If you’re of a certain age (an age even bigger than mine, but I read old stuff), you’ll know about the amazing and amusing inventions—most of them imaginary—of cartoonist Reuben Garrett Lucius “Rube” Goldberg (1883 – 1970). Here’s one example of his imaginary devices: an alarm clock triggered by the arrival of the early bird catching a worm:
Nowadays a “Rube Goldberg” machine refers to any excessively complicated contraption that, in the end, performs a simple task.
Here’s a real Rube Goldberg machine: a pancake-making device, cooked up by the UK’s Happy Egg Company, that begins when a free-range hen lays an egg. The YouTube notes describe it:
The Pancake-omatic took a team of four design engineers more than 200 hours to construct and a further 100 to test. The device which will go on display at the Design Museum later this month, uses a wide selection of household objects including an old-style gramophone and an electric whisk and features a luxury nest throne for the hen to lay her egg in – we think it’s the best invention to eat the most delicious pancakes!
But see for yourself:
The Happy Egg Co.: building LOLz one egg at a time.