Posted by: Brian | April 8, 2008

The Elegance of Complexity

Build a better burger and the world will beat a path to your door.

The Purdue Rube Goldberg Burger-Making Machine

At least that’s how it works for the Purdue Society of Professional Engineers, who won — for the third time in four years — the annual Rube Goldberg Machine Contest by taking 156 steps to assemble a hamburger.

For those of you not familiar with the genius artist, Rube Goldberg was a cartoonist (with an engineering degree) who became famous in the ’40s for drawing complex whimsical machines to accomplish simple tasks. The rules for the contest required at least 20 steps to make a burger with at least one precooked patty, two vegetables and two condiments in a bun.

I loved playing the game Mousetrap when I was a kid, although I never actually played the game, just assembled the Rube Goldberg-like machine that caught the mouse. Had I known I could have built such a contraption to make a hamburger…

Hats off to the Purdue team, and the other worthy competitors on attempting such a noble task as Burger Making!

Burger Daddy

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