Slowest Rube Goldberg Machine
November 8, 2015 7:02 AM   Subscribe

 
Considering the Bob Ross twitch show I feel they missed something by not streaming this in real time.
posted by fullerine at 7:28 AM on November 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


Needs a pitch drop.
posted by yeolcoatl at 7:29 AM on November 8, 2015 [22 favorites]


Cute idea and very nicely filmed and edited. . . but, why didn't the turtle start heading for food before the golf ball landed on his back?

I'm just going to assume there's a molasses-activated turtle cage opening mechanism off screen.
posted by eotvos at 7:30 AM on November 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


why didn't the turtle start heading for food before the golf ball landed on his back?

Do not question the tortoise. He'll do it when he's damn good and ready.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 7:31 AM on November 8, 2015 [10 favorites]


That was fun thank you! I loved how all the metaphors for slowness were realized, and I it made me wonder if the molasses was cold ("slow as molasses in January")
posted by old gray mare at 7:52 AM on November 8, 2015


The ending was great. Though I'm always disappointed at Rube Goldberg contraptions that fail to actually do anything.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:09 AM on November 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Did I miss paint drying?
posted by notyou at 8:10 AM on November 8, 2015 [7 favorites]


Next I'd like to see a "frustrating" Rube Goldberg device that includes touchless bathroom sensors.
posted by furtive at 8:20 AM on November 8, 2015 [8 favorites]


Here in the UK, we call such contraptions Heath Robinson machines.
posted by Paul Slade at 8:46 AM on November 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Nothing about this is ok.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:48 AM on November 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


why didn't the turtle start heading for food before the golf ball landed on his back?

Yeah, this is excellent fun, but it would have been just a little bit cooler if there were internal triggers for all the events (e.g. water being released to the grass by the passage of the ball, some chilling element being switched off for the ice lollies). But still definitely worth watching.
posted by howfar at 10:12 AM on November 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


The world's slowest Rube Goldberg machine will gradually wind down and stop after perhaps 10100 years.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:46 AM on November 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


*I'm just going to assume there's a molasses-activated turtle cage opening mechanism off screen.*

I find that's a good approach to life, in general.
posted by rokusan at 1:15 PM on November 8, 2015 [9 favorites]


I'm impressed by the lack of flying insects.
posted by ardgedee at 1:23 PM on November 8, 2015


all the metaphors for slowness were realized

Needs more snails.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:28 PM on November 8, 2015


Also lacking a kettle boiling and paint drying.
posted by ardgedee at 1:57 PM on November 8, 2015


What function would paint drying actually accomplish, though? I'm not sure how it could become part of the chain of events...
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 3:48 PM on November 8, 2015


I was hoping for a giant sequoia operated switching mechanism.
posted by fairmettle at 4:58 PM on November 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


and one based on proton decay.
posted by moonmilk at 5:10 PM on November 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


There should have been some uranium decay half-life involved.

I would have also accepted Half-Life 3, which seems to be taking the same amount of time.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 8:41 PM on November 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Isn't life itself a really, really, really slow Rube Goldberg machine?
posted by jfwlucy at 9:00 PM on November 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I am surprised the ball didn't roll in one end of the 2nd Avenue Subway and out the other.
posted by incolorinred at 9:28 PM on November 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


> What function would paint drying actually accomplish, though?

I've been thinking on that. The simple thing is that the ball has to wait until a freshly-painted surface is dry before it can traverse it, but that begs the question of how to make the ball stop and wait for the paint to dry without getting mired by the paint. Perhaps a gate controlled by a photocell aimed downward onto the paint's surface; when the paint turns from wet/shiny to dry/matte, reflecting less light, the photocell loses its charge and releases the gate.
posted by ardgedee at 4:02 PM on November 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Another drying paint option: a mechanism that pours/sprays a calibrated amount of paint onto one side of a carefully adjusted balance that tips to the paint side when the paint is wet and back to the other side after the solvents have evaporated.

Sillier idea: the paint is poured onto thick paper which begins to curl as the paint drys. The curling paper trips a long lever that opens a gate for the ball.

Even sillier idea: a flywheel that drags a series of radial paint brushes against a canvas, and a mechanism that keeps a ball in place so long as it's running above a certain speed. (Using something like a fly-ball-governor to open or close a hole in the rotating shaft, allowing a trapped ball to escape - or using fan blades to blow air at a ball on a track to keep it from rolling past.) A bucket of wet paint is tipped over onto the canvas, and so long as it remains wet the brushes can slip past freely enough that the capture mechanism works. But once the paint begins to dry and the viscosity increases, the speed drops and the ball is set free. (I'm assuming the brushes-canvas interface becomes gummy before the brushes get stuck into a position where they don't contact the canvas - clearly some tests are in order.) One could also pour paint onto the axle of the spinning thing instead, but that seems to have less of the aura of painting in it.

Making a contest out of this could be fun, though it seems like it needs some limits to prevent it from escalating to include geological processes.
posted by eotvos at 10:23 PM on November 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Those are good drying-paint ideas. Better showmanship than anything I could come up with.
posted by ardgedee at 9:32 AM on November 12, 2015


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