We all have a lot to thank our fathers for. They knocked up our moms, helped raise us, and in many cases introduced us to the wonderful world of nerdiness. So if you have fond memories of the first time your dad sat you down to watch Star Wars or play Super Mario Bros. together, return the favour with a memorable Father's Day gift that'll make his nerd side proud.
Dads are old. That's part of what makes them dads. If your dad isn't old, you're probably too young to be reading this website. Get back to doing your homework, kid, we use naughty adult words like "shit" and "car insurance" here.
Because dads are old they remember old things, like floppy disks and the Vietnam War. We don't suggest a gift based on the latter, but the former have been converted to surprisingly stylish drink coasters. Your dad can rest his favourite beverage on one and reminisce about how back in his day he needed four floppies to install Doom 2, and now whippersnappers like you can download it from Steam in the blink of an eye.
These floppies have been given a nice cork and vinyl lining to make them proper coasters, but if money's an issue odds are your dad has a case of at least 100 of these suckers buried in the basement. Just grab 'em, wrap 'em, and bam! Gift. Oh no, he spilled on one? Don't worry, his graduate thesis alone will provide at least a dozen more.
Nerdy ties are a dime a dozen. From circuit boards to dinosaurs, you name a dorky passion and someone's slapped it on a tie. But tie slides? Only fashion nerds wear them to begin with, so by combining them with a nerdy pursuit you're reaching for the championship level of nerd.
What's great about these are their flexibility. Put a black Lego slide on a black tie and you'll have a nice, subtle nerdy look that only careful observers will notice. But the red slide on that same black tie up and screams, "Hello, I am a grown man who likes building robots in my spare time. I'm sorry you don't have as much joy in your life as I do."
You can also buy a wide array of Lego cufflinks, which can combine with, say, the gold slide to help your dad fit in at any formal event that he doesn't have to take too seriously.
Alternatively, you could combine the Lego tie slide with a Lego tie, if you want the message to be less "I am in touch with my inner child" and more "I may have a minor addiction." The possibilities are endless!
Speaking of cufflinks, nerds have no shortage of options when it comes to the fashion accessory for people who are too good for buttons.
The first and probably last cufflinks to be open source, iCufflinks have an LED light inside of them that slowly pulses, which will make your dad a big hit at formal raves. You can modify the default pattern to do anything from stay solid to repulse epileptics. Because dads can never, ever own enough items that are battery powered.
If you're looking to get your dad something a little more practical, the same company sells a pair of cufflinks where one is secretly a 4GB USB drive.
Can't tell which one it is, can you? They're perfect for the dad who happens to be a James Bond-style spy, although more realistically he'll just save the day at a wedding when the photographer or DJ loses their own drive. Which is still pretty cool.
If you're like us, you drove your father to alcoholism at an early age. But just because he has a problem it doesn't mean it can't be a classy problem, and with a subtle nod at his nerdery to boot.
A Klein bottle is a single sided bottle, kind of like a fancier Möbius strip. A true Klein bottle would exist in four dimensions, and requires a lot of fascinating mathematical theory to explain. We won't go into the details because it's well beyond the scope of a gift buying guide, and definitely not just because we're too dumb to understand any of it. DEFINITELY not that.
So if your dad is a classical nerd who loves math and physics and talks about his old slide rule like most men talk about an old lover, this bottle opener could be perfect for him. Especially since we assume that lots of math nerds have been driven to alcoholism trying to explain things like Klein bottles to those of us you with lesser math skills.
Fun fact: no one has ever bothered to scan a QR code. "It's like a web address, except instead of remembering a simple URL for later you have to whip out your phone, fire up a specialized app, and check it out on the spot!" went a terrible yet inexplicably successful pitch meeting (probably). Thankfully, someone has finally found a purpose for these ridiculous things, and that purpose is art.
In addition to having a funky, psychedelic look that will go great with the remainder of dad's Christmas LSD, the QaRt Code (we just made that term up, go ahead and use it) delivers the message "You're the BEST DAD ever" when you scan it. It's the perfect gift for nerdy, art lover dads who raised emotionally distant children incapable of expressing their feelings directly. Admittedly, that's a small demographic, but that's what makes shopping on the Internet so wonderful--there's something for even the most emotionally traumatised of us.
Some pastimes are quintessential "dad" hobbies, like barbequing and double checking your taxes. And while BBQ may not be the first thing you associate with nerddom, we think you'd be hard pressed to find a nerd that doesn't appreciate a good bacon cheeseburger. Especially if you can integrate robots.
The Grillbot is like a Roomba with testicles. It flies across a grill like a coked out kitten, although it's supposedly using a "smart brain" (as opposed to...?) to control its movement and speed for maximum cleanliness. It's a cool but needlessly complicated way to accomplish an everyday task in the guise of a robot, which pretty much makes it the ideal toy for dads.
Geek Dad: Awesomely Geeky Projects and Activities for Dads and Kids to Share is a book that... well, the title pretty much sums it up. Good work, title writing guy. If you're a father, consider this one a gift to yourself, so you can share your geekdom with your ingrate kids who are probably just going to make you a dumbass piece of macaroni art that says "We love you" or some bullshit.
The book is part of a series--this edition includes projects like creating a cyborg Jack-o'-lantern, a balloon mounted camera and your own board game, while other titles teach you how to grow crystals, construct your own radio from office supplies and hack toys to add new features. They're basically compilations of every cool project your dad might have ever done with you, along with many, many more for you to pass onto your own kids.
And there's nothing to say this has to be limited to dads and their younger children. Most of you reading this are grown-ass adults, but don't try to tell us you wouldn't call up your dad today to build a lamp made of Lego and old CDs if you knew how. Well, now you can.
Nothing nerdier than telling your dad how you feel.