Rube Goldberg machine that integrates freerunners with lots of guts, little regard for own safety

Freerunner Jason Paul and friends got (a presumably large amount of) money from Red Bull to construct a building-scale Rube Goldberg machine that integrated several parkours at various stages of its operation, mixing the improbable action of inanimate objects with the improbable (and breathtakingly dangerous) actions of human lunatics.

Human-Powered Freerunning Machine - with Jason Paul (via IO9)



  1. Youtube is full of people trying stunts like this and failing.  I’m always amazed at how people can land on cement on their face or on their necks and survive or even just get up.

    1. Which is not to say they haven’t cracked a vertebrae or even acquired a speech impediment. 

      I saw a freerunning competition on television, but I turned it off after several people blew out their knees.  It doesn’t take a lot muscular strength to exceed what the joints can do, and the winners are the people luckiest at dodging injuries. 

      1. the winners are the people luckiest at dodging injuries

        Well, you’ve certainly got a point, but there’s more than just luck or good genes involved in being a competition athlete.  Luck helps, sure, heredity even more so – but the point of it is the sheer joy of physicality.  Which is obviously the opposite of TV; sitting and watching breaks down your body, learning a difficult physical skill or craft builds it up.

        1. sitting and watching breaks down your body, learning a difficult physical skill or craft builds it up.

          Right up to the point that you land on cement on your face and experience the joy of physicality.

  2. Very cool stunts. The one thing Red Bull should have given them is a professional cameraman used to shooting fast action–the video was too blurry for quick panning.

    1. I’m sure there’s a non-cellphone version somewhere.  But yeah, a lot of action movies leave me cold because there’s no way to decipher what’s happening. 

    2. Agreed: even with better (smoother) camera work and fewer cuts, there was way too much happening too quickly and much of the detail was lost.

  3. I felt like this was trying too hard to be a viral hit. It lacked a certain something. It reminded me of the OK Go video where they did a Rube Goldberg thing, but just didn’t seem to be as fun. Camera work was not good and the music was not energetic. I got the feeling the participants were doing their job but I think I wanted a little more joy or silliness or fun or cleverness. I liked the blue dolphin though. And sharks.

    1. Yep. These people should be ashamed of themselves for creating something that resembles anything that has ever occurred in the past. I don’t suppose Fischli & Weiss are subject to the same criticism for “ripping off” Goldberg, are they?

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