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.