Rube Goldberg device

Japanese watchmakers show off their skills with tiny/epic mechanical obstacle course【Video】

Because what better way to showcase an eye for precision than to build a miniature obstacle course for marbles?

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Japanese kids’ show a big hit overseas for strangely moving Rube Goldberg machine story【Video】

I often enjoy watching the educational programming of NHK’s E-Tele in the mornings with my family while we get ready for the day. It’s full of fun and educational shows that teach everything from English to geography, and Pitagora Switch (Japanese pronunciation of “Pythagora Switch”) is a big crowd favorite. It showcases cute little machines similar to Rube Goldberg devices where a ball travels along an array of painstakingly arranged cups, springs, ramps, pulleys and whatever else they can cram in to get to the other end.

My two-year-old daughter always gets a kick out of its blend of physics and fun, and now apparently so does much of the Western world after a segment of the show posted onto YouTube has received rave reviews on Reddit for its unique combination of story-telling and Rube Goldberg machinations.

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Product lets you build your own Rube Goldberg device – Just add tons of needlessly complex parts!

There’s something cathartic about watching – or even building – a functioning Rube Goldberg device. Maybe it’s because it presents a comforting visual embodiment of how the hopelessly bureaucratic machine we call society sometimes, kind of, actually does what it’s supposed to.

Whatever it is that makes them so hypnotizing, adults and kids alike in notoriously meticulous and bureaucratic Japan love Rube Goldberg machines – or Pythagorean Switch, as they’re known here – to bits. And toymaker Happinet has finally found a way to capitalize commercially on the nation’s love of re-arranging household objects into complicated marble chutes:

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