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Thread: Rube Goldberg Machines

  1. #1
    Higher Entity Jeannie's Avatar
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    Rube Goldberg Machines

    Rube Goldberg was a cartoonist with a penchant for designing complicated systems to complete mundane tasks as satirical commentary for humankinds never-ending ability to make even the simplest things overly complex. Goldberg talked about "man’s capacity for exerting maximum effort to accomplish minimal results."

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    Over the years, his name has been invoked many times and there's even a contest: Rube Goldberg Machine Contest

    Professor Potts of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (written by Ian Fleming of Bond fame who knew a thing or two about gadgets!) was fond of Rube Goldberg machines. Who can forget breakfast in the Potts household?

    Anyway, I remembered Rube Goldberg machines last week when I ran across a piece of public art that mimics one. Spheres that looked straight out of Minority Report rollercoastered down baby blue tracks, weaving through whimsical animals and comical faces to ring bells and gongs. It was made to delight children, which can be both simple and complex, so it's perhaps not a perfect example of a RG machine, but it did get me thinking about them.

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    Jeannie
    The adventures of Bob the Traveling Watch


    . . . . . . . . . .

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  3. #2
    wind-up merchant OhDark30's Avatar
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    Rube Goldberg Machines

    Our equivalent is Heath Robinson (we'd say 'It's a bit Heath Robinson, isn't it?' If confronted by an overly complex, perhaps under-tested piece of apparatus)

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    William Heath Robinson, 1872-1944 was an illustrator of fantastic machines to perform everyday tasks, much like Goldberg (but earlier - dig!)
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._Heath_Robinson
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  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeannie View Post
    Rube Goldberg was a cartoonist with a penchant for designing complicated systems to complete mundane tasks as satirical commentary for humankinds never-ending ability to make even the simplest things overly complex. Goldberg talked about "man’s capacity for exerting maximum effort to accomplish minimal results."

    Name:  NAPKIN.jpg
Views: 51
Size:  19.3 KB

    Over the years, his name has been invoked many times and there's even a contest: Rube Goldberg Machine Contest

    Professor Potts of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (written by Ian Fleming of Bond fame who knew a thing or two about gadgets!) was fond of Rube Goldberg machines. Who can forget breakfast in the Potts household?

    Anyway, I remembered Rube Goldberg machines last week when I ran across a piece of public art that mimics one. Spheres that looked straight out of Minority Report rollercoastered down baby blue tracks, weaving through whimsical animals and comical faces to ring bells and gongs. It was made to delight children, which can be both simple and complex, so it's perhaps not a perfect example of a RG machine, but it did get me thinking about them.

    Name:  rube goldberg.JPG
Views: 50
Size:  103.9 KB

    Jeannie
    I think there was a piece on CBS Sunday Morning on the contest. I'll look for it...

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan View Post
    I think there was a piece on CBS Sunday Morning on the contest. I'll look for it...
    And here it is.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by OhDark30 View Post
    Our equivalent is Heath Robinson (we'd say 'It's a bit Heath Robinson, isn't it?' If confronted by an overly complex, perhaps under-tested piece of apparatus)
    This picture was somewhere in my house when I was a kid (printed on an apron?)


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  8. #6
    wind-up merchant OhDark30's Avatar
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    Rube Goldberg Machines

    Ah, that one!
    My sister had a print of it, you've reminded me
    I particularly liked his How to Live in a Flat collection (unlikely aids to small space living), and his railway cartoons (here, building the Tamar Bridge)
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    Old but Crafty RayMac's Avatar
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    Doc Brown's Breakfast Machine from Back to the Future III.


    Few things are more delightful than grandchildren fighting over your lap. ~Doug Larson

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  12. #8
    The Dude Abides Nokie's Avatar
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    ^^^^^^

    That is a great one.

    I keep thinking of the game "Mousetrap" when I see this.
    "Either He's Dead, Or My Watch Has Stopped....."
    Groucho Marx

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