Monday, November 10, 2008

Pinball Wizards

Since I can remember, complicated, pointless Rube Goldberg-ian contraptions have always fascinated me.

When I was a kid, I could count on visiting the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago about once a year, where I remember there being some sort of rolling ball kinetic sculpture thing. Visitors would push a button, a ball would be set into motion and, after going through a dizzying array of loops, ramps, jumps, spirals, funnels and tunnels, finally arrive back at the starting point several minutes later, ready for another circuit.

I also remember wishing I could someday design something that cool, but for the time being was content to set up my own mini-contraption on the slanted surface of my desk, using a BB and a wide variety of strategically positioned books, pencils, rulers and straws.

While I never went on to create anything much grander than those humble desktop experiments, there are others who even as adults spend countless hours designing, constructing, perfecting, and yes, sometimes selling their own Rollerball masterpieces.

15 videos of amazing rolling ball machines.

Hypnotic and beautiful. Enjoy.

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