Watch 13 Minutes of Japan’s Cutest Rube Goldberg Machines
Pitagora Suitchi (“Pythagora Switch”) is an educational TV show for Japanese children. Between segments, viewers are treated to 15-second videos of adorable desktop Rube Goldberg machines. The complicated little machines, which are known as “Heath Robinson contraptions” in the U.K. and “Pythagorean devices” in Japan, are a delight to watch. They’re educational, too: The devices are designed by a team from Keio University, and each showcases basic physics concepts like momentum and acceleration.
But there’s more to Pitagora Suitchi than awesome contraptions. The show is also responsible for the “Algorithm March,” a weird song-and-dance combo that went viral.
In 2006, 967 inmates at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center—yes, the same dancers from the “Thriller” video—put their own spin on the "Algorithm March."
Outside Japan, you can watch PythagoraSwitch Mini on the NHK World TV channel. The English translations can be a little weird … but, as we’ve seen, so is the show.