Was it his San Francisco roots that gave Rube Goldberg the idea of turning a simple task into something extraordinarily complex? (Like try getting approval from the city to put a spice rack up in your home…)

Goldberg was born in San Francisco in 1883, attended UCal Berkeley, and cartooned for the San Francisco Chronicle. Later, he became eponymously famous for his drawings of fanciful contraptions comprised of a series of devices or objects used to attain a prosaic result, like opening a door.

At this year’s annual Rube Goldberg contest, held by Purdue University, one team hit a new apex of absurdity. From Wired

This year’s Rube Goldberg Machine Contest held at Purdue University featured one of the most complex contraptions yet: The Purdue Society of Professional Engineers created a machine that blew up and popped a balloon in a winding 300 steps, breaking the team’s own Guinness world record for largest Rube Goldberg machine.

Here’s the video

Video of past contest winners here

Video: Rube Goldberg Contraption Pops a Balloon in 300 Steps For World Record 10 April,2012Jon Brooks

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