Geek Of The Week: Rube Goldberg

Geek Of The Week: Rube Goldberg

Reuben Garrett Lucius “Rube” Goldberg was an American cartoonist, sculptor, author, engineer, and inventor. He is best known for a series of popular cartoons depicting complicated gadgets that perform simple tasks in indirect, convoluted ways, similar to Heath Robinson devices in the UK, as well as the Storm P devices in Denmark. Goldberg received many honors in his lifetime, including a Pulitzer Prize for his political cartooning in 1948 and the Banshees’ Silver Lady Award 1959.

Goldberg was a founding member and the first president of the National Cartoonists Society,and he is the namesake of the Reuben Award, which the organization awards to the Cartoonist of the Year. He is the inspiration for various international competitions, known as Rube Goldberg Machine Contests, which challenge participants to make a complicated machine to perform a simple task. Everyone knows about a Rube Goldberg machine, but not everyone knows the origin of the term, and indeed that it comes from a real guy.

About the Author

avatar MIKE: A geek who currently works as a Biologist and has an extensive science background. He is an avid user of HPC systems used for scientific research in the Washington DC area. Mike's working knowledge of using computers to solve problems brings a unique viewpoint to the podcast.