Which way will the ball go?

August 17, 2020 • 2:30 pm

We’re plumb out of photos of readers, so I’ll ask once more for your photos and captions. There are a gazillion subscribers, and a lot more stories to hear. But if there’s no response, so be it.

In the meantime,  I’ll put up end-of-the day videos, so long as I find good ones. This is a good one that will absorb you for five minutes—or perhaps longer if you stop the video and guess which way the ball will go. There are six puzzles here created by Joseph’s Machines, and the answers aren’t obvious. If you get them all, you’re good!

h/t: Su

15 thoughts on “Which way will the ball go?

    1. Ditto! There are so many unexpected elements that I suspect a good score is down to luck rather than judgement – regardless of what those who get full marks might think!

  1. Fun fact(s) :

    The electric tea kettle seen in the video uses heating element technology developed by Strix, a company founded by John C. Taylor :


    … who developed the Corpus Clock of Cambridge University :


    I leaned that by opening my kettle to repair it. That didn’t go well, but I was delighted to learn about a famous engineer who was behind the sophisticated technology in a “tea” kettle, that I figured was completely uninteresting.

    1. I got that wrong too, mostly because I didn’t think it would be “the ball” (silly me).

      I guessed the appliance right but didn’t think it would use all of the hardware…

  2. I cheated since I know how terribly I do on predicting puzzles like these, so I didn’t guess. But, I watched them all and thoroughly enjoyed the skill involved in creating them.

  3. I got numbers 2, 3, and the last one. I didn’t understand what was going on at first, or I would have seen what would happen in the first, which was obviously the easiest, and I missed the fourth because I thought the final barrier was wood, not a rubber band, which would have led the ball to one instead of bouncing it to two.

    I love these things! I’ve fallen into the Rube Goldberg Machine Youtube rabbit hole many times, and it’s taking all my strength not to go back to it right now.

    I’m sure many people have seen this, but this is one of the coolest things ever, and that’s not hyperbole: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvUU8joBb1Q

    Also check out their “how it works” videos. It doesn’t just involve engineering, but programming as well!

    1. I knew *instantly* what that link would show. I agree, it is, at the very least, Fonzie cool. Possibly even cooler.

  4. “House Democrats are asking for the Post Office’s board of overseers to take control away from the Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a crony of and donator to Trump.”

    The problem with counting on the Postal Service Board of Governors, is that the seven members (there are four vacancies) were all appointed by Trump. Not likely to find relief there.

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