Saturday, August 27, 2011

How We Spent Our Afternoon

Ever since seeing some videos of Rube Goldberg machines at the museum and on YouTube (here is one of our favorites), the boys have wanted to make "one of those things where one thing makes another thing happen," according to Brennan.  In case you're not familiar with Rube Goldberg machines, they are long, intricate chain-reaction machines that are usually built to accomplish a ridiculously simple task--in our case, turning off the light.  If you're interested, you can read more about Rube Goldberg (a cartoonist whose drawings of ridiculous machines weren't originally meant to be built) at

So today was finally the day.  I think I have a few hairs left, although I would advise anyone local not to rely on my patience too much for the next few days or my head might explode!  It was fun overall, but when Brennan accidentally set it off before I had the camera on for what ended up as our first successful finish (after 5 or 6 unsuccessful attempts), I thought I was going to cry!  Here it is (finally caught on video) in all its glory:

Like I said, it was fun, but I think it'll be more fun in a couple of years when they are old enough to do more of the work (like setting up dominoes again and again) themselves!  We'll be gearing up for one more (hopefully just one more!) time when Daddy gets home!


  1. I'm sitting in the kitchen on my laptop watching this. I didn't know my volume was all the way up. As the boys started screaming in joy and triumph, all of my boys (Russ included) came running in 'WHAT IS THAT?' My 6 year old thinks you guys are awesome now, by the way. :)

  2. We did this last year and there were similar screams of triumph. One of my favorite activities. It took us way more than 5 tries though! I've heard that OK Go video with the Rube Goldberg machine took dozens and dozens of tries to get right.

  3. I'm sure that video did take a huge number of tries--I can't even imagine! I think the thing that impresses me most about it is the water glass "chimes" being right in sync with the music--the guys in the video were singing along, so I don't think the music could've been added later.

    There's so much of a build-up with every failed attempt--when it finally worked the first time, they were even wilder!

    Steph, glad to know we're awesome! :)

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  5. This is awesome! I think I know what we are going to do Saturday. ;)