21 Apr 2018

Rube Goldberg Machine

I picked up one of my favorites for today's topic; it's Rube Goldberg machine. A Rube Goldberg machine is a compound of linkages of each simple function that can be transmitted to the next function. It reminds me of the butterfly effect, but the butterfly effect is a kind of phenomenon, while Rube Goldberg machine is as stated in the name, like a machine which put linkages together.

It's difficult to explain in English because I'm not a native English speaker. So, seeing a picture is worth a thousand words. Please take a look at the picture below.
This is a rough drawing of mine. I would like to have a cup of coffee which is placed on the right-hand side of the table with a sugar cube. So, I have to put a sugar cube in the cup, you see? A sugar cube is on the seesaw just in front of the cup. Of course, it's much easier to pick up a sugar cube by hand and put it into the cup. This is one example. The name of Rube Goldberg machine is originated from an American cartoonist, Rube Goldberg.
To make a thing that can be done easily deliberately complicated and difficult looks stupid but fun.


I would like to introduce you to a very famous TV program that is related to Rube Goldberg machine in Japan. This may interest you. Just in case you are not Japanese, I'll explain to you about this program "Pythagora Switch." This program was broadcasted by NHK (the TV station which has a network in the whole country in Japan). It was made for small children, but it attracted many adults and became famous. I don't know but I guess the word "Pythagora" came from a Greek mathematician's name, Pythagoras. "Pythagora Switch" is at the beginning of the following video.

 

There is one unique video which is also related to Rube Goldberg machine. This video was the TV commercial film of one of the biggest Japanese mobile phone companies. Strictly speaking, I don't think I can say this is a kind of Rube Goldberg machine, because one wooden ball is rolling in the beginning to the end. If you like Rube Goldberg machine and Bach, you will like it.
The music behind the video is "Bach Cantata No.147 Jesus, Joy of Man's Desiring." Enjoy!



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