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Holiday Gift Ideas
Posted by Tom Klemens on December 15, 2010 at 9:55 AM.

Looking for the perfect holiday gift to give to an architect or engineer? Try one of these!


For a really high-end gift, you might consider a commission like the “Clock for an Architect.” Designed by Daniel Weir this clock not only exposes the way in which it works, but is also stylish, and practical. The face is made from nickel-plated brass and silver, and the numerous other exposed elements are equally elegant. To see the one-of-a-kind clock (and Weil’s sketches) on the Pentagram website, click here.


Fortunately, there are some unusual gift possibilities that are still in plentiful supply. How about downloading a few tunes from the annual Sturgeon Bay (Wis.) Steel Bridge Songfest? They love their steel bridge in Sturgeon Bay, and for the past 5 years (maybe 6) have gathered in mid June to sing about it, and sing to it as well. Check out the clips at One of my favorites is way down in the Vol 1 list — “Hey Steel Bridge!” Most of the tunes are good music, and they’re economical, too — just 99 cents each! (Click here to hear one resident’s explanation of how the songfest came to be.)


stolen-dreams-cover.jpgOr, for the literary-minded among your friends, consider ordering a copy of the newly published Stolen Dreams. Written by Tracy Totten, it is “a novel about the steel industry for the steel industry.” The subject matter is no surprise, seeing as Totten is the president of Azusa, Calif.-based Totten Tubes, Inc. The author says his novel is “a suspense thriller of corporate espionage, betrayal, and even a little romance that turns one steel tycoon against another to see who survives.” To order a copy of Stolen Dreams now, even before it becomes available online, call Totten Tubes at 800-882-3748. Again, it’s an economical gift option - total price for the 200-page novel is less than $10 (postage included).


BONUS OFFER: If you’re in the Los Angeles area on Friday, December 17, from 3 - 5 p.m. (Pacific time), stop by Totten Tubes for a book signing and open house. Please call ahead so they can have enough refreshments on hand.


But if you’re looking for something strictly non-fiction, consider two new publications in the “For Dummies” series from Wiley Publishing.


Welding for Dummies, by Steven Robert Farnsworth, is a friendly, practical guide covering everything from basic safety to placing the finishing touches on more complex projects. With easy-to-follow guidance, the book enables readers to confidently perform this commonly used yet complex task. It provides the fundamentals of each type of welding (mig, tig, and fluxcore) as well as explaining the more complex practices of plasma cutting and oxyfuel cutting. The author is a weldingdummies-2.jpg teacher with more than 20 years experience. He also served in the U.S. Navy, working to keep the fleet afloat with his welding repairs.


Statics for Dummies, by James H. Allen III, P.E., Ph.D., is an easy-to-follow companion to any statics course that moves deftly from the basic principles of vectors to the practical everyday uses one sees in the real world. A good refresher (or an accessible introduction to those in the family who just don’t get what all the fuss is about), Statics For Dummies opens the world of this fundamental branch of engineering with clear explanations and simple equilibrium problems that show how forces affect objects.

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