I still read actual book-books occasionally, though for the most part I have embraced the e-book. It took awhile to get used to but in the end nothing quite beats the instant gratification of the Kindle for a bibliophile like me. I do miss those trips to the bookstore and spending a couple hours trying to find my next read, but I can do that now from my couch, which is a big reason why those bookstores are so hard to find.
Though I rarely buy paper books anymore, I’m pretty sure I still remember how to open one. It’s a simple, intuitive task that takes little effort or skill, which is why it was the subject of this year’s Rube Goldberg Institute for Innovation and Creativity’s annual Rube Goldberg Machine Contest. Rube Goldberg was an American cartoonist in the first half of the 20th century who was famous for drawing complex, overly-complicated machines to accomplish simple tasks. Goldberg’s gadgets or contraptions would perform a crazy sequence of steps to accomplish a simple task, like inflating a tire or pulling a tooth. You can see a gallery of some of his select work on the Institute’s website. Rube poked fun at our very human tendency to develop complex solutions for simple problems.
The Rube Goldberg Institute for Innovation and Creativity sponsors an annual contest for individuals or teams to develop a Goldbergian machine to perform a different task each year. The task this year was to open a book. Videos of the top 10 winners of the 2022 contest are on the Institute’s website and are all fun to watch. Almost all of the winners are high school or younger, and are from across the globe. No doubt these winners have a bright future in government ahead of them.