Rube Goldberg machine puts engineering students in the record books

rube_goldberg

Rube Goldberg machines are always a fan favorite around here. They truly embody the concept of over-engineering, and are an entertaining departure from what we normally cover on Hackaday.

Back in February, engineering students from two on-campus professional associations at Purdue University teamed up to construct a world record-setting Rube Goldberg machine. Their entry in the Purdue Regional Rube Goldberg Machine Contest not only won them the regional title, but also potentially put them in the books as creating the most complex device of its nature.

Their contraption was dubbed “The Time Machine” and acts out events in our planet’s history. It starts with the big bang, moving through various other time periods, including the stone age, ancient Egypt, and the medieval era. It also makes several stops in more recent times, including World War II and the Cold War, before self-destructing at the Apocalypse.

All told, the machine incorporates 244 steps to water a plant, which is 14 more than the previous record holder. Continue reading to see a video that highlights some of the machine’s more interesting features, and be sure to check out these Rube Goldberg machines we’ve covered in the past.

[via BoingBoing]

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Get Firefox 3 early


It’s five hours till the official release of Firefox 3. We know your hands are sweating in anticipation, waiting to click that download link and contribute to the greatest World Record known to man… What? You don’t want your browser to have all the notoriety afforded to fat twins? Well then, let’s just go grab the file now since they’re already on the mirrors.

First, pick out a mirror from the official list. Navigate to the the directory of the Firefox 3.0 release: /pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/3.0/ You’ll be greeted by a message that says, “We’re not quite ready yet!” and that “Downloading them directly can harm our ability to distribute Firefox efficiently.” Also, you won’t be in the world record count. Think about that, jerk. All releases are named using a consistent pattern. Looking at an earlier release you can determine that the Mac version of 3.0 will be named: Firefox 3.0.dmg Add on the OS and language directories and it will look like this: /pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/3.0/mac/en-US/Firefox%203.0.dmg

You can find out more about the new release by reading Dria’s Field Guide to Firefox 3.