The “Blue Marble” Rube Golderg Machine is more than just mesmerizing, it’s another level of impressive that kind of makes me jealous. The kind of thought process that goes into this is something than not everyone can employ unless they spend days upon days cramming harder than they would for a test just to come up with a quarter of this device. That’s not to say that it couldn’t be done, but the effect might not be the same and the outcome could be far different if one little thing was missed. It really seems like everything in this is crucial to the design so that it can be successful.
On the other side of that not everyone that constructs a wonder like this is a genius. They simply know how to put things together and work off of cause and effect. If you break down the mechanics of each section almost anyone should be able to figure out how it works and how to replicate it. But the trick is to be able to account for variables and of course to test it out and see how things might go if you tweak one piece this way or another piece that way. There are so many different things that could happen if something isn’t working the way it should or if the environment it’s being performed in isn’t consistent.
For instance if this setup was placed on a table whose legs weren’t entirely sturdy, or had a weird tilt, or was somehow warped here and there, then it might not work as well. That’s why the miracle of this thing is not the simple function that takes place in the clip, but the idea that the creator put so much time and effort into it that they were confident that it would work this time through. Many people that watch these clips tend to think that these folks have a gift and can just ‘see’ what needs to happen in order to make the whole thing go off without a hitch. There are those individuals that can in fact see the completed picture in their head, but rarely ever bring it to life in the real world.
A lot of time it’s careful planning, testing, and attention to detail that brings these kind of things to life. You really do have to know what you’re doing when it comes to cause and effect, otherwise you might not understand why something happens or why you can’t create the effect you want. Knowing how certain objects will affect others and learning how they will interact together when called upon to do so is important to this type of design. If you understand how something will roll and how to manipulate it into rolling the way you want then the design starts to come into focus and the needed shape of the pieces become a lot clearer. It’s not about throwing something together and crossing your fingers. This takes a good deal of work and patience to set up, and it’s worth it.