A nation of makers, Ctd

Ok I was a bit naughty with the headline, but it made you look and you really do need to look at this cool story about Kiwi Joseph Herscher in the NY Times. It is about a Kiwi, and he makes things, cool things, Rube Goldberg machines:

ON the roof of a small row house in Brooklyn, a black powder fuse flared brightly against the gray sky. Hissing and sparking, it burned through a platform installed inside a repurposed Ikea bookshelf, sending four colored balls into action, lighting camp stoves, swinging fly swatters and knocking over books in a frenetic burst of organized chaos. In less than a minute, the final ball had dropped to the ground and was pocketed by Joseph Herscher, 26, the kinetic artist behind this real-world Rube Goldberg machine.

“That’s it for now,” Mr. Herscher, a slim, dark-haired New Zealand native, said. Highly energetic, he resembled one of his own devices as he ran around grabbing the other balls before they bounced into the construction site next door. The wind was picking up, and he wanted to get everything inside before the November storm hit. Since his workroom doubles as his kitchen, he also hoped to get things put away before his roommates returned with groceries. Mr. Herscher shares his small apartment/laboratory with two friends and a hamster named Chester, who is in training for a lead role in Mr. Herscher’s latest creation.

“I’m trying to make it as absurd and useless as possible,” Mr. Herscher said of the contraption, which will turn off the lights behind him when he leaves the room. It is the first in a series he calls Ecomachines, which will perform simple, energy-saving tasks in elaborately wasteful ways.

“You hear that it’s good to recycle everything,” Mr. Herscher said, “and then you hear it takes more energy to recycle paper than it does to cut it down. It’s really hard to know what the right thing to do is. This is a way to express my own frustrations.”

The whole article and associated video is great.

Here is a taste of one of his Rube Goldberg machines:

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  • Bunswalla

    BEST. CONTRAPTION. EVER. This guy is a throwback to every kid that grew up coveting the Mousetrap game that the neighbour’s kids had.

  • Markjnz

    This is perfect for the Herald where you only need to read the first and second pages before you give up.

  • Ploughman

    Creative NZ would give him lots of money, though I don’t know if he is any better than the comedian in early films (name forgotten sorry)  who used to do the same thing, but in living black and white…..

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