Hypnotized by Pythagora’s switch

2 a.m. arrival at Kansai International airport and soon it’s 3 a.m. In a taxi heading towards a nearby hotel, in dear need of sleep.

In hotel, the Bellevue Garden Kix Hotel ベルビューガーデンホテル関西空港. I turn on the TV and hear a flute, see some marbles. What am I watching?  Why can’t I look away? Or turn it off? I’m so f’ing sleepy

This program has the soundtrack of a kindergarten class but draws me in like I’m its target audience.

What the heck do they keep saying?

And what’s the purpose of the letter “ピ” that I keep seeing at the end of each sequence?

A few weeks later I Googled it. The “ピ”, of course, is the first letter of the show’s name: ピタゴラスイッチ, aka PythagoraSwitch (Pitagora Suitchi).

The premise of the show is simple: a series of demonstrations of “Rube Goldberg machines” – you know, those contraptions where a ball rolls down a track, hits a button, moves a lever…all in a fun, interesting, and convoluted way. The show is simple, but the contraptions is quite complex.

Interestingly, they don’t use the kanji 装置, which means equipment or device (and is pronounced sōchi そうち)…they instead use the katakana English translation スイッチ (switch), which is a loose equivalent. Hence, ピタゴラスイッチ is the name of the show, and ピタゴラ装置 is the generic name for the devices used on the show.

I’m not alone in being completely hypnotized by this show:

According to one threadSaxtor” says,  “Where the fuck is Myke? Andrew! Do you remember this shit???!!! Every bit as hypnotic today as it was in the Shibuya train station!” To which quagmire replies, “it’s better than hypnotoad! I could watch that for the rest of my life….”

I couldn’t say it better myself.

You can find plenty of other videos on YouTube

Oh, and this video is adorable…



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