Posts Tagged Rube Goldberg


Posted by on Friday, 13 July, 2012



Some things are just TOO simple. They should be much more complicated. The Purdue Society of Professional Engineers understands this. You’re gonna blow up a balloon and pop it? In two steps? How about seven? If you’re REALLY good, maybe you can do it in 300 really ridiculous steps.

Don’t forget the sink.

Zach Umperovitch (geology student) was team leader in Purdue’s Rube Goldberg Machine Contest . To his team’s eternal credit, it found the hardest way to bust a balloon. ┬áSo proud. Back in the day, East German engineers used to be pretty good at this stuff. It’s how they made cars.

Here’s another project.


See, here’s the thing, A good way to understand the principles of simplification is to de-simplify. A good way to understand how to optimize is to de-optimize. Believe it or not, this is a good way to learn.


Long as you don’t think this is what your next employer is looking for.

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Image credits: The image is courtesy of Purdue University.