March 30, 2011; Source: Milwakee Magazine | Who says we can't have a little fun once in a while on these pages? Today's entertainment is courtesy of Rube Goldberg Inc., the nonprofit that holds an annual contest named for the cartoonist and engineer known for his whacky contraptions that, according to Milwaukee Magazine "ignore one of engineering’s most important maxims: Keep it simple, stupid."
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This year's winner of the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest is a team from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Like last year's winning team, also from the school, members will share $1,000 along with glory that can't you put a price on. As the video above shows, the students created a haunted Louisiana mansion, which is surrounded by an estate featuring “a church, mine shaft, gazebo, gardens, water pump and water wheel, two catapults and about two dozen steel ball tracks.”
The purpose: to water a plant in a way that would surely bring a smile to Rube Goldberg's face. As the magazine notes, Goldberg once said, "I lampoon science because I love it.”—Bruce Trachtenberg