The Best Gifts for Science Geeks
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Gifts for science lovers
Are you looking for a gift for a special someone who really digs science? Instead of a dozen roses, how about buying a bouquet of plush dinosaurs? In lieu of chocolate, why not purchase "pi plates" decorated with math equations?
Live Science has put together a geeky gift guide for the science-loving people in your life.
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Heat-activated constellation mug
Skywatchers can take their appreciation for the night sky indoors with this heat-changing constellation mug. When hot liquid is poured into the mug, Cassiopeia, Orion, Perseus, Ursa Major (Big Dipper), Ursa Minor (Little Dipper), plus six other constellations, magically appear. When the cup cools down, the outlines of the constellations disappear, and only the stars in the night sky are left.
The heat-activated mug, which retails for $13.95 on Amazon, is microwave-safe, but requires hand washing to ensure that the stars don't fade away.
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Game of Thrones Clue
Cersei Lannister, with the candlestick, in the throne room. Winter is coming, and it's a good time to plan cozy nights in with friends, complete with snacks, warm beverages and board games. Fans of the HBO series "Game of Thrones" and the classic board game Clue can rejoice over this fun crossover. The game plays like the standard version of Clue, but now, all the drama of Westeros — from high treason to good, old-fashioned betrayal — is weaved into each murder mystery.
Game of Thrones Clue includes 12 suspects (including Cersei) and six new weapons. The double-sided board also means you can solve murder mysteries in the Red Keep in King's Landing or Meereen in Slaver's Bay. The game, which retails for $36 on Amazon, can accommodate 2-6 players and is recommended for ages 18+.
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"Oh Chemistree" sweater
If you have an Ugly Christmas Sweater party to attend this year, blow your friends away with this clever and geeky design. The "Oh Chemistree" sweater features a Christmas tree made up of elements on the periodic table, with embroidered snowflakes, beakers and a caffeine molecule arranged around it for decoration. The unisex, forest-green sweater, which retails from $17.99 on Amazon, is also available as a short-sleeve crew neