Show and Tell: The Rube Goldberg Edition

a/k/a Show and Tell: Week 34


  1. Clustarack

    A paper wad sets off a Rube Goldberg machine which, according to the behind-the-scenes featurette, required 98 takes. Something I Didn’t Know Yesterday But Which Makes Perfect Sense Today: in a Rube Goldberg machine, you want to schedule your most reliable elements at the end of the sequence so that failure comes swiftly and inexpensively.

  2. Creme That Egg!

    Another Rube Goldberg machine, half as expensive, twice as impressive. We’re almost to the point in my classes, here at the end of the year, where no one snipes, “Huh dude has no life huh” at the end of these videos. I have cajoled, encouraged, and begged them at various times throughout the year to recognize that this is practice. Rather than dumping his cognitive surplus into something passive, Joseph Herscher performed a feat which is – yeah – merely diverting, but which is practice, which will keep his intellectual/creative muscles limber and toned for the rest of his life. Most of my students know nothing of this. How many adults know anything of this?cf. Never once “in the real world” will you have to push 200 lbs. off your chest so why do (non-competitive) weightlifters bother?


  1. Sightseeing In Liberty City

    Grand Theft Auto IV‘s Liberty City adapts itself strictly from New York City. A photographer has compared sights and landmarks between the original and the clone. The results are mostly astonishing.

  2. Malaysian Sky Bridge

    I learned a new word today: gephyrophobiac. Which I am now, thank you, internets.

I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.


  1. Interesting…as I was browsing my list of “fun facts” (as my students call them) left to show my classes this school year, I find that I have all these on my list except for the Liberty City/NYC comparison photos.

    What sites do you generally use to find your fun bits?

  2. From what I read, the creators of GTA4 compacted NYC into the major elements of it. Most of it is pretty damn impressive, and even some of the representations are improvements. I just want to know why The Statue of Happiness (Statue of Liberty) is facing the other way.

  3. The ClusterRack before and after vids will be excellent re-thinking mechanisms for my English students as we talk about the ‘process’ of writing, both creatively and analytically.

    The Cadberry Egg routine will be fun for the sake of fun, and also to point out that sometimes simpler is far more engaging when all is said and done.

    Much thanks, Dan.

    Echo on Ben’s Q. Where are you hunting? The original Sky Bridge link helps find one treasure trove, but curious what other sites you have up your sleeve.