Rube Goldberg machine
- Rube Goldberg machine
Rube Goldbergmachine is a deliberately overengineered apparatusthat performs a very simple task in a very indirect and convoluted fashion. Goldberg's drawings, for example, almost always included a live animal which was expected to perform part of the sequence of tasks. The term first appeared in " Webster's Third New International Dictionary" with the definition, "accomplishing by extremely complex roundabout means what actually or seemingly could be done simply." The expression has been dated as originating in the United Statesaround 1930 [ [http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-hea4.htm World Wide Words: Heath Robinson ] ] to describe Rube Goldberg's illustrations of "absurdly-connected machines".
Since then, the expression's meaning has expanded to denote any form of overly confusing or complicated system. For example, recent news headlines include "Is Rep.
Bill Thomasthe Rube Goldberg of Legislative Reform?", [ [http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2005/06/is_rep_bill_tho.html Economist's View: Is Rep. Bill Thomas the Rube Goldberg of Legislative Reform? ] ] and "Retirement 'insurance' as a Rube Goldberg machine". [ [http://www.reason.com/news/show/34031.html Reason Magazine - Social Security's Progressive Paradox ] ]
* The expression "
Heath Robinsoncontraption", named after the fantastical comic machinery illustrated by British cartoonist W. Heath Robinson, shares a similar meaning but predates the Rube Goldberg machine, originating in the UK in 1912. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/robinson_william_heath.shtml BBC - History - William Heath Robinson (1872 - 1944) ] ]
Francea similar machine is called "usine à gaz" or Gas factorysuggesting a very complicated factory with pipes running everywhere. It is now used mainly among programmers to indicate a complex program, or in journalism to refer to a bewildering law or regulation.
Denmark, they are called "Storm P maskiner" (" Storm P machines"), after the Danish cartoonist Robert Storm Petersen.
Bengal, the humorist and children's author Sukumar Rayin his nonsense poem Abol tabolhad a character ('Uncle') with a Rube Goldberg-like machine called 'Uncle's contraption'. This word is used colloquially in Bengali to mean a complex and useless machine.
Spain, devices akin to Goldberg's machines are known as "Inventos del TBO (tebeo)" named after those which cartoonist Ramón Sabatésmade up and drew for a section in the TBO magazine, allegedly designed by some Professor Franz from Copenhagen.
* The Norwegian cartoonist and storyteller
Kjell Aukrustcreated a cartoon character named Reodor Felgenwho constantly invented complex machinery. Though it was often built out of unlikely parts, it always performed very well. Felgen stars as the inventor of an extremely powerful but overly complex car Il Tempo Gigantein the Ivo Caprinoanimated puppet-film " Flåklypa Grand Prix" (1975).
Turkey, such devices are known as "Zihni Sinir Proceleri", allegedly invented by a certain Prof. Zihni Sinir"(Crabby Mind)", a curious "scientist" character created by İrfan Sayarin 1977 for the cartoon magazine Gırgır. The cartoonist later went on to open a studio selling actual working implementations of his designs.
* In Japan, they're called "pythagorean devices" or "pythagoras switch".
PythagoraSwitch(ピタゴラスイッチ, Pitagora Suicchi) is the name of a TV show featuring such devices.
* Another related phenomenon is the
Japanese artof useful but unusable contraptions called chindōgu.
* In the
Indian film" Apoorva Sagodharargal", the protagonist, a midgetcircus clown, uses a Rube Goldberg machine made out of circus components to kill a villain.
* In Austria, Franz Gsellmann had built for decades on a machine that he named the " [http://www.weltmaschine.at Weltmaschine] " (world-machine) it has many similarities to a Rube Goldberg machine.
* Several pieces of
Tim Hawkinsoncontain complex apparatuses that are generally used to make abstract artor other musical devices. Many of them are centered around the randomness of other devices (such as a slot machine) and are dependent on them to create some menial effect.
In early 1987,
Purdue Universityin Indianastarted the annual National Rube Goldberg Machine Contest, organized by the Phi Chapter of Theta Tau, the National Professional Engineering Fraternity. The contest is sponsored by the Theta Tau Educational Foundation. It features US college and university teams building machines inspired by Rube Goldberg's cartoon. Judging is based on the ability of the machine to complete the tasks specified by the challenge using as many steps as possible without a single failure, while making the machines themselves fitting into certain themes.
* [http://www.rubegoldberg.com/ The Official Rube Goldberg Web Site]
* [http://www.toonopedia.com/goldberg.htm Toonopedia entry]
* [http://www.aaa.si.edu/oralhist/goldbe70.htm Smithsonian Archives of American Art: Oral History Interview, 1970]
* [http://news.uns.purdue.edu/UNS/rube/rube.index.html Annual National Rube Goldberg Machine Contest]
* [http://www.jacobshwirtz.com/RubeGoldberg/index.html Detailed specifications of an award-winning Rube Goldberg machine from the New York City science fair]
* [http://www.chilloutzone.de/files/player.swf?b=10&l=197&u=ILLUMllSOOAvIF//P_LxP92A42lCHCeeWCejXnHAS/c Video of very interesting Rube Goldberg Machine (builder unknown)]
* [http://www.diycalculator.com/sp-hrrgcomp.shtml Proposal for a Rube Goldberg computer, using many technologies from the history of computation, all hooked up together in the same device]
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Look at other dictionaries:
Rube Goldberg machine — noun A comical, overcomplicated machine which performs a simple task … Wiktionary
Rube Goldberg Machine Contest — is sponsored by the Theta Tau Educational Foundation with financial support from Dell Computer and other sponsors. Local contests are held at various universities throughout the country, and local winners are eligible to compete in the national… … Wikipedia
Rube Goldberg — Nombre Reuben Lucius Goldberg … Wikipedia Español
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Rube Goldberg — adjective AmE a Rube Goldberg machine etc is very complicated and impractical, in an amusing way; heath robinson BrE … Longman dictionary of contemporary English
Rube Goldberg — en 1928. Reuben Lucius Goldberg, né le 4 juillet 1883 à San Francisco et mort le 7 décembre 1970 à New York, est un dessinateur juif américain, spécialisé dans le dessin de presse, politique comme d humour, et la bande dessinée. Il a également… … Wikipédia en Français
Rube-Goldberg-Maschine — Eine Rube Goldberg Maschine Eine Rube Goldberg Maschine ist eine Maschine, die mit Absicht eine bestimmte Aufgabe in zahlreichen vollkommen unnötigen Einzelschritten auf äußerst umständliche Art und Weise ausführt, um Spaß zu erzeugen. Je… … Deutsch Wikipedia