crazy contraptions for social distancing

Have you ever heard of a Rube Goldberg machine? It’s a contraption (usually homemade) where the whole point is to make a machine that’s way more complex than necessary to do a simple task. These types of machines were seen often in Looney Tunes cartoons, and they often used the music of Raymond Scott, specifically a song called “Powerhouse“.*

I happened across some YouTube videos of people making their own, which is interesting. They make it look easy, but it takes a lot of practice to make these work reliably. Building one uses spatialization and geometry and physics, which can be a learning experience. It also requires patience and carefulness, plus trial and error, which are good to learn, too. But enough talk — here are a couple of videos that show an impressive one built to help with eating while we’re supposed to be social distancing.

How to pass the salt while social distancing:

And even better, how to pass the pepper while social distancing:

*This is bonus, if you want to know more about that song. It’s often used with either an assembly line or a Rube Goldberg machine (which is also known as a “Heath Robinson contraption” in some parts of the world). This song was used in over 40 Warner Bros. cartoons, also in The Ren and Stimpy Show, The Simpsons, Animaniacs, The Drew Carey Show, The Bernie Mac Show, Spongebob SquarePants, and even a Visa commercial. So you’ve probably heard it.

If you’re still reading and want to hear the song in context with some clips from Looney Tunes, check this out:

One last bit of randomness — Matt Groening (creator of The Simpsons and Futurama) once ranked “Powerhouse” #14 on a list of his “100 Favorite Things”. I’ve never made such a list. Have you? It sounds like a fun thinking exercise.

explanation of Global Warming for children

There were some good (verbal) responses on our recent post with the child-like explanation of nuclear meltdown, so today we’re going to show a video that explains what causes Global Warming.  This is a simplified version, at a level anyone can understand.  (So if you still don’t get it, you’re obviously making things too complicated.)

FYI, this is from an episode of Futurama, in case you were wondering.

quotes about bacon

I’m going to continue the bacon theme for one more post.  This time I’m going to list a few quotes about bacon.  (This is not all the quotes I have that refer to bacon, but the ones mostly about bacon.)  Enjoy…

I’m not Canadian, although I tend to like their bacon.

Cookin’ MC’s like a pound of bacon. ~ Vanilla Ice, in “Ice Ice Baby”

If it can’t be fried in bacon grease, it ain’t worth cooking, let alone eating. ~ Southern proverb

I’m never gonna get used to the 31st century.  Caffeinated bacon?  Baconated grapefruit?  ADMIRAL Crunch? ~ Fry, from Futurama

I used to have trouble choking down the pills I have to take for controlling my cholesterol, but it’s a lot easier now that I wrap them in bacon. ~ Brad Simanek

The other week, while sitting over a bacon omelet and rambling on about how much I love the “bacon, egg, cheese on toast combo”, a good buddy looks across the table at me and utters a sentence I may never forget as long as I live: “Yeah, because bacon is the candy bar of meat.” ~ Adam McArthur

I’d forgotten what an honest sandwich it is.  For those of you not familiar, “BLT” stands for “bacon, lettuce, and tomato”.  A lot of people think the “B” stands for “bread”, and I can understand someone not wanting a lettuce and tomato sandwich.  But, the bread is implied in the word “sandwich”.  Anyway, it’s an American original.  Everyone should have a BLT as soon as they can. ~ Stephen Colbert

Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon. ~ Doug Larson

As soon as I learned what the smell of bacon was, I learned how to make it. ~ Rush Limbaugh

There’s egg and bacon; egg, sausage and bacon; egg and spam; bacon and spam; egg, bacon, sausage and spam; spam, bacon, sausage and spam; spam, egg, spam, spam, bacon and spam; spam, spam, spam, egg and spam; spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, baked beans, spam, spam, spam and spam; or lobster thermidor aux crevettes with a mornay sauce garnished with truffle pate’, brandy and a fried egg on top of spam. ~ Monty Python

Veggie bacon?!?  That sounds like a sign of the Apocalypse. ~ Turtle Dundee

If you want to see the recent posts about bacon, click here to search the site for “bacon”.

Why are there shows that aren’t cartoons on Cartoon Network?

Here at Buffet o’ Blog we often write about random things that are funny, although sometimes we’ll comment on a random event that is stupid.  This is one of the latter.

There’s a television channel called Cartoon Network.  What would you expect them to show?  Cartoons, right?  For years that’s all they showed.  In recent years, the quality of the cartoons on the channel have went down (in my opinion), and perhaps that’s part of their motivation in how they’re shaking things up.  They’re now showing some TV shows and movies that are not animated.  What’s up with that?!?

There’s plenty of channels to show non-cartoons, but there’s a shortage of cartoons on TV these days, and now what was previously the best channel for watching cartoons is going away from it somewhat.  This is quite disturbing.  What’s happening to the world?

It’s not like there’s some shortage of good cartoons.  There’s a lot of them off the air that should be shown more often.  You want I should list a few?  How about Looney Toons, Popeye (the old ones), Pink Panther, Batman: The Animated Series, Superfriends (all versions), Justice League, Scooby Doo, Transformers, G.I. Joe, M.A.S.K. (does anyone else remember that show?), Freakazoid, Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, Ren & Stimpy, Kenshin, Samurai Jack, Dexter’s Laboratory, Powerpuff Girls, Johnny Bravo, Cartoon Planet (with Space Ghost, Brak, and Zorak — they really should bring it back since it’s apparently not ever coming out on DVD), The Tick, Futurama, etc.  Even Masters of the Universe (He-man), as cheesy as it was at times, is better than some of the modern stuff.

Okay, if they would show even just HALF of these cartoons, they could mix in some new stuff (and pick the best of it), and have a very successful channel.  So why aren’t they doing this?  Are times that bad financially that they have to pick the cream of the crap?  Or is someone tightening the budget to squeeze more profits?  Or are the people in charge so confused that they prefer the really childish, nonsensical stuff that often fills the station these days?  Either way, maybe they should put me in charge.  🙂