The art of the ‘obscenely cool’

Last month, a team from St. Olaf in Northfield won the 2009 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest. All Things Considered host Tom Crann talked to a team member and his coach a few weeks ago. St. Olaf was not only the only liberal arts school in the competition, it was also the only school without an engineering program.

Their contraption is going to be on display in Northfield on Saturday between 12 and 4, according to St. Olaf Professor of Physics Jason Engbrecht said you’ll want to see this “because obscenely complicated machines are cool.”

The team will run the machine every half hour between noon and 4 p.m.

The goal of the project was to replace an incandescent lightbulb with an LED.

I wouldn’t mind seeing someone build the Rube Goldberg alphabet machine sometime, though.

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