February 14, 2011

Joey "Rube" Shearer

Growing up I remember looking at picture's of Rube Goldberg's inventions. Who is Rube Goldberg? Click here for the Wikipedia summary. One of the things Rube is most famous for is his complex inventions that were deliberately over-engineered to perform a simple task. Most of his devices included some sort of chain reaction. In fact, this style of invention is now called a "Rube Goldberg Machine" and his name is now synonymous with anything where the effort far outweighs the result. The picture above is one of his inventions taken from his website.

Enter Joey, who has had a hard time waking up in the morning. It doesn't matter how many times we call his name, how bright the room is, how much water we've squirted into his face, how many times we've shaken him by the shoulders. He won't budge. To solve this problem, Joseph decide to create an invention to wake him up. Here's a picture of this invention with a detail below the picture of each of the steps.

1. Cell phone alarm goes off at 6:30am and scoots down wooden train track as it vibrates
2. Cell phone knocks train down the track which then
3. Pulls the string of a yo-yo which then
4. Hits another train which goes careening off the ledge and
5. Hits the light switch on his room.
6. Meanwhile another train next to the train in step 4 has been speeding down the track and hits an alarm clock which starts going off while it falls of the ledge causing
7. Joey's shoe to fall of it's own ledge and
8. Smacks Joey in the face, waking him up so that he can stand up and turn his alarm off.

Did you get all that? Believe it or not, it works. It actually works! I don't know how Joey comes up with these crazy ideas, let alone figuring out how to make them work. Can you say "Future Engineer?"

By the way, the other invention you see attached to his bed is a swiveling bookstand so he can read at the right height while laying in his bed. It comes complete with side clasps to hold the pages of the book down for hands-free reading.