Ever since I learned the concept of a Rube Goldberg Machine, I’ve loved the idea. For those of you who might be unfamiliar, here’s how Professor Wikipedia defines a Rube Goldberg Machine:
A Rube Goldberg machine is a contraption, invention, device or apparatus that is deliberately over-engineered to perform a simple task in a complicated fashion, generally including a chain reaction. The expression is named after American cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg (1883–1970).
Over the years, the expression has expanded to mean any confusing or complicated system. For example, news headlines include “Is Rep. Bill Thomas the Rube Goldberg of Legislative Reform?” and “Retirement ‘insurance’ as a Rube Goldberg machine”.
A good example of one of Goldberg’s overly-engineered machines is this 1931 drawing, Professor Butts and the Self-Operating Napkin.
[Via Professor Wikipedia]
My introduction to just what a Rube Goldberg Machine was came with Jackass: The Movie, and their big finale – the failed Rube Goldberg test with Rip Taylor.
A little more recently, there was the musical Rube Goldberg Machine that has a ton of moving parts, runs on 2,000 marbles, and plays a pretty catchy tune.
— The Wolf 101.5 FM (@thewolfca) March 5, 2016
This next one is something I just came across recently. It involves some wooden blocks, marbles, and magnetic balls… And it’s freakin’ mesmerizing! Just watch:
I’m probably going to shoot myself in the foot and ruin the illusion for all of you by saying this, but I feel like it bears mentioning. I don’t actually know for sure if this is all interconnected or not. Someone on Reddit took the time to screenshot every different frame and put them all together, and this is what it looks like:
Click for a larger image. [Via imgur]
From the looks of it, you would need a pretty large area to set that whole thing up, which would suggest that perhaps it did NOT run all together, but each stage was set up individually and then filmed to make it look as though they all ran together. That, and when you look at the grain of the wood on which everything is set, there’s one particular pattern that seems to show up in just about every shot. The fact that the camera doesn’t pan or move at all would suggest this is the case… Sorry if that ruined it for you, but it shouldn’t take away from all the hard work that clearly went into making this awesome video!