Dec30

Who Doesn’t Love a Rube Goldberg Machine?

Posted by Kelly Kirkham

As a midweek pick-me-up we are offering a 4 ton Rube Goldberg machine, built by National Geographic (and a few extras too!).

“Confused voter attacks effigy A, which causes lever to knock over statue B onto accordion C, pushing hat into ring D. Weight of that causes scissors to cut rope E, allowing the money bag to drop F. Sudden weight causes coin to flip into cup. Clink makes monkey G react by tossing dart at revolving wheel H, thus making a political choice.” – Rube Goldberg on voting.  

Did you know that Reuben Garrett Lucius “Rube” Goldberg was an American cartoonist? His cartoons featured overly complicated gadgets to perform simple tasks (voilà, the invention of a Rube Goldberg Machine). The cartoons have inspired competitions, games (remember Mouse Trap?), movies and now advertisements.

These over-engineered inventions serve only one purpose: to entertain. Through all the chains, pulleys, weights, magnets, toys, eggs, ducks, parachutes and pianos the result is always a smile and a job well done. The amazing amount of time and dedication is not to be underestimated!

The National Geographic Channel’s newest commercial features a four-ton Rube Goldberg machine to advertise their newest promotion featuring science-focused programming. The machine uses all manners of simple machines as well as basic laws of physics and gravity to catch our attention.

National Geographic Rube Goldberg Machine:

 

One Rube Goldberg machine is never enough! So here are three more, just because:

National Geographic isn’t the first to use the Rube Goldberg Machine to their advantage. The American alternative rock band, Ok Go, is known for their creative, seemingly simple yet largely complex one-shot music videos. Their song “This Too Shall Pass”, released in January 2013, features a Rube Goldberg machine complete with falling pianos and televisions being smashed by sledgehammers. See for yourself:

There is no task too small for Rube Goldberg machines to complicate. All that is needed is an idea and lots of planning. When considering building a kinetic sculpture, remember three important points:

  1. More noise!
  2. More colors!
  3. More utterly bizarre and useless tools!

= Optimum childish giggles from adult viewers!

And finally, the best has been saved for last. This amazingly intricate machine makes any Rube Goldberg lover – and anyone else for that matter – happy! Just try to count how many separate motions are linked without fault in the London Science Museum’s nine-minute kinetic sculpture. Enjoy!

 

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