in it there.

TODD DOUGLAS: You really do have to be careful at the dog park.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: No, Todd, I meant Archie stepped right into that big ol' anecdotal evidence fallacy.

TODD DOUGLAS: He sure did. You can't say all babies are bad based on one baby you met one time.

TAYLOR LINCOLN: If Archie had met me when I was a baby, he would be singing a different tune. My mom says I was perfect.

TODD DOUGLAS: And so does mine. Wow, what are the odds? And that's all we have time for today on State of Debate.


SUBJECT: (SINGING) Boom, boom-boom.


SUBJECT: Boom, boom-boom.





MOLLY BLOOM: You're listening to Smash Boom Best. I'm your host, Molly Bloom.

SOPHIE: And I'm your judge, Sophie.

MOLLY BLOOM: And we love getting debate suggestions from our listeners. Take a listen to this seasonal smackdown from Gilad.

SUBJECT: My debate idea is summer versus winter.

SOPHIE: I'm feeling pretty hot and cold about that debate idea.

MOLLY BLOOM: We'll check back with Gilad at the end of this episode to see which side they think should win.

SOPHIE: And now it's back to our Debate of the Day, Rubik's Cube versus Origami.

MOLLY BLOOM: That's right, and it's time for round 2, the--


SUBJECT: Micro Round.


MOLLY BLOOM: For the Micro Round challenge, each team has prepared a creative response to a prompt they received in advance. Aron and Jed's prompt was the dinglehopper. For this challenge, we asked them to list three uses for their side, other than what they're really used for.

For example, if you were arguing for the side of forks, you might argue that forks are the best combs ever. They're great at untangling the nastiest knots. Aron went first last time, so, Jed, you're up. Fold us into the many mysteries of origami.

SUBJECT: Number 1.

JED KIM: Homework. Let's say you didn't do an assignment. Just turn it in as origami, and your teacher will be too delighted to notice. You'd say, "No, Ms. Oliver, don't unfold it.

That's a gift. Thanks for being such a great teacher. Yeah, I will take an A. Thanks."

SUBJECT: Number 2.

JED KIM: Picture this. Your friend has cooked up a meal that is super gross, but you don't want to hurt their feelings. Origami that glop into a woodland tableau, squishy squirrel, a stinky moose, a burned rock. It's too beautiful to eat.

SUBJECT: Number 3.


JED KIM: Mm-hmm. Do you have ugly wallpaper from the '90s in your living room? Unpeel a large panel of that hideous mess and fold it into something the room really needs, a life-size origami replica of Harry Styles because that will stay relevant forever.


(ECHOING) Forever.


MOLLY BLOOM: Forever indeed, Aron. Now it's your turn to square up about the rewards of the Rubik's Cube.


ARON WOLDESLASSIE: There are so many great uses for the Rubik's Cube. The first one I could think of was the Pet Rubik's Cube. You've heard of a pet dog. You've heard of a pet rock.

Well, now you're about to hear about a Pet Rubik's Cube. The PRC does everything a pet rock does and 1% of what a pet dog does. Pet it, scold it, place a bowl of food in front of it and wonder if it'll eat. It's "pet-tastic."

Thing number 2, the Rubik's Cube makes for a great foot mine, yes, a foot mine. Place it on your carpet and turn off the lights. Your enemies and likely loved ones will eventually step on it, and it'll sting like crazy. And, lastly, the Rubik's Cube is a great way to momentarily distract International SpeedCube Champion Max Park.


How many times does this happen to you. You're running through the woods, trying to avoid international speedcuber Max Park. If you're like me, too many times. Next time it happens, throw a Rubik's Cube at him. He'll solve the thing in three seconds, but that could be all you need to escape.


MOLLY BLOOM: So many uses.


JED KIM: I can't get over three seconds. Was it, like, already almost solved, and he just had to twist it?

MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, you've got to watch these videos of these speedcubers.

ARON WOLDESLASSIE: Oh, yeah. I don't know what to tell you, Jed. When you're running for your life, three seconds could be the difference between life and death. Also, like let's not point fingers. You told me to fold a piece of terrible food into a table, I think you said.


Like, that was your line? What if you're eating soup? Like, this doesn't make any sense.

MOLLY BLOOM: You're both really thinking outside the box here.

