Rube Goldberg: The Poet Laureate of Cartoon Physics

Many of us know Rube Goldberg only as the name of the elaborate machines that Wile E. Coyote used to build in his serially unsuccessful attempts to catch the Roadrunner on the old Looney Tunes animated shorts (btw we could all learn something from Mr. Coyote about resilience and bouncing back from failure — if not exactly learning from it). But the machines actually have a namesake: Rueben Garrett Lucius Goldberg, a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial and political cartoonist who drew on his early training as an engineer to design overly-complicated machines for achieving the simplest of tasks.

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