Jim Patrico Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:23 AM CDT

Ever watch TV's Big Bang Theory? It's a comedy about the hijinks of a nerdy, genius group of guys who giggle gleefully at the mere thought of getting their hands on the latest technologies. They have access to brainiac tools because they work at CalTech, the Pasadena institute that describes itself as, "a world-renowned and pioneering research and education institution dedicated to advancing science and engineering." For the Big Bang boys, it's an ersatz playground where particle colliders and 3-D printers take the place of swing sets and sandboxes.

I recently visited a Pennsylvania version of CalTech. It's housed at ...

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