With Christmas fast approaching, you may be wondering what to get for that special scientist in your life. Well wonder no more as I present my top affordable gifts for science geeks, young, old and everything in between.
The metal element Gallium (Ga) has a melting point of roughly 29.8°C (85.6°F, 303K), meaning that it is solid at room temperature but becomes liquid if you hold it in your hand! Gallium is often used in semi-conductors, but DisappearingSpoons.com has found a different use for it. You can get some Gallium from them for as little as 12€, but if you’re willing to spend a bit more (70-80€) you can get a spoon kit from them, allowing you to make a Gallium spoon to play with, AWESOME (just don’t drink the Gallium)!
More commonly found in tablet form, Synsepalum dulcificum or miracle berries, once consumed, make sour foods taste sweet! These are easy to find and you can get a pack of 10 tablets from Amazon for £10.95. The effect of these tablets apparently lasts 15-30 minutes and in that time you can experience food in a whole new way. They work because of the protein miraculin from the fruit which modifies taste reception for a short period. Avoid hot food when using these as the heat can stop miraculin from working. Perhaps you can use these for a trippy Christmas dinner!
On the Origin of Species T-Shirt
Litographs: Entire Books on T-Shirts and Posters is a Kickstarter project that does exactly what it says on the tin. If you back the project (deadline 11th of December 2012) with $30 (+$10 to ship outside the US) you can get On the Origin of Species in its entirety on a beautifully designed t-shirt, amazing! The actual t-shirt won’t be available until January but you are guaranteed to get a hand made gift certificate by December 24th, an excellent gift for scientists and bibliophiles alike!
Periodic Table of Elements Shower Curtain
What better way to start your day than with a shower and a recap of the periodic table? As seen on TVs “The Big Bang Theory” this lovely accessory is guaranteed to science up any bathroom and is available for less than £30 from a variety of retailers.
We have all seen pictures of cells under a microscope but what about everyday stuff like coins and toothbrushes, what do they look like close up? With a USB microscope, you can find out for yourself at home! A few of these are available but Amazon has the Veho VMS-001 for £32.86, giving up to 200x magnification and supporting both photo and video capture, who wouldn’t want one?
Scientists often seek solutions to age old problems like how to predict the weather or how to travel long distances and sometimes they find solutions to problems you didn’t even know you had, like how to make an egg more cube like. Enter the Egg-Q-Ber, just £4.99 from Firebox.com and the perfect geeky stocking filler. Why would you want your eggs to be cube shaped? Perhaps the question you should be asking is why would you NOT want your eggs to be cube shaped?
A Chemistry Set
Any chemistry set will do. For the adult scientist a chemistry set invokes nostalgia and whimsy and perhaps (although they’d never admit it) they might learn something. For kids, this is the perfect present to feed their enquiring minds whilst also teaching them about science. I have listed a few below but there are loads available from a number of retailers for a range of prices; shop around and find the perfect gift!
CHEM C1000 Chemistry Set for Beginners (Pictured)
Thus ends my list, I hope I have helped your shopping! Be wonderful to each other and most of all, Have a Very Nerdy Christmas!