Jun 11, 2010 4:15 PM
Says Stephanie: "My dad is super hard to shop for! He's a little eccentric with expensive tastes but the best gifts have been ones that have really been more thoughtful than high-priced. He's not really a "tool guy" or "fishing guy" so traditional father's day gifts don't do much for him. He's a science man, so anything in that arena would be a hit...I need some serious help (and on a budget)!"
A science man? Well, a lot of the science guys we know swear by Mythbusters, and our personal favorite episode is the 1) Alcatraz Escape. Pick it up on DVD from Amazon for $20. If your dad would prefer something a little less goofy, you could try him on 2) John McPhee's Annals of the Former World ($14) which is a geological history of the United States by a writer who really does his research and can tackle nearly any topic. For an intermediate stage of goofiness, there's 3)Classic Feynman ($20), which collects the previously-published memoirs of fascinating, puckish Nobel laureate Richard Feynman, and adds some new material.
If he'd rather go do something than watch it or read about it, there are options there too. 4) Swedish FireSteel ($16) sounds potentially dangerous, but also like great fun for those who aren't afraid of fire - it lights stoves and barbecues, works in wet conditions, and, because it's magnesium-based, is BRIGHT. A little safer, but more time consuming for you, would be 5) a custom LEGO set ($varies). Now this is really cool; you download some free software, put together a virtual model with a library of bricks, then place your order to receive a package containing the necessary bricks and one of those beloved graphical instruction booklets. Lastly,If your dad happens to have an Android phone, you could also download 6) Google Sky Map for him. It's just what it sounds like: a star map application that will figure out where you are and tell you just what it is you're seeing. And it's free.
We weren't sure which branch of science was your dad's favorite, if any, so we tried to cover a lot of bases here. Let us know how we did!