The LI4E Makerspace Project team, aka Team Awesome, is back in action for the 2013 Red Bull Creation challenge. This year, the qualifying entry centers on the theme of “Light,” and registered teams received a goody box in the mail that included addressable LED strips and the whimsically named TurBull-Encabulator, a “super simple, but extremely complicated, multi-function circuit board.”
It occurred to us that some younger Makers (and maybe some older ones) might not totally get the joke. The TurBULL Encabulator is a tongue-in-cheek nod to an almost 70 year old practical joke about the Turboencabulator . The history varies a bit depending on the source, but there is general agreement that it’s very, very funny.
You can see one 1962 version of a Turboencabulator “info sheet” from GE at http://www.turboencabulator.info/ , along with a few videos extolling such product virtues as the turboencabulator’s use in “operating nofer trunnions. In addition, whenever a barescent skor motion is required, it may be employed in conjunction with a drawn reciprocating dingle arm to reduce sinusoidal depleneration.“
The Onion’s “600 Lever Voting Machine” comes to mind here, as well.
The fun in all of this, of course, is “technobabble,” the habit of using overly complex technical jargon to suggest superior knowledge. Sometimes it may in fact indicate a high level of knowledge. Usually though, it’s just nonsense.
As Leonardo DaVinci said, ““Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
And as Red Bull Creation said, “Have lots and lots of fun!”