And recently he gave me an Alpha Centauri DVD produced by the Bayerischer Rundfunk, a series of astrophysics lectures from Prof. Dr. Harald Lesch.
I adore astrophysics, being a closet astrophysicist myself. Since I was 13 I've been fascinated with black holes, quasars and warped space time. And Dr. Lesch has a casual, humorous speaking style that really brings these topics to life for the layman.
As Ralf and I watch the lectures our conversation goes something like this:
Ralf: That's the best description of the Planck Scale I've ever heard.
Me: Really? How come?
Ralf: Well, he's the first person who explained that the Planck Scale is where the inability to measure anything smaller intersects the event horizon, where nothing is emited.
Me: I dunno, that's just a fancy way of saying it's the smallest we can measure.
Ralf: Still cool, though.
Me: I guess.
Then, when Prof. Dr. Lesch explains Relativity, I get up in arms.
Me: How old is this video?? They've already proven that information can travel faster than light speed with those particles that are in two places at once.
Ralf: Don't be such an astrophysics snob.
Me: I'm so not! I'm totally down with the people on astrophysics. In fact, I would have been a great astrophysicist.
Me: Duh. I'm really good at math.
Me: Sure. I can do differential calcs in my sleep.
Ralf: But you suck at finance.
Me (with dignity): That's completely different.
Actually, maybe G is for Geek.