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Wisconsin-based team wins Rube Goldberg contest

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[March 28, 2011]  WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) -- A team from the University of Wisconsin-Stout that created a contraption capable of watering a plant in 135 easy steps has for the second straight year won Purdue University's annual Rube Goldberg contest.

The plant-watering machine devised by the team from Menomonie, Wis., told the story of a deserted Louisiana estate where ghosts come to life with the full moon.

Captain Andrew Behnke of Loyal, Wis., said the team, composed mostly of education and business majors, developed a storyline that drove the steps for the handcrafted machine.

The competition is named for the late cartoonist Rube Goldberg, known for his drawings of whimsical, complicated devices performing simple tasks.

Goldberg's granddaughter, Jennifer George, attended Saturday's competition and called it thrilling. She said, "I know my grandfather is here in spirit."

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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