"Why simply turn on a light switch when you could light a candle which burns a string, which releases a bowling ball, which lands on a bag of air, which blows over some dominoes, which knock an action figure into a pot, which onto a piece of metal, which startles a chicken, which lays an egg, which rolls down a ramp and breaks open on a brick, then drains into a cup which weighs down a board which flips the light on?" -- Atlas Obscura takes a surprisingly uncomplicated look at Rube Goldberg machines in movies.
"Showing up as Rube’s granddaughter, you’re kind of like this strange mascot," she told me. "It’s like being mother to many, many children." What she saw there upset her. "Some of those machines were so spectacularly beautiful, but beautiful in a way that a car is a beautiful machine," George recalled. "The winning machine was basically a glorified marble run," she said, repeating her criticism of Iowa’s machine. "A beautiful, precision marble run. But it was not a Rube Goldberg machine. There was nothing about it that was a Rube Goldberg machine."
If you were sitting around in the early years of the Great Depression with $247 burning a hole in your pocket (about $3,800 in today's dollars) and were too lazy to get up and change your records when they finished playing, you might have been tempted by RCA's new Radiola Automatic Electrola RAE-26. [more inside]
Watch the world's most extraordinary 'kinetic sculpture' "From a duck to a skeleton to a robot dinosaur: scientists created this fabulous kinetic sculpture, called On the Move, to demonstrate to children the concept of energy transfer. "
Wine De-Corking Machine: designed by mechanical sculptor Rob Higgs, this amazingly elaborate Rube Goldberg styled device weighs over 770 pounds and took about three years to build. [more inside]
Something For Nothing.(1940) Cartoonist Rube Goldberg discusses the perpetual motion device, celebrates America's inexhaustible supply of fossil fuels, and mocks hydroelectric power and other whacky inventions. (A 1930s Jam Handy/GM production.) Previously.
The page turner is a wonderful complex yet compact Rube Goldberg machine. The NYT has a bit of background on the creator behind it.
Lego Great Ball Contraption. (YouTube). Not enough balls? Try this one. (YouTube) More about Great Ball Contraptions: one two
A Minecraft Rube Goldberg Machine. Some of the tricks use include: Controlling Water with Redstone TNT Cannons Holding up sand with torches.
Denha is a synthesizer enthusiast who also builds very small and fairly complex marble runs out of brass wire, carved wood, and 9/32" ball bearings. [more inside]
Top 10 Food-Based Rube Goldberg Machines (videos) If this type of food preparation is too elaborate for your tastes, the Super-Fast Pancake-Sorting Flexpicker Robot might be more to your style.
We've seen a number of Rube Goldberg machines in advertising before, but here's the first one I've seen that actually uses the controlled chaos of one to describe what their product actually does. Or doesn't, really. If you've ever worked in a print shop, you've probably seen something like this happen. Usually once or twice a day.
Crumbling Paper is a collection of old comics. And I mean old, some from the early years of the 20th Century. There are strips from artists such as George Herriman, Rube Goldberg, Basil Wolverton and Gustave Verbeek. It has such strips as Katzenjammer Kids, Little Orphan Annie and Count Screwloose. Warning: Some of these comics feature racial caricatures, as was the unfortunate norm when the strips were drawn. Here is the collector, Steven Stwalley, on Race and Ethnicity in the Early Comics. [via Eddie Campbell]
You got your Rube Goldberg machine in my department store catalogue. (Or the other way around, I'm not sure.)
Launchball : Think a stylised, fluoro version of The Incredible Machine. And when you finish the level, it reveals a science fact -- which you can pretend to read and claim it's educational...
The folks from Japanese public TV's excellent children's show "Pythagora Switch" have for several years been creating some of the most delightful and inventive Rube Goldberg-esque contraptions you're likely to ever see. Here's a 9 minute clip featuring lots of these little kinetic masterpieces, guaranteed to entertain.
Finding it hard to get out of bed this morning? You might consider building your own Rube Goldberg Alarm Clock. (3:17 video)
The Thief And The Cobbler. Richard Williams via Garrett Gilchrist. The best of YouTube (to date)? You decide. Want some animated M.C. Escher, Rube Goldberg mayhem, magic, despair, true love, a happy ending...and more? Click the link and try the "Play All Videos" link on the right (17 segments make up the whole). Cast and Crew. If you categorically hate YouTube links, pass it by. via
Japanese Rube Goldberg Ramen Machine (warning: link goes to embedded video)
Incredible Machine 01 - clever Japanese Rube Goldberg type devices in action. Film clip, annoying soundtrack alert. (via digg)
Clik. Clak. (embedded Quicktime video.) Short animated film featuring little robots who make their own language using Rube Goldberg contraptions.
The U.K.'s answer to Rube Goldberg. Cartoonist W. Heath Robinson, 1872-1944.
Industrialised society's fascination with useless invention: as a kid I used to love the work of Heath Robinson, inventor of (among others) a method of testing safety matches, the potato peeler, and an inoffensive method of weighing a lady friend. His American equivalent was the slightly more scientific Rube Goldberg. Occasional attempts of the patently useless to make the leap into the real world have been furthered considerably by the Japanese art of Chindogu, made popular by Kenji Kawakami, inventor of (among others) the Hay fever hat, the portable road crossing, and dusting shoes for cats. Maywa Denki seems to transcend earthy Chindogu with fish-based and musical (via sharpeworld) inventions.