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Rube Goldberg was a Real Guy!

Ivy and I love both of the new OK Go videos for “This Too Shall Pass” (check out the marching band one also) but I’m especially fond of the Rube Goldberg machine version because I remember making stuff like this as a kid.

It’s been almost a century since the real-life Rube Goldberg started creating his ingenious cartoon machines on America’s funny pages, but his place in pop culture is as secure as ever.

Everybody sends out ripples in life, but some are more pronounced than others. I think most artists (unless they’re Buddhists?) like the idea that their own ripples will travel for a long time, but you can never predict exactly what shape they might take.

Just ask Kevin Bacon.


Discussion (10)¬

  1. Michael says:

    I made this stuff too, but not as well

  2. Roberto says:

    Amazing!
    I love it. Thanks for sharing it.

  3. michael says:

    It’s funny, because my wife and I just sent this video out to everyone we know last night, so it’s funny you posted it. You should also check out OkGo’s “Treadmill Dance” as well.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTAAsCNK7RA
    Also done in one take, it reminds me of the old dance movies were the routines were filmed in almost one shot and showed the dancer (s) entire body.
    Lastly, you gave a presentation at my school, William Penn Charter, and I have to say the students LOVED your presenation. They still comment about it. Thanks.

    • Scott says:

      Oh, EVERYBODY loves the Treadmill Dance. I love its cameo in the new video.

      Say Hi to everyone at Penn Charter. You guys were great!

  4. Allan says:

    Another cartoonist of the overly elaborate was Heath Robinson:
    http://heathrobinson.org/robinson/index.htm . And in England a Heath Robinson machine is an overly complicated machine…

    Either “This Too Shall Past” used up a lot of TVs and pianos or they built in redundant triggers to get it all to work in one take… I’m reminded of the Cog Honda add ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cog_%28advertisement%29 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ve4M4UsJQo ) that apparently took 606 takes…

    • Scott says:

      Actually saw a Heath Robinson show in London in 1994. Explained to us Americans as the “British Rube Goldberg.” ;-)

  5. Derek says:

    I can’t believe the Oracle of Bacon is still around. That takes me back. To, like, Mosaic.

  6. Blake says:

    haha! Piano!

  7. Joe for now says:

    Thanks for turning me on to this video and group. Much obliged.

  8. Ted Closson says:

    I had a pair of professors teaching studio show me one of these machines and then try to insist than Rube Goldberg was not a cartoonist, even over my protests that he in fact was. There’s a message in that somewhere.