Seth Goldstein's Why Not machine is a glorious Rube Goldberg device that can tie (and untie) a necktie. It's a kinetic sculpture, slow and beautiful and inefficient in a way that can only be called artistic. It's headed for exhibition at the Franklin Institute Science Museum in Philadelphia. Its inventor, a retired engineer, revels in its unuselessness: "That's not something you can economically justify, but if you're a retiree, you don't have to worry about that anymore. I'm free!"
K'Nex master Austron is constrcting the world's largest K'Nex ball machine. It's located at Bloomington, Minnesota's The Works museum. Austron says:
The machine stands 23.5 feet tall and 40 feet long, and contains over 100,000 pieces. It has 2 lifts, 3 motors, and 8 paths, including a 20 foot free-fall, an 8 foot tall big-ball-factory spiral, and a 60 foot long path which hangs from the ceiling. It takes 3 and a half minutes for a ball to climb to the top of the tallest tower.
Earlier this week David reviewed and previewed the large-format book, The Art of Rube Goldberg: (A) Inventive (B) Cartoon (C) Genius by Jennifer George. The publisher, Abrams ComicArts, has kindly offered to give a copy to one lucky Boing Boing reader. To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is use the above form to "like" Boing Boing's Facebook page (and if you already have liked Boing Boing's Facebook page, you are in the running to win.) Good luck!
Note: if you aren't on Facebook, don't despair. We will hold more giveaways in the future that don't require Facebook membership.
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.
Akiyuky on YouTube has uploaded a 7 minuted video overview of her or his astounding Lego Ball Contraption, a robotic rube goldberg device in 17 modules, each more fiendishly clever than the last. The accompanying blog (in Japanese) has lots more detail. But honestly, you can just sit agog for seven glorious minutes and soak it all up without having to try and parse out Google Translate's rendition of Akiyuky's explanation.
Etsy's GreenTreeJewelry makes these whimsical, rube goldbergian light-switch covers that let you toggle the switch by means of a delightfully superfluous mechanism: "This light switch cover is completely functional. Levered handle toggles back and forth, turning on and off light switch."
Purdue's Society of Professional Engineers set a new record for rubegoldbergery with a 300-step balloon-inflater/popper. As magnificent as the machine itself is, the best part of this video is unquestionably the roar of the crowd.
WEST LAFYETTE, Ind., USA--The Purdue Society of Professional Engineers team smashed its own world record for largest Rube Goldberg machine with a 300-step behemoth that flawlessly accomplished the simple task of blowing up and popping a balloon - setting the new world record for the Largest functional Rube Goldberg machine, according to World Records Academy.