Science Saturday: The Gift Edition

I’ve only recently discovered my inner geek, mostly through PBS documentaries and web sites like TED. But in my ongoing quest to be the cool but unpredictable gift-giving aunt for my niece and nephew, I’ve stumbled across some educational toy sites that make me wish I was a geek from childhood. My ventures have led me deeper into the geek subculture. Who knew you could buy a Knight of Ni hat? I didn’t. This week’s Science Saturday is devoted to gift ideas for the professional and amateur geek alike.

  • Fun With Your Cat. For the feline obsessed, a kit that includes tools to make glasses so you can see what cats see, make your own cat toys, and interview your cat to test his/her personality (and probably provide your feline friend with no end of annoyance).
  • World Mural Map. I see Belgium, I see France…
  • SkyScout. Is that a planetarium in your pocket? A bit pricey but you’d finally know where Cassiopeia is, without Google.
  • Elements of Science. I see no reason why adults should be left out of all the fun. I never got a science kit when I was a kid. This looks like a blast.
  • Facial Reconstruction Kit. For the macabre child within.
  • Think Geek: An entire site devoted to Geek. From a periodic table shower curtain to “infectiously cute microbe plush toys” and so much more. Personally, I was moved by the Screaming Monkey Slingshot:

Super Simian to the Rescue!

Legend tells of a hero not born unto this world, but destined to change forever the course of human existence. A hero so grand that all past legends will turn to dust in the wake of his greatness. This is not that hero. This is, however, the next best thing: a monkey with a cape and a mask. Because nothing says power like a cape and a mask.

  • Timothy, or Notes of an Abject Reptile. For the Victorian naturalist geek in your life, Verlyn Klinkenborg‘s novel told from a tortoise’s point of view is a must-read. I won’t ruin the ending, but suffice to say that this is a surprisingly poignant tale, written with grace and wit, that offers an earthy look at man’s arrogance and kindness, at captivity and freedom, simplicity and beauty. The best book I read this year.

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