AMM does its best to be your
go-to place for metals news and market information, but we
don't have a lock on coverage of every link in the metals
supply chain. And that includes the defective, highly expensive
or kitschy art links, as exemplified in these stories from the
And you always thought it was an iceberg.
A new book argues that defective rivets were
partly responsible for sinking the Titanic in 1912.
The book, by metallurgists Jennifer Hooper McCarty and Timothy
Foecke, received widespread attention in the media when it was
published in April. While the theory isn't new, the authors
presented extensive research into the engineering and
shipmaking conditions of the time to back up the main
"Under the pressure to get these ships up,
they ramped up the riveters, found materials from additional
suppliers, and some was not of quality," Foecke told the
While researching the book, "What Really Sank
the Titanic," the authors tested 48 rivets from the
ship and discovered slag concentrations of 9 percent, far above
the normal 2- to 3-percent levels. This wasn't responsible for
sinking the ship-no one argues that the iceberg was a scapegoat
for human folly-but the poorly made rivets did cause the
Titanic to sink far more quickly than it otherwise
Harland & Wolff, the Belfast, Northern
Ireland-based shipyard that built the Titanic, said
the theory is wrong. "We always say there was nothing wrong
with the Titanic when it left (the yard)," a spokesman
told the Associated Press.
The Titanic was much in the news in
April, with plenty of media coverage given to a new luxury
watch made from steel salvaged from the wreck of the liner.
The watch, called "Day and Night," sells for
around $300,000. Despite-or perhaps because of-the high price
tag, the limited-edition timepiece sold out within hours of
going on sale, with Brazilian soccer star Ronaldo reportedly
among the buyers.
Perhaps in a sly tribute to the
a ship that didn't float-the watch has a special twist It
doesn't tell the time. Instead of a dial, it features a dark
half to signify night and a light half to signify day.
"Anyone can buy a watch that shows time, but
only a discerning customer can buy one that doesn't," Yvan
Arpa, chief executive of the watch's manufacturer, Romain
The Titanic sank, but can metal
float? Visitors to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York
could be forgiven for believing so after seeing the stainless
"Balloon Dog (Yellow)" sculpture by artist Jeff Koons. The
sculpture, part of an exhibition of works displayed on the roof
of the museum overlooking Central Park, seems to be about to
float into the sky, despite its steel structure.
The work was described as a "masterpiece" by
the New York Times, which raved about "aesthetic and
erotic perversity." Information about where Koons sourced the
stainless for the sculpture was sadly lacking.