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Odds & Ends

Geeky Romantic Suggestions: What to Get an Engineer for Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I thought we’d make some suggestions for romantic gestures fit for engineers and the people who love them. Making something is definitely an impressive choice.

One straightforward option would be to buy some really nice chocolate and melt it into a geek-themed mold. Remember to pick a theme your beloved is fond of.

This Millenium Falcon might be perfect for your Han Solo admirers while these Dalek and Tardis molds might suit your Dr. Who fans.

I honestly want them both.

Here are some helpful tips on how to get the most attractive results. Or if you want to go full geek, make your own mold! Here’s a nice set of instructions for using Legos to make chocolate Legos

Everybody loves Legos, right?

And continuing the Lego theme, one Mindtriber suggested his and her Lego minifigures.

This option meets with approval but requires a significant cash outlay. Since minifigs don’t hold hands well, you might also consider fabricating custom hands that are better at interdigitation.

For that matter, 3D printing (or laser cutting or milling or machining) your own custom and meaningful jewelry is an excellent idea.

In the SF Bay Area, TechShop and The Crucible are terrific places where you can make things if you don’t have your own equipment. A class for two might also be a great present. 

Plenty of other people are also making wonderful nerd-themed jewelry. My favorite necklace doubles as a level. You could also just design something and have it made. Shapeways and Ponoko are two services geared toward helping you realize your design.

You can buy your gluten-intolerant love some exotic flours – because geeks love puns. Bob’s Red Mill has hazelnut, millet, quinoa, etc. Or better yet, use the ingredients to bake some cookies or perhaps create a whole meal.

Supplies from Modernist Pantry allow you to take geeky food preparation to a level any chemist could love.

Getting back to wordplay, for literary geeks there is always the personal crossword puzzle. There are numerous websites that help you create a crossword. However, I find that the result from a piece of graph paper and a lot of personal effort ends up being worth it.

A nice alternative to cut flowers is folding origami flowers. There are tons of books, YouTube videos, and an infinite selection of papers to choose from. Here’s one resource and another and a third, but a quick search on your favorite search engine will give you many more.

You can also combine gifts.

The perfect customized or handmade item could fit inside a reverse geocache box which leads your beloved to the location where you’ll be serving your awesome home-cooked chemistry experiment.

Although maybe they won’t get there fast enough so you might consider dishes that are less time-sensitive.

Happy Valentine’s Day!