It is November, and I have recently been watching a TON of Rube Goldberg machine videos so I thought I would write an article about him on either the day of his birth or the day of his death, whichever came first.
Shooting over to Wikipedia quickly showed that the nearest date was not only the time of his death, it was also the date of one of the worst days in the history of this great nation. In seeing this, I have decided to double down on this article in remembering Mr. Goldberg and his machines and a day that will live in infamy.
Pearl Harbor Day.
7 December 1941.
Today marks 75 years since we were thrust headlong into the most horrific war the entire world has ever seen.
A war that took 60 million lives over the course of 7 years, almost a half million of those being Americans.
My beautiful Russia lost the most people by quite a margin losing 26-27 million inhabitants, putting that into perspective with Germany, who lost the second largest number of lives at 6.9-7.4 million.
For those of you who do not know what happened on 7 December 1941, the Navy of the Empire of Japan attacked the U.S. Pacific Fleet to try to prevent the United States from interfering with plans Japan had for Southeast Asia.
Based on the moron kids I see on TV, the explanation above was probably needed by the majority of people on the internet though I hope it wasn’t required for many who read Chop’s Guide.
The United States had not entered the war that had been ramping up for the last couple years, but the writing was on the wall, and it was just a matter of time.
Had that hack of a president Franklin Delano Roosevelt not been an isolationist and had forethought enough when he saw that Hitler was mowing down his neighboring countries in the preceding two years, we might have seen this coming. If he would have paid attention to the spinning up of the Empire of Japan, we may have been forewarned. Who know, maybe, as a country, we may have never been caught with our pants around our ankles and the war may not have lasted as long as it did. We may have never had to drop Little Boy and Fat Man on Japan.
But Roosevelt sucked, and we did suffer terrible losses at the hands of the Japanese over the course of this day, 75 years ago.
At 0748 Hawaiian time, we were caught completely unawares by 353 Imperial Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo planes which launched from 6 aircraft carriers that had snuck up to Hawaii.
The naval casualties of this attack were:
All eight Battleships were damaged with four of them being sunk. All were eventually raised except for the U.S.S Arizona which still sits mostly sunk in the harbor as a memorial and grave for many of our soldiers who never had a chance to fight.
Three Cruisers of eight were damaged or sunk
Three of 30 destroyers damaged
One anti-Aircraft training ship
2403 Americans were killed, both Military and Civilian.
It was the act that took us into WWII where, all told, we lost 419,400 lives during our 4 years in the war.
Please take a moment today to think of the losses of this day and WWII in general.
Rube Goldberg died on this day in 1970 and being one who apparently loved historically significant days, he was born 4 July 1883.
Rube Goldberg’s fame came from being a Pulitzer prize winning cartoonist.
He won the Pulitzer for his political cartoons, but the cartoons that he is remembered for are the machines he drew.
Rube Goldberg machines were contraptions that took everyday items and turned them into over-complicated gadgets that performed the simplest of tasks.
Do you remember one of the opening scenes in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure when Pee Wee woke up and made breakfast? That was a Rube Goldberg Machine.
In fact, it was the first Rube Goldberg machine that I ever saw, and it began a lifetime of facination with this man and the people who still build the goofiest shit ever in his name.
There are TONS of movies and TV shows that use the Rube Goldberg ideology for various things, often giving him credit and some you wouldn’t think about being Goldbergesque are out there too like the Final Destination series of movies.
There is a Rube Goldberg contest every year with a particular task that people have to complete in as many steps as possible, the chore for 2017 is “Apply a Band-Aid.”
Previous years have been:
Open an Umbrella
Erase a Chalkboard
Zip a Zipper
Hammer a Nail
Inflate a Balloon and Pop It (skip to 2:18)
But that is enough writing about Rube and showing the contest winners, here are some of the videos that have been keeping my mind busy lately.