‘Tis the season for — a game of microbes, racing with the elements or deconstructing Aunt Martha’s fruitcake.
Finding the perfect gift for a scientist can be a challenge. Well relax. From a germ-filled game board to the elements of running, here are five reasonably priced selections that might, should, ought to, most likely, could potentially, make the season a real hit with your loved ones.
- Gut Check: The Microbiome Game. If you are fascinated by microorganisms, you might enjoy this cool board game that allows each player to develop a healthy microbiome while interfering with the microbiomes of their opponents. Go to work sick to get rid of a pathogen, take some probiotics, or have some pizza (if you can digest it). The game takes 30-60 minutes to play, depending on experience and number of players, which can be anywhere from 2-4 people. The product description said the game was designed by a gamer, optimal strategy revolves around hand management, card cycling, timing various events, and more. In addition, the game is scientifically accurate and provides a great way to learn more about the human microbiome—and the 100 trillion microbes cells that live in and on us. Cost: US$25.
- Bubble Up for Christmas. How about decorating your tree with bubble lights, liquid-filled vials heated and lighted by an incandescent light bulb. Because of the liquid’s low boiling point, the modest heat generated by the lamp causes the liquid to boil and bubble up from the vial’s base, creating a decorative effect. A string of seven bubbling potion bottles costs US$21.99.
- Formula Coffee. Here’s a way to wake up on Christmas morning. Or perhaps go back to sleep. Enjoy your daily cup in a mug decorated with the molecular formulas of various coffee byproducts. Cost: US$15.99.
- Deconstruct That Salad. Investigate the physical and chemical transformations of ingredients that occur in cooking with this nifty molecular gastronomy kit. You get to deconstruct any dish,change the look and feel of any ingredient, impress dinner guests, and take your taste buds on an adventure. Cost: US$49-69.
- Running on Oxygen and Hydrogen and Helium. Forget the Nike stripe, try these sneakers colorfully decked out with the periodic table of chemical elements. The designer uses water resistant “Long Life” ink, so the decoration won’t come off of the shoes. Now that’s smart science. US$79.