Rube Goldberg


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Rube Goldberg

Describing an unnecessarily complicated machine used for a simple task. Rube Goldberg was an American cartoonist known for drawing such contraptions. I just love these silly Rube Goldberg machines—it takes imagination to design something so complicated!
See also: rube

Rube Goldberg

An intricate contraption, usually involving a chain reaction, that is designed to produce quite simple results. It is named for Reuben (“Rube”) Goldberg (1883–1970), who according to Willard Espy, prospered for more than fifty years by developing cartoon equivalents of the mountain that labored to give birth to a mouse. The name later was used to describe any overly confusing or overcomplicated system. Rube Goldberg machines have shown up in numerous films. In Back to the Future (1985), Doc Brown has a Rube Goldberg machine to start cooking his breakfast and feed his dog when the clock changes to a certain time in the morning. The term also has been used quite figuratively, as in “The Senator’s plans for health care reform resemble a Rube Goldberg.”
See also: rube
References in periodicals archive ?
Rube Goldberg machine--a machine that performs a simple task in a very complicated way
Nokia says in a blog post, "What better way to celebrate the coming together of our histories than with a Rube Goldberg machine, where every part has an equally important role to play in the larger story.
It's no dry social-research thesis: With Picking Up, Nagle joins the likes of Jane Jacobs and Jacob Riis, writers with the chutzpah to dig deep into the Rube Goldberg machine we call the Big Apple and emerge with a lyrical, clear-eyed look at how it works.--Sydney Brownstone
Instead visitors will be greeted by the sight of several hands-on stations of exhibits such as a giant marble run, a Rube Goldberg and a music box where "the focus isn't on learning, what you learn isn't the point; it's what you do, the experience that you have that's important".
In fact, many of the Rube Goldberg fingerings I foisted upon myself in younger days were precisely because I did categorically mistrust "given" fingerings and assumed guilt before innocence.
As systems go, it's a little more Rube Goldberg than BMW.
"Old video games used to be marked by a kind of Rube Goldberg effect, but here the audience helps navigate renowned game designer Ray Pinter through a social world and interact with other characters in meaningful ways," explains Chappell.
On the personal side, his family and friends will remember him for his courtly, old world manners, his fabulous breakfasts over a wood burning stove, his "absent minded professor" persona, his "Rube Goldberg" home fixes, and for always asking, "Do you need anything?" even when he could no longer do anything for himself.
Texas has a school finance system that would have made Rube Goldberg giggle.
We know this solution may sound like something Rube Goldberg thought it up but it has worked to oust objects stubbornly stuck in a gun barrel.
Our best models are Rube Goldberg contraptions cobbled together from older models, modified and tweaked to add new physics, assumptions, and constraints.
In a brilliant Rube Goldberg design, this produces enough agitation to allow the active ingredients to dissolve slowly.
Alexander Kerfuchs, the first-person narrator of young Austrian author Clemens Setz's novel Die Frequenzen (The frequencies), short-listed for the 2009 German Book Prize and awarded the Bremen Literature Prize, at one point recalls his childhood fascination with the idea of the Rube Goldberg machine: "I dreamed of it for several consecutive nights, as if it were a vision of my own future." The protagonist's life does indeed unfold as part of an intricate chain reaction, much like one of those constructions that performs a simple task in an exceedingly complex fashion.
is dedicated to Rube Goldberg, an American cartoonist and inventor famous for drawing and creating complicated machines designed to perform very simple tasks.
More familiar selections include the OK Go music video "This Too Shall Pass," which features a Rube Goldberg apparatus, a complicated machine designed to perform a simple task, and the "Human Mirror" video, in which a subway car is lined by apparent twins mimicking each other's movements, by the comedy troupe Improv Everywhere.