Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ferris Rube Goldberg Team Out to Beat Own World Record

BIG RAPIDS – How do you top holding a Guinness World Record? You set a new one. At least that is what the Ferris State University Rube Goldberg team plans to do when they travel to Tokyo, Japan, Jan. 3, 2010.

Ferris professor and Rube Goldberg team advisor Thomas Hollen, along with students Mike Dunakin of Grand Rapids, Kyle Hebner of Oscoda and Bryan Williams of Lupton, will spend two weeks in Tokyo trying to break their own world record of completing a task in the most steps possible through a Rube Goldberg machine.

The team set the Guinness World Record in 2007 with their “Toy Factory” creation, in which the students built a contraption that squeezed the juice of an orange in 229 steps. That same year, the students also walked away national champions in the annual Rube Goldberg Machine Competition.

The competition is named after Reuben Garret L. Goldberg, co-founder and president of the American National Cartoonist Society. One of the most famous cartoonists in history, Goldberg earned lasting fame for his Rube Goldberg machines – machines that perform simple tasks in exceedingly complex ways.

In Japan, Ferris’ Rube Goldberg team will be put to the test: create a bigger and better “Toy Factory” that can squeeze the juice of an orange in even more steps. The feat will be showcased on the Japanese television show Spring in Trivia Feb. 27, 2010.

“It is going to take some work, but it is nice to have an opportunity to try and beat our old record,” Dunakin said.

That’s precisely what Japanese television production company Collaboration, Inc. thought.
“Collaboration, Inc. felt who better than the current world record holders to compete and beat the Guinness World Record for most steps in a Rube Goldberg machine,” Hollen added.

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