Ryan’s Winter Solstice SURVIVAL GUIDE

When the days get so short it seems as if the sun will never return to warm our cheeks, we give each other gifts as comfort in the darkness. Then somehow the days begin to lengthen. Coincidence? Of course not. Some credit a magic baby, others a Roman deity, science simply calls it the solstice. Regardless, warm your favorite geek’s heart with some gifts sure to brighten their darkest days of the year.

First thing you should do is light up their room and remind them of the warm evenings of summer with an electronic firefly in a jar. Not only is this a cool gift, there’s no guilt when you wake up in the morning to find all the little lightning bugs dead. Seriously, what was that all about? Does anybody know why those bugs are so eager to give up on life? But I digress…

As much as we may want to remind our friend that it will be warm again sometime in the future, we shouldn’t deny the reality that it is actually cold out. So I recommend getting your friend a jacket from SeV, makers of clothing with many pockets. There’s something quintessentially geeky about loving pockets, but I know I do and hopefully you do too. I have a pair of pants with 9 pockets. That’s right, 9. And this jacket puts those pants to shame. Fortunately pants and jackets can be worn at the same time for some serious constructive interference. I’m not sure I could even fill that many pockets and still be able to move.

Another way to keep warm is with a hot beverage. We may not usually have them on the show, but we Paleopals are caffeine fiends. I think we each have our own way to consume the glorious chemical energy. I prefer straight black coffee, and while I have yet to try it from a civet’s butt, I’d certainly try it if someone else paid for it. Then again there’s always the monkey-picked tea alternative (disclaimer: may have actually been picked by apes). But perhaps we should just keep things simple with a glass for our most on-air consumed drink Beryllium and Erbium. Think about it.

I think the only other thing your friend needs to get through winter is some reading material (or listening material in the form of an iPod pre-loaded with our show). Now by way of shameless plugging, I think some of the books by people we’ve had on the show are the perfect choice. I won’t give you an exhaustive list (we have a guest list for that) but I’ll give what I think the best choices are from a few different categories:

Novel – Midwinter by Matt Sturges (Episode 28), fantasy for the snow

Nonfiction – The Science of Kissing by Sheril Kirshenbaum (Episode 73), snuggle up and keep warm ;-)

Comic – Starman Ominbus Vol. 1  written by James Robinson (Episode 8), there’s even a touching Xmas issue!

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention our own store, full of shirts, mugs, glasses, and other Science… sort of accessories! If you don’t have friends who listen to the show put the gear you want on your own list. You deserve it.

I think with all this you’ll be well prepared to survive the Solstice and make the geek in your life happy. It’s the shortest day of the year, so it’ll literally all be over soon.


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