This year Google brought back the memory of the famous Rube Goldberg machines. For those who are not familiar with this term, let me take you to a brief flashback of it. Reuben Lucius Goldberg, better known as Rube Goldberg, was a great American author, sculptor, engineer, cartoonist and inventor. He was well known for his cartoons that depicted complex machines for performing simple task indirectly. These machines now are known as Rube Goldberg machines and Google brought back this idea this year through it Google doodle for the 4th of July (2010).

The Animation

If you click the arrow on the left of the animation, the setup comes to life When clicked, the arrow hits the rugby ball, which lets go of a ledge that in turn opens a bird’s cage and lets the bird out. This bird knocks off a statue of liberty doll, on its way out, which falls over a horizontal spring attached to another shelf that’s holding a bowling ball. The shelf tilts due to the doll’s weight and the ball moves over the spring which in turn pushes the ball forward. The shelf breaks due the balls weight at the other end and the ball falls into a bucket. The bucket is tied to a pulley. The pulley moves due the weight in the bucket and elevates a golf stick tied to its other end. The golf stick kicks a hot iron, tilting it, and revealing an American flag tied to it at the same time. The hot iron ignites a firework, showering stars as a result.

Rube Goldberg

The coincidence of Rube Goldberg being born on the same day as the Independence day of the US, has been very beautifully presented by Google this year, celebrating both events at the same time. Rube Goldberg was a very talented man with positions in various fields. He graduated with a degree of College in Mining from the University of California, Berkeley in 1904. After working in the Waters and Sewers Department of the city of San Francisco for six months he resigned from this job and joined the newspaper, San Francisco Chronicle as a cartoonist for sports. This is where his career as a cartoonist – began – and leads to the founding of the National Cartoonists Society. He was not only the founding member but the first president of the society and is the namesake of the Ruben Award as well. He attained many honors in his life including the famous Pulitzer Prize in 1948 for his political cartoons.

Rude Goldberg Machines

Rude Goldberg machines have been very popular among the entertainment media. Various cartoons depict the concept of simple tasks being done by complicated setup of things forming a machine. The comic and entertaining idea has been presented in many different styles by different cartoon characters. These cartoons include the famous Tom and Jerry, Looney Tunes, Disney and many more. The idea has also been applied to many movies such as “Honey, I shrunk the kids”, “Malcolm” etc.

This year Google has presented the same idea in such a simple yet remarkable way that there are just no words to describe it.