Mental Floss

What a Rich Retired Genius Does in His Copious Spare Time

Chris Higgins

Nathan Myhrvold is a professional eccentric multimillionaire polymath (for the non-geeks among us: a rich geek who does a bit of everything). After making his millions at Microsoft, Myhrvold decided to travel the world checking out archaeological sites, penguin fecal patterns, barbecue, dinosaurs, and whatever else struck his fancy. Myhrvold is a huge geek, in a great way: he gets big bonus points for using the word synecdochally and dropping a different s-bomb within the first few minutes of the TED Talk below, in which he describes all sorts of adventures.

Discussed: penguin poop, Easter Island, inventing new nuclear reactors, meta-materials, inventing a nuclear-reactor-complexity barbecue cooker that makes "terrific ribs," using a centrifuge to clarify chicken stock, SETI, the creepy rich guy in Contact, the T. rex in Myhrvold's living room, whale naughty bits, and being unfocused with your passions.