Sunday, March 07, 2010

OK, Go! Do The Pythagoras Switch

Were OK, Go! inspired by the Japanese Pythagoras Switch?

I thought I was watching Japanese comedy duo Pythagoras Switch when first I saw the Rube Goldberg version of 'This too Shall Pass' from Illinois band OK, Go!

Pythagoras Switch [ピタゴラスイッチ | Pitagora Suicchi] are probably more famous for their Algorithm March, which has been copied all over the world from hitchikers in Europe to prisoners in the Philipines. Sure it's entirely possible, these guys do it over and over again for NHK. Can you see any similarities?

Pythagoras Switch and their Rube Goldberg Machine 

So if you're thinking "I could totally do that", you could read about how it is done on wired, or you could expand your japanese vocabulary by picking up some DVD guides on Amazon Japan. Pythagoras Switch have a weekly spot on NHK Children's Television, a great learning resource if you can get it.

It's certainly not the first time it has been done, and Pythagoras Switch were probably inspired by artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss and their 1987 30 minute masterpiece "The Way Things Go". It is entirely possible after about 90 person hours to have a bowling ball flush a toilet. From wikipedia:
The machine is in a warehouse, about 100 feet long, and incorporates materials such as tires, trash bags, ladders, soap, oil drums, and gasoline. Fire and pyrotechnics are used as chemical triggers. The film is nearly 29 minutes, 45 seconds long, but some of that is waiting for something to burn, or slowly slide down a ramp
I wasn't able to locate the original, as it has been removed from YouTube. Honda were also involved in a legal wrangle over their advertisement 'Cog' in 2003 which bears remarkable similarities. I did however find this accelerated version of 'The Way Things Go' set to the William Tell Overture. Be prepared to be amazed.

Be inspired!

Be inspired, get some momentum into your Japanese and switch it up with some physical challenges. What inspires you? How do you develop momentum in your studies? Are you switching things up to maintain your motivation?
blog comments powered by Disqus