For the Beaver to Poop On!

An exhaustive article about the “Brass Rat” – MIT class ring featuring the school’s mascot, a rat-looking beaver:

“The Brass Rat is traditionally worn with the Beaver “sitting” or “shitting” on the wearer until graduation. This represents the hardships imposed on students at MIT. In addition, the skyline of Boston is facing the student, representing the outside world awaiting. After graduation, the ring is turned around, and the Cambridge skyline is visible to the graduate, as a reminder of times spent at MIT.”

Fans of Harry Harrison can choose to order the Brass Rat in stainless steel instead.

This must be the ugliest class and overstated ring in existence. The Canadian engineer’s iron ring, by comparison is a marvel of good taste (even though  technically it’s a pinky ring).

My favorite part of this trivia was the hack of welding the Brass Rat to the finger of the Statue of the Three Lies (as the model for the statue supposedly went to MIT).

And though I oft have passed it by ..

There is a little store on 48th street that sells jewelry maker’s tools. I was walking by it on many an occasion, but never ventured inside. Today I went there because I needed a ring gauge for ordering that titanium ring I wrote about. I also ended up purchasing a very fine 20x loupe. They have really amazing metal working tools. Mmmm. I should pay them another visit when I have more time.

Assign yourself 5 deadprogrammerTM points if you recognize the reference in the subject line.

One Ring To Bind Them All

After I lost $30 pounds on Atkins diet my wedding ring started to slip off my finger. Of course, I am not Frodo, and wearing it on a piece of string was not an option. I used to leave it on the dressing table a lot, and finally it disappeared. Who stole Precious is not clear, but Tilde the cat is a likely suspect. So my wedding band is hopelessly lost.

It was a titanium ring. It looked like this:

Interestingly enough, the company that makes these rings is located in Canada. I wonder if they were inspired by the Engineer’s Ring.

I have a somewhat unhealthy fascination with titanium. I love that metal. SR71 Blackbird planes, Akula class subs, and if you are a Star Wars geek, TIE fighters are made mostly of titanium. I own a titanium watch and eyeglasses frame. I used to have a titanium pda case, but I lost it too :( Titanium is almost indestructible, but easily lost.

Well, now I need to replace the ring. I am thinking of choosing a different, fancier design. Probably one of these.

I was also thinking about a more exotic material for the ring, like iridium, but nobody makes them.

By the way, titanium rings are machined out of a single block of titanium. You can’t really smelt titanium, so resizing the rings is out of the question. Imagine how much skill is needed to machine interlocking rings out of a single block: