Speed Reads

Late Night Antics

Purdue's victorious Rube Goldberg machine is actually kind of terrifying

Kimmel Live

Who doesn't love a good Rube Goldberg machine? Purdue University has been hosting a contest every year since 1983, and nationally since 1989, to see which collegiate team can build the best Goldberg-style contraption, defined as accomplishing a simple task in no fewer than 20 steps. This year, the task was zipping a zipper, and the home team won — Purdue's Rube Goldberg squad managed to contrive about 75 steps to complete the easiest of objectives.

Kudos to Jimmy Kimmel for having the team bring their Rube Goldberg machine on his show. The dumpster-diving engineers who designed and built it are as delightful as you'd expect, and their machine really is quite impressive — though if I were Guillermo, I'd have been pretty nervous near the end, too. There's probably a reason this is the first entry in more than 30 years to incorporate a human participant. --Peter Weber