First off, if you're not familiar with Rube Goldberg, some explanation is necessary.

From Wikipedia:

Reuben Garrett Lucius "Rube" Goldberg (July 4, 1883 – December 7, 1970) was an American cartoonist, sculptor, author, engineer, and inventor.

He is best known for a series of popular cartoons depicting complicated gadgets that perform simple tasks in indirect, convoluted ways, similar to Heath Robinson devices in the UK, as well as the Storm P devices in Denmark. Goldberg received many honors in his lifetime, including a Pulitzer Prize for his political cartooning in 1948 and the Banshees' Silver Lady Award in 1959.[1]

Goldberg was a founding member and the first president of the National Cartoonists Society,[2] and he is the namesake of the Reuben Award, which the organization awards to the Cartoonist of the Year. He is the inspiration for various international competitions, known as Rube Goldberg Machine Contests, which challenge participants to make a complicated machine to perform a simple task. 

You may already be familiar with Rube Goldberg's contraptions, but just didn't know what they were called.

Take a look at what this rather large group of people (with entirely too much time on their hands) came up with to...dunk a basketball:

All in all, 3 days of filming and around 140 takes to get it right.

For another take on a Rube Goldberg machine, the band OK Go has a pretty involved music video that's worth a look:

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