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Rube Goldberg

Rube Goldberg born Reuben Lucius Goldberg, (July 4, 1883 - December 7, 1970) was a cartoonist, cofounder and first president of the National Cartoonists Society.

A Rube Goldberg machine is any exceedingly complex apparatus that performs a very simple task in a very indirect and convolute way. Rube devised and drew several such pataphysical devices. The term also applies as a classification for generally over-complicated apparatus or software.

In Britain such a device would be called a Heath Robinson contraption.

A related phenomenon is the Japanese art of useful but unusable contraptions called Chindogu.

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