Sunday, July 4, 2010

Rube Goldberg

At 6:30 weight (A) automatically drops on head of dwarf (B), causing him to yell and drop cigar (C), which sets fire to paper (D). Heat from fire angers dwarf's wife (E). She sharpens potato knife (F) on grindstone (G) which turns wheel (H) causing olive spoon (I) to dip repeatedly into olives. If spoon does not lift an olive in 15 minutes, clock (J) automatically pushes glass-cutter (K) against bottle and takes out a chunk of glass big enough for you to stick your finger in and pull out an olive.

Poignant imitator
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Rube Goldberg
July 4th, 1883 to December 7th, 1970

American cartoonist who satirized the American preoccupation with technology. His name became synonymous with any simple process made outlandishly complicated because of his series of "Invention" cartoons which use a string of outlandish tools, people, plants and steps to accomplish everyday simple tasks in the most complicated way. Goldberg applied his training as a graduate engineer and used his engineering, story-telling, and drawing skills to make sure that the "Inventions" could work, even though dozens of arms, wheels, gears, handles, cups, and rods were put in motion by balls, canary cages, pails, boots, bathtubs, paddles, and even live animals for simple tasks like squeezing an orange for juice or closing a window in case it should start to rain.

Honda Commercial

Rube Goldberg [Wikipedia]

Rube Goldberg: Inventions!


Maynard Frank Wolfe

ISBN-10: 0684867249
ISBN-13: 978-0684867243

Scientific American...

Rube Goldberg is so renowned for his zany and splendidly overcomplicated "inventions" that his name has made it into dictionaries as an adjective. "Used for describing Any very complicated invention, machine, scheme, etc., laboriously contrived to perform a seemingly simple operation" is the entry in Webster's New World Dictionary. According to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, the adjective means "accomplishing by complex means what seemingly could be done simply." The inventions appeared in newspapers every day from 1914 to 1964 as a single panel of drawings with an elaborate caption. Wolfe, a photojournalist who also holds patents for product design, presents a collection of Goldberg's inventions, comic strips, editorial cartoons, and sketches and provides a biography of Goldberg.

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