JED KIM: Well, are you going to twist the head off your Rubik's pet?

ARON WOLDESLASSIE: You couldn't possibly. It'll just spin around.


ARON WOLDESLASSIE: Yeah, see? Looks like we got a future customer in Ms. Molly Bloom over here. How about you, Sophie?

MOLLY BLOOM: I had a pet rock as a child, so it's very appealing.


MOLLY BLOOM: OK, Sophie, what stood out to you about Aron and Jed's Micro Rounds?

SOPHIE: I was not expecting to hear that a Rubik's Cube can defeat-- is it-- Max Park.


SOPHIE: Max Park, when you're running through a forest.

JED KIM: But it can't defeat him. He'd solve it in three seconds.

ARON WOLDESLASSIE: That's all you need, Sophie. He's not going to catch you.

MOLLY BLOOM: And what about the uses for origami?

SOPHIE: I mean, in theory, you can fold food, but it depends on the texture of the food.

MOLLY BLOOM: You know, I got to say my favorite way to eat a piece of pizza is folded.


The texture, it explodes in a really excellent way. All right, Sophie, it is time to award a point. Again, the criteria are up to you.

Was someone more creative with their alternative uses? Did someone make you laugh? Did someone make you think?

Did someone make you feel? Totally up to you so, please, award a point for this Micro Round but don't tell us who it's going to. Have you made your decision?

SOPHIE: I have.


MOLLY BLOOM: Wonderful. Then it's time for our third round, the super stealthy--

SUBJECT: A-ha, ooh-ha.

SUBJECT: Sneak Attack.

MOLLY BLOOM: This is our improvised round where debaters have to respond to a challenge on the spot. Today's sneak attack is called Carnival Barker. Debaters, in this challenge, you're trying to lure people into buying your item.

Sell them on why this thing is what they want. Give a special spiel. Be a pushy salesman.

Do what you got to do to make this sale. We're going to give you 30 seconds tops. All right. We're going to start with Aron. Convince us to buy your favorite colorful cube, and your 30 seconds starts now.

ARON WOLDESLASSIE: Come one, come all, come on down to the carnival to pick up your favorite brand new toy.


It's not one-dimensional. It's not two-dimensional. It's three-dimensional. It's the Rubik's Cube.

Tell me, have you ever been so bored of just all the singular colors that you see from a cube? Try the Rubik's Cube. It's got so many different colors, six different colors and so many variations. How many?

I don't know, 43 quintillion. You can't even count that high, but this cube can make that many variations. Also, this thing's great at distracting Californian Max Park.


MOLLY BLOOM: Wow, take my money.

JED KIM: Max Park is going to mess you up.


MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, amazing. OK, Jed, it's your turn. Persuade us to purchase your perfect paper sculpture, and your time starts now.


JED KIM: Ladies and gentlemen, come inside to see the most amazing contortionist you've ever seen. She's beautiful. She's flat.


She's made of paper? Well, not for long. Fold once and she's-- I don't know.


And she keeps going and now-- what is that? You're telling me that's a bird?


All right. It doesn't look like a bird. A crane you say, well, there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. You've seen everything now.

MOLLY BLOOM: And time.


JED KIM: I, uh, came up with that right on the spot. Can you believe it?



MOLLY BLOOM: These improvised rounds, you never know what's going to happen. OK, Sophie, think about which side impressed you the most and award your fourth point. Again, the criteria are up to you.

Did someone really sell their wares to you effectively? Did someone puzzle you with their choices? Whatever the criteria are, it's up to you. Have you made your decision?



MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent. Then it's time for the final around.


SUBJECT: The Final Six.

MOLLY BLOOM: In this round, each team will have just six words to sum up the glory of their side. Jed, let's hear your six words for the power of paper.

JED KIM: Origami, for the discerning artsy nerd.


MOLLY BLOOM: As a discerning artsy nerd, I appreciate the shout-out. OK, Aron, it's your turn. Give us the goods on the cubist cube.

ARON WOLDESLASSIE: Just six colors, all deserve gold.



MOLLY BLOOM: Wow. That's a thinker there. OK, Sophie, it is time to award a final point for this Final Six. Have you made your decision?

SOPHIE: I have.


MOLLY BLOOM: All right. Tally up those points. Are you ready to crown one team the Smash Boom Best?


