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A brain in jar might not be your idea of a romantic present for the one you're pledging your life to. But you're not a neuroscientist.
A very "thoughtful" wedding gift. Heather Ahrens
Ah, weddings, when two people exchange tokens of their devotion and pledge to always share the remote control -- or something like that. And just what are those tokens? Wedding rings, of course, but sometimes other gifts given from one newlywed to another.
"It is an optional tradition for the bride and groom to exchange gifts -- the night before the wedding, the morning of, or once the festivities are over, according to wedding site TheKnot.com. "It doesn't have to be anything major -- a photo frame or a treasured book of poetry make great gifts. Honor this tradition in whatever way you two desire!"Well one groom who just got married took that last piece of advice to heart -- or, should I say, to mind. He thought a fitting gift would be a 3D-printed replica of his brain.
"Like most, I wanted a special gift for my wife on our wedding day," Michael Mack says on his blog. "We're both neuroscientists studying human memory with fMRI at the University of Texas at Austin. I wanted to surprise her with a gift that best symbolized me giving her all that I am. But, being scientists, the notion of giving one's 'heart' just didn't cut it. So, armed with a brain scan of my own brain, I created a 3D model, had it printed ... and surprised her with it on our wedding day."
Mack told 3DPrint.com that he made the brain from a scan he had previously taken by using instructions found here (where even you too can find out how to print your own brain!). Mack then used 3D-printing locator service makexyz, where he found a guy who printed the gray matter using white matter on a MakerBot Replicator 2. The brain was then placed in a jar and given to Mack's lovely (and hopefully not squeamish) bride-to-be.
So how did the odd (and kind creepy gift go over)?
"I wasn't there when she opened it," Mack told 3DPrint.com, "but her maid of honor explained that she was very surprised, hesitated a moment, then realized 'oh my god, is this his brain?!'"
"She loved it!" he added on his blog.
Sheesh. Neuroscientists.Michael Franco Freelancer Michael Franco writes about the serious and silly sides of science and technology for Crave and other pixel and paper pubs. He's kept his fingers on the keyboard while owning a B&B in Amish country, managing an eco-resort in the Caribbean, sweating in Singapore, and rehydrating (with beer, of course) in Prague. E-mail Michael. See full bio