I love science, cool gadgets, new technologies, and lifelong learning. When it comes to being a consumer of high-tech wizardry, I’m an enthusiastic early adopter. If you are too, then hopefully you got some cool presents this holiday. If instead Santa left you a lump of coal or a knitted sweater, fear not: you can treat yourself. Here are a few of my recommendations for your “indulge yourself” post-Christmas shopping (in order by price, from least expensive to most): Discovery DNA Explorer Kit – Extract DNA and run electrophoresis and chromotagraphy experiments in the comfort of your own home! Complete with centrifuge! (Sold out on Amazon, so head to eBay instead) – $50 Discovery Forensics Lab – If you’re a fan of any of the CSI shows on TV, you’ll surely appreciate this kit – $80 (If you or your kid is into science, here are 25 more cool science kits/experiments/toys) iBreath iPod attachment – For the gadget lover who already has every conceivable gadget… I bet you don’t have this one! Who DOESN’T need a portable breathalyzer that looks cool and hooks into your iPod? Well, I don’t. But that’s beside the point… – $80 23andme genetic analysis – Get your DNA genotyped for dozens of genetic markers. It’s not as good as getting fully sequenced, so nobody’s going to be able to clone you from the data you get back, but hey, it’s a start! 23andme was founded by the wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin. – $400 GTD Connect subscription – I’m a huge fan of the productivity methodology known as “GTD” developed by David Allen and described in his best-selling book Getting Things Done. Here’s my quick synopsis of GTD. Any serious GTD practitioner needs a subscription to GTD Connect. – $480 (per year) Spider II GX laser – Who wouldn’t want a laser pointer with a 100 meter range that can melt plastic? – $1700 The Elite Retreat conference – Learn how to become a self-made Internet millionaire – $5000 Zero G zero gravity flight – Float weightless like the astronauts in parabolic flight – $5200 More cash to burn than that? You could fly a Russian MiG for $15k. Or better yet, become a space tourist and visit the ISS in orbit for $20 million (payable to the Russian government).
The fact that there’s a laser pointer site with the phrase “Light fireworks” as a performance characteristic is, umm, fascinating. And, probably, should be a little disturbing.