Goofy Gifts

May 7, 2011 by tonyleather  
Published in Gifts

What exactly do you buy as a gift for that person who never seems toknow just what they want, and rarely seems pleased at what they actually get?

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You have often wondered, no doubt, just what you might be able to find as a gift for that one friend who is always really difficult to please, and already has everything they want, or so they claim. It is for these difficult customers that you have to demonstrate your ingenuity, by finding quirky presents that will amuse and entertain them. Perhaps you have such a pal who is scientifically or mathematically inclined?

http://www.kleinbottle.com/images/babyinhand2.jpg

If so, then you could do no better than to buy them a Klein bottle, because it will really get their brain cells creaking in protest. In reality, these objects cannot exist in our three-dimensional world, requiring an as yet undiscovered fourth dimension to fulfill their potential. There are reprentational models available to buy, but being only 3D, they actually can contain liquid, where the 4D version could not, because in that state the bottle neck could never meet the side. This would certainly get the recipient thinking.

 http://www.wissenschaft-shop.de/out/pictures/wysiwigpro/801951_innen_neu.jpg

IF that seems a little too far out, for your quirky gift recipient, how about the paperweight that genuinely does seem to have a mind of its own?  Called the Gömböc, and usually made of polished Brass, this strange thing is a self-righting object, so that no matter which way it gets put onto any surface, it rights itself, just as a Weeble would, except there is no weight at the bottom, the only shape in the physical world able to do this.

[youtube= http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pn811yIALPw]

From 1995, Hungarian scientists struggled to perfect the shape, finally doing so in 2005, though in nature, Turtle shells have had this shape for eons. It is the reason they can right themselves after being flipped over onto their backs, This gift would certainly provide endless amusement.

Then again, it might be that your unusual friend would prefer something of a much lighter nature? If so, then something made from Aerogel would surely fit the bill, and be certain to keep them occupied for ages. This amazing substance, also known as frozen smoke, is the lowest density solid on earth, 96% of it being air.

http://www.enviweb.cz/pictures/2011/aerogel.jpg

Basically a silicon gel from which all liquid has been removed, replaced instead with gas. Holding a small piece in the hand, one would find it all but impossible to either see or feel it, yet it is immensely strong. Aerogel can support four thousand times its own weight, resist the effects of smaller explosions, and is the best known insulating material on earth, so efficient that wearers complained of over-heating! What an unusual gift this would make.

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Of course if you really wanted to appeal to the child within your hard-to-please friend, you could do no betterthan to buy them a lump of Gallium. A silvery metal, that does not exist free in nature, with atomic number 31, this peculiar stuff is used mostly for LEDs, or in semiconductors, but what makes it so remarkable is the temperature at which it becomes liquid.

http://www.criticalmetals.com/images/gallium.jpg

At somewhere around 85 degrees Fahrenheit, lower than that required to melt chocolate, Gallium will, if held in the palm of the hand, liquefy because of body heat, but if then poured into a container, will solidify again at once. Imagine the hours of amusement creating new shapes and then repeating the process, all in relative safety, as Gallium is non-toxic. The silvery metallic puddle could easily be poured onto flat glass to make a mirror, and this would truly be a memorable gift. All of these things can be found online, so get surfing, and when next the difficult friend has a birthday, you will have no need to scratch your head, wondering what on earth to buy.

http://wikis.lawrence.edu/download/attachments/296271/gallium.jpg

All images used with permission

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4 Responses to “Goofy Gifts”
  1. Cyni1106 Says:

    I like to buy friends unusual gifts to entertain, thanks for the information Iwill remember this come the holidays, or birthdays.

  2. Ninja Kiwi Says:

    Interesting information! Thanks for this.

  3. ivaylo2009 Says:

    Interesting share!Thanks!

  4. payaltyagi Says:

    Very good work.


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