Extracurricular Time

When not busily working for MIT or the Eaton-Peabody Laboratory I relax by singing shape-note hymns with Norumbega Harmony, West Gallery hymns with Bruce Randall's group or fiddling for Morris Dancing with The Black Jokers.

My first Amateur Radio Operator licence was obtained during my teenage years, working stations across the country with converted WWII ARC-5 radio gear on the 40 meter band. In the current situation, without space for a large antenna, I have gone to using portable equipment in the VHF and UHF bands; if you are in Eastern Massachusetts give a shout for WA1VRB on the MIT repeater or after the evening message handling nets on the Boston Amateur Radio Club or Waltham repeaters.

I have made telescopes and ground objective mirrors for them in the past, and although urban lights tend to reduce visibility of the celestial wonders, still like to keep an eye toward the heavens. For A Good Time (under the starry sky) call 617-496-7827. If your tastes run to some of the more kinky specialties, dial instead 617-497-4168.

I dabble in technique and craft, none would mistake it for Art, but that does not stop me from having fun with art supplies.

Engineering: Hobby, Employment, or Way of Life?

"Oh! You really are an engineer!"
--I. M. Klimoff, Summer 1977
While witnessing the repair of her broken eyeglass frames deep in the Maine wilderness with simple tools and objects found in the bottom of a canoe.

As a family project we registered as a team for an MIT intersession (IAP) course which involved building a bridge from a kit of parts (balsa, basswood, pine, glue, and baling wire), with judging based on ratio of bridge weight to breaking strength, along with points for aesthetics and presentation. We won "Die Brucke" 1996 with the bridge shown below weighing 694g and fracturing at 2260 pounds load.

Family of four with bridge before test

Family with prize-winning bridge.


Corrections, additions or comments?
Send email (if supported by your browser) to the author, ijs@alum.mit.edu
Original 12 Jul 1994
Last modified: Feb 3 22:53 2006 / Ishmael