Luke's in the bookstore again -- so I guess Joan needed him to work two shifts, not just one -- and he spots Professor Giles. He just happens to have the author's book in his hands and he comes over and shows him the back, saying, "This is you. Dietrich Steinholz." Professor Giles -- who, if I don't miss my guess, is reading some rag like People or Us Weekly -- takes the book, flips it over, and sighs. Luke: "Nineteen seventy-five. If you were talking about string theory, you must have been one of the first." Steinholz replies, "The idea that our reality is a tiny fragment of something larger is hardly new." Luke: "Yeah, but you articulated it. You were the one to build on Einstein." Matter-of-factly, Steinholz says, "There were many of us." He is reading some celebrity rag! It's In Touch Weekly, I think. Heh. That's the Pitt calling the Angelina Jennifer. Or something like that. Luke says he was first, and deserves credit. Steinholz: "For what? I didn't invent anything, just offered a possibility." Luke tells him how he did a whole string theory project for the Arcadia College Physics Award: "I advanced the key approximation, which has enormous ramifications, and they totally ignored it." If you really did anything of the sort, Luke, I doubt this guy needs to have the ramifications spelled out for him. Also: Please. Anyway, Steinholz is just as unimpressed as Don Thornberry was: "So? What are we anyway? Compared to the universe, we're nothing. A speck. A moment of glory in the Arcadia College world, what is that?" I hope he starts humming "Dust in the Wind." He walks away as Luke adds, "They also got dinner at Don Thornberry's." Steinholz stops in his tracks, turns, and emits a pained little "Oh," on Luke's behalf. He smiles, adding, "Their ribeye is amazing."
Luke nods and walks around behind the counter as Steinholz puts his copy of In Touch Weekly up there and comments, "Sometimes it seems there's no justice." Luke: "That's $1.99." Steinholz takes out his money. Actually, he starts emptying the contents of his pockets on the counter, and Frink gets all excited: "All right! Physics pockets!" "Physics pockets"? I think he suspects Steinholz might have a tiny quantum computer or transmogrifier in there or something. Luke feels free to rummage through the crumpled papers Steinholz has dumped there, and uncrinkles one scrap: "An algorithm for the distribution of…mattress coils?" Steinholz: "There's an ideal ratio of the coils to the mattress surface. I just haven't figured it out yet." Well, so long as you're working on the really important problems. He hands Luke his money and says, "Back to work. What other choice do we have?" I dunno…sitting around watching Stargate and dipping pickles into mustard? He takes his In Touch Weekly and leaves. See how they got me to do that product placement three times without even completely showing the cover of the magazine? It's insidious, I tell you. Frink thinks Luke is missing a golden opportunity: "Get his number! Go out on a date! Buy him the ribeye." I actually think it would be sort of cool -- if Luke's not going to recognize God anytime soon -- if he could at least have a mentor, some older figure who understands his mind and his interest in science and could show a little interest in guiding and nurturing that. Because sure as heck nobody in his family does. And Friedman can barely manage "friendship"; he's certainly in no position to mentor anyone.