Today’s Google doodle, which may be seen less than Pac-Man due to throngs of people partying it up for July 4th (suck it, England! WOO!), is a clever and technically amusing tribute to Rube Goldberg. Goldberg was, among many things, an inventor, and his style of machines that use a complex series of common items to perform ultimately relatively mundane task are a pop culture mainstay. (Subverted in the Final Destination series of films, where the end task was always someone’s graphic death.) Looney Tunes is a strong example of frequent Rube Goldberg referencing in pop culture.
Google’s Rube Goldberg-esque creation is also paying tribute to July 4th, with an American flag, a tipped over barbeque, a spangled rocket and a shower of red white and blue stars. Click the arrow to get the animation moving. When complete, clicking the Google doodle will send you on a search for the 4th of July.