When I was a kid at Shasta Elementary School in Chico, California, I was bored in class. I
know this, because it was in elementary school that I created my first Rube Goldberg machine. Of course I didn’t know that I’d created a Rube Goldberg machine, or that anyone was even calling such things a Rube Goldberg machine, but whatever. If you had read that last sentence in that same class, I would have pointed out that that was one of the reasons that I found school boring.
Either way, for some reason I found raising my desktop lid and putting pencils in, one of the most demeaning and manual tasks performed. I didn’t want to raise the desk’s top, so I created a system inside of my desk, wherein, if I pushed a pencil through a small hole in my desk, it would roll over a series of books and land, perfectly, in it’s place. I was a genius. My grades did not reflect my deep understanding of Rube Goldberg machines.
But today, I found myself constructing my second Rube Goldberg during my lunch break. It consisted of a command run on my Mac, which would pop out the CD on it’s side. From there, a Tylenol bottle was pushed over, which swung into a ball, which rolled through a Slinky and into an dry erase eraser. When that eraser toppled, it felled a second eraser, which had kept apart two magnets from coupling. The magnets then pulled together, pulling on a cable which was connected to an remote for my RC 107g helicopter. The 107g, strapped to another cubicle wall, then spun up.
That was it. The purpose of this Rube Goldberg machine (all Rube Goldbergs have to serve a small purpose, usually through complex methods) is that someday, after an upgrade that I have to perform at work, the last part of a script will call the command to open up that CD tray. Once the helicopter’s rotors are spinning, we’ll know the upgrade is done.
And that my lunches leave something to be desired.