Mumbles… Rube Goldberg Machines

Looking at yesterday’s word prompt instantly bought to mind two things… Rubik’s Cube and Rube Goldberg machines. A Rubik’s cube is just my twisted mind finding a similar word right away. But a Rube Goldberg machine is one of those multiple step machines to accomplish a simple task.

The RG machine is always something that has fascinated me. A marble drops into a bucket on the end of a lever that moves up into a switch that turns on a record player that spins a domino into a series of dominoes that topple over into a glass of water that overflows and propels a ball that rolls into a toy car that travels down a ramp that knocks another marble into a cup … it all finally turns on a lightbulb.

They have yearly competitions for RG machines and a dedicated website where you can see many examples here. I don’t really recall studying them much but I remember my niece got to work on constructing one in class and couldn’t stop talking about it.

Probably the most memorable one of my time was the one used in the movie Pee Wee’s Big Adventure where he makes breakfast with a RG machine. A more recent example is an Ok Go video “This Too Shall Pass.” Both of those examples are at the above link.
I can spend a lot of time just watching these machines in action… want to watch with me?

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