Dear Santa,

I realise it’s been a while since I wrote to you. In fact if memory serves, the last time was in about 1987 when I scrawled “I want Nintendo” on some paper and threw it out of my bedroom window. Now that I think about it, you may have not got that. Well here I am again, a little older – and about as eloquent.
But while I never received the Nintendo I’d hoped for, I’m still optimistic that you can deliver because there are some things I want and I think you are just the well-bearded man to make it happen. Although, that’s mostly because I’m out of other mythical gift-providing people to ask – you’ve really cornered that market.

Firstly, there are a few things I’d like for the lab. Now, I’ve limited my selection to things that I can’t find anywhere else. You are already magically summoning presents out of thin air so I figured inventing some new products would be a cinch.

  • A finger print encoded pipette. Preferably one that gives a mild shock to anyone who tries to lift it off the rack. Ideally I’d like it to shock anyone that even looks at it but I accept your powers might have some limitations.
  • Electronic weight measuring shelves that auto reorder solvents when the bottles are running low. Also I’d like the additional feature that if anyone puts back a bottle that’s totally empty, an alarm goes off and a loud voice calls the person a jerk.
  • A series of pen detecting cameras that are linked to an app on my phone and can tell me where someone has put the lab pens – and who moved them last – so that we can track down repeat-offending pen hiders.
  • A pipette tips box that releases a cloud of poisonous gas if the tips are removed in a random order. Honestly, I’m surprised that this isn’t already an existing product.
  • A lab roomba that separates out dust from tiny important screws that I’ve dropped. It will need to be resistant to acids, solvents, strong oxidisers, and fire.
  • Tiny sparkly jumpsuits for all the spiders so I spot them before they crawl on to my arm while I’m holding explosive chemicals. If persuading them to wear the jumpsuits is too difficult I’ll settle for giving them all tiny bells.

Secondly, are some things that are more service-based. If you’ve not noticed, subscription service models have become all the rage and I hope your gift giving can accommodate.

  • An electronic lab book service that is free, has traceability and a nice user interface with a dedicated app for Mac, PC, iOS and Android. It accepts all data types, photos and has sharing options with other people and uses GIT versioning.
  • Universal login details for lab equipment websites so I don’t have to get buried in email spam every time I want to check the price of pipette tips.
  • Lab Siri where I can ask it what conditions I used last time. I realise I could just look this up but being able to ask a computer would really help me feel like an evil scientist.

Now the last thing I need to ask for is a tracking number on these requests. I have holiday over the Christmas period so if you can try to deliver around the 23rd of December that really would be a big help. I don’t want you having to leave a card at security – getting to the North Pole distribution office in January would be a real pain for me.

Yours optimistically,


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1 Comment

Simon Leather · 21 December 2016 at 13:16

Thanks for that – has put me in the festive mood, even though I still chained to my desk 🙂

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