Father’s Day 2013: 5 Geeky Gift Ideas For Science-Loving Dads

By Philip Ross on June 4, 2013 5:42 PM EDT

Father's Day 2013 is just around the corner. While Sunday, June 16 is a day to remind our dads how much we appreciate them, let's also keep in mind: Father's Day is a commercial holiday, and you'll want to get him a token, whether small or large, of your affection and gratitude.

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We've got a few (and affordable!) Father's Day 2013 gift ideas that will pique your interest.

But first, a brief history of the holiday that's all about fatherhood.

A church in West Virginia hosted the U.S.'s first Father's Day event in 1908. According to History, the church sponsored a Sunday sermon to commemorate the 362 men who died in an explosion at the Fairmont Coal Company mines the previous year. The sermon sparked a similar event in Spokane, Wash., which became the first state to hold a statewide Father's Day on July 19, 1910.

It wasn't until 1972, though -- 58 years after President Woodrow Wilson made Mother's Day official -- that the government made Father's Day a sanctioned national holiday. During his re-election campaign, President Richard Nixon signed a proclamation making Father's Day a federal holiday.

Got a dad who's into science or space? Or, just want to get him something a little offbeat this year? Here are five Father's Day 2013 geeky gift ideas for dad's who love science:

Glass Galileo Thermometer

The long, cylindrical tube of a Galileo thermometer makes a stunning decorative piece in any office or living space, and it's also functional. The thermometer, which contains small glass balls filled with various tinted solutions, is based on the principle that different liquids change densities at different temperatures.

Each glass bulb has a temperature tag attached to it; as the temperature in a room shifts, the bulbs will move around according to their changing densities.

While the famed Italian physicist and astronomer developed the basics behind the Galileo (or Galilean) thermometer, Galileo Galilei didn't actually invent it; the actual thermometer was developed by his successors.

$14-50, scientificsonline.com

Hubble Wall Mural

Our skies are often washed out by light pollution, making the night sky something of a muddled mystery. Luckily, there are telescopes beyond our atmosphere that see -- and photograph -- deep space for us.

The images of outer space captured by NASA's Hubble telescope are breathtaking. They're also public domain, meaning they can be reproduced. While not your conventional wallpaper, a Hubble wall mural showing a panoramic view of the universe is sure to astound houseguests.

Because there's no copyright, you're free to print the Hubble space images as often as you'd like, and NASA even provides extremely large images for your convenience; you'll want to take the images to a good, professional printer, though.

$TBD (contingent on printing costs), hubblesite.org

DNA Genotyping

Maybe your pop would like to know exactly who his ancestors were? With a DNA sample kit, which makes a roadmap of a person's DNA, he can find out about his health conditions and traits, as well as discover his ancestry.

All Dad has to do is spit in a test tube and send it in. Then, he'll get an entire map of what his genetic make up. Results take about six to eight weeks.

$99, 23andme.com

Chemistry Cocktail Set

Is your dad an inspiring mixologist? Perhaps a cocktailed set fashioned to look like a chemistry set could make a great addition to his office or home minibar.

$38, amazon.com

Molecular Gastronomy Kit

If cocktails aren't his thing, maybe a how-to kit on making fun culinary treats is more his flavor. Want to turn honey into jelly-like cubes? Or make produce into tiny, flavor-packed beads? The Molecular Gastronomy Kit, which comes with instructional DVD, can help dad turn the kitchen into a chem lab.

$60, uncommongoods.com

Read more from iScience Times:

Tomorrow Is 4/20: Know Your Pot Laws; Where Is Weed Legal?

Star Wars Day: 4 Ways To Celebrate 'May The 4th Be With You' [VIDEO]

Pi Day: Celebrate Math With Deliciousness On March 14 [REPORT]

© 2012 iScience Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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