MOLLY BLOOM: All right. Drum roll, please.


And the winner is--

SOPHIE: Rubik's Cube.



ARON WOLDESLASSIE: Consider this debate solved.

JED KIM: Cubes defeat me again.

ARON WOLDESLASSIE: Ba, ba, ba, ba, bam.


MOLLY BLOOM: Wow, Sophie, was there a moment that really pushed things over the edge for Rubik's Cube?

SOPHIE: I think Rubik's Cube's Carnival Barker one really pushed it over the edge.

MOLLY BLOOM: You really liked that. You were sold. The Carnival Barker successfully sold you on Rubik's Cube, nicely done.

ARON WOLDESLASSIE: Oh, Jed, you were so great. We shouldn't call you Jed. We should call you "Gem."

That's how incredible you are, sir. I learned so much about the incredible power of origami. This art form is so versatile and open and willing to just take on so many shapes and sizes for all different types of people.

JED KIM: You know, Aron, I appreciate that so much. And I feel like maybe I'm ready to pull that Rubik's Cube out of the garbage can that I threw it in many, many years ago.


And you've inspired me. I will join you in your quest to take down Max Park.


ARON WOLDESLASSIE: I'm really glad that's the takeaway from today. I'm really-- I'm really excited for this. I'm really excited for us to try and take down his speedcubing score.


MOLLY BLOOM: That's it for today's Debate Battle. Sophie crowned Rubik's Cube the Smash Boom Best. But what about you?

SOPHIE: Head to and vote to tell us who you think won.

MOLLY BLOOM: Smash Boom Best is brought to you by Brains On and APM Studios.

ARON WOLDESLASSIE: It's produced by Molly Bloom, Rosie Dupont, Ruby Guthrie, Anna Weggel, and Aron Woldeslassie.

MOLLY BLOOM: We had engineering help from Derrick Ramirez, with sound design by Anna Weggel.

JED KIM: Our editors are Shahla Farzan and Sanden Totten.

ARON WOLDESLASSIE: We had production help from Anna Goldfield, Mark Sanchez, and Nico Gonzalez Wisler.

MOLLY BLOOM: Our executive producer is Beth Perlman, and the APM Studios executives in charge are Chandra Kavati, Alex Schaffert, and Joanne Griffith. Our announcer is Marley Feuerwerker-Otto, and we want to give a special thanks to Austin Cross and Taylor Kaufman. Aron, anyone you'd like to give a shout-out to today?

ARON WOLDESLASSIE: Absolutely. He's gotten a lot of attention today, but I want to thank Max Park.


Thank you so much for everything you've accomplished. And to a lesser degree, my mother, thank you so much. I love you wherever you are. You're probably at home.


JED KIM: Oh, man.

MOLLY BLOOM: Jed, any special shout-outs or thanks?

JED KIM: Yeah, I've got to thank my son, Bruce.


And Kevin and Elliott Thompson for their voice talent. Also, Elliott and Kevin for music and production help.

MOLLY BLOOM: Hooray! Sophie, any special thanks or shout-outs you'd like to give today?

SOPHIE: Eh, thanks for driving me here, Dad.

MOLLY BLOOM: That's right. Thank you for driving Sophie here, Dad. Before we go, let's check in with Gilad and see who they think should win the summer versus winter debate.

SUBJECT: My debate idea is Summer versus Winter. I think summer would win because you get to go to the beach, and there's no school.

MOLLY BLOOM: Do you have an idea for a knock-down, drag-out debate? Head to and tell us about it. We'll be back with a new debate battle next week.


JED KIM: Goodbye.


SUBJECT: (SINGING) Ooh, you're the Smash Boom Best. Ooh, but you threw the test. Ooh, you're the Smash Boom Best. Ooh, better than the rest. It's Smash Boom Best. It's Smash Boom Best.

JED KIM: Max Park is so awesome, he'll rearrange your face and put it back together. Ooh.

ARON WOLDESLASSIE: Max Park is so charismatic, you'd be lucky to date his shadow.


JED KIM: Max Park once put together a Ford F-150 in under 15 seconds.


ARON WOLDESLASSIE: Max Park is so good at the Rubik's Cube, he doesn't consider them solved. He considers them "parked."


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