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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"Things weren't 100% successful, but we learned a lot..."

You may know Kimberly and Rebecca Yeung, the sisters from Seattle who built and launched a homemade weather-balloon-propelled, GoPro-equipped spacecraft called the Loki Lego Launcher into the troposphere back in 2015. Last summer, they sent the launcher into the shadow of the Total Solar Eclipse, and the best part was that things did NOT go off without a hitch — giving the Yeung sister's a chance to reflect on the lessons they learned. #resilience

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