rube goldberg won the 1948 pulitzer prize for his political cartooning, but i know him for his cartoons of machines that perform very simple tasks thru round-about paths and unpredictable means.
if you ever played the game, mouse trap, then you know what i mean!
for some reason, rube goldberg machines seem to be featured quite often in opening sequences of films!! my favorite rube goldberg moments in film are pee wee herman's breakfast machine in pee wee's big adventure, the opening scene from back to the future with all the clocks and the machine feeding einstein - the dog, the gate-opening scene near the beginning of goonies, and the opening sequence of wallace and gromit film, the curse of the were-rabbit.
here's one of the better at-home rube goldberg machines i've seen - designed to smash a creme egg.
video found at domino-yes-maybe.