Daily Archives: May 15, 2013

A prize in each box!

Over here at the Triffid Ranch, we get our share of value-added items in the mailbox. Several times, the good folks at FarmTek include extra surprises in a shipment, such as secateurs or thermometer/hygrometer sets, and I’m still trying to figure out who sent the set of gardening tools I received last Christmas. Well, you get surprises, and you get surprises, and one of the most interesting I’ve seen yet came from Thorlabs, Inc.

The reason why I put in an order for a ground glass diffuser will have to wait for a future post, save to note that, as the Czarina puts it, “it’s all that and a biscuit.” I couldn’t be happy enough with the diffuser and its final results, and I’m hoping to show the results in a formal paper soon. Either that, or for an article in Make. What surprised me, though, was that in addition to the two diffusers selected for my experiments, I found this in the box as well:

Lab Bites

Again, I’ve had surprises in packages before, especially when ordering plants from Sarracenia Northwest. This, though, was brand new. So was the legend on the side of the box:

Side of Lab Bites

Finally, a slight bit of explanation as to why this arrived with the diffusers:

Lip of Lab Bites

After reading the legend on the interior flap, I looked at the contents, and I suddenly understood. ThorLabs knows the sensibilities and tastes of its customers, especially the poor grad students usually assigned to order parts and components. Forget training teenagers to choose Coke over Pepsi: this is how you guarantee brand loyalty for life when it comes to scientific equipment.

Contents of Lab Bites

For the record, of course I shared. If you think nutritious snacks are a rarity in a grad student environment, you have no clue as to the lack of options around the herd of electrical engineers at the Day Job. The pretzel sticks are the only thing left so far, and I suspect they won’t be around for long. Well played, ThorLabs. Well played. If further experiments require further gear, they’ve got yet another customer for life.