God, Just Train A Pet Like A Normal Person: A Newpaper Page-Turning Rube Goldberg Machine

January 12, 2012


Because I have to run to a doctor's appointment this afternoon (72-hour erection) and I need to get some posts up, here's a Rube Goldberg machine created by kinetic artist Joseph Herscher to turn a single newspaper page. Damn yeah I'll copy/paste the process to make this article look huge!:

Joseph Herscher drinks his coffee (1), which pulls a string, which yanks a pencil (2), which tips paintings one by one as the balls roll down. The third ball rolls into a shelving unit (3) and swings a ladle, which pours glycerin from a jug into a cup, which combines with potassium and combusts. A fuse catches fire and burns, which releases the pool balls (4) one by one. The fourth ball lands in a hanging green shot glass (5), which turns on the gas. Meanwhile, The fuse (still burning) ignites the gas, which boils the liquid and sends steam into a sponge (6), which becomes heavy and tips, sliding a fly swatter (7) up, which releases a ball, which rolls along the top of the books, knocking the other balls and eventually knocking a Velcro-covered ball. The weight of the Velcro ball tips a book (8) out of the bookcase, which opens it and allows a small marble to roll out of the book and knock a vase (9) off the table. Headphones (10) are pulled by the vase, which releases an orange glass (11), which rolls along the slanted table, sticks to the tape (12) and yanks a pencil in the computer (13). The screen shuts and the computer falls off the table, which pulls a cable, switching on a hair dryer (14), which annoys the hamster (15). He runs, which causes the cage to tip. The pool ball (16) rolls along the top of the cage and drops, which knocks a baking pan (17) off the table, which pulls the hair dyer with it and causes tape (18) to roll across the table, sticking to, and turning, the front page of the newspaper (19).

That...sounds pretty complicated. Here's what I'd do: call 911 and tell them you have a house fire. When the firemen show up, tell them you already put it out it BUT MY GOD ARE THEY GOOD LOOKIN'. Then ask one to turn the page for you. Afterwards, ask them all to take their vests off and pose for the 2013 sexy firemen calendar you've been planning. They'll be flattered, trust me. (I made one last year with Animal Control!)

Hit the jump for the impressive machine and a link to NY Time's interactive image of the process.

Turning a Page, the Joseph Herscher Way [nytimes]
The Page Turner, A Rube Goldberg Machine [incrediblethings]

Thanks to sweetsweet, who can't emasculate me during a shoutout because I am ALL MAN. Mostly man. 50% boy.

  • JJtoob

    Brilliant! Now, what about the page after that?

  • Cr1mson3lbow

    just read the title fail lmao! sure it turns NEWPAPER, but does it turn old paper too? If so, then id be interested... 

  • Only needs a reset button and then it can be put into production.

  • Dan Herr

    I can imagine this guy yelling "Fuck" at more evenly spaced intervals than Mariokart.

  • *wants to read next page*
    - Honey, can you get me another vase, please?

  • JJtoob

    And another brand new Crap Book Air?

  • Indie Annajones

    That liquid started to boil very quickly....

  • It was probably not water, buddy.

  • Cameron Fletcher

    only had to drop a mac and break a vase and stuff right ? 

  • Dom Barlow

    and in all likely hood that Macbook did more damage to the floor. Those aluminium unibody jobs are built like a tank, nearly broke my foot when I dropped mine.

  • Worth it.

  • AyyMilli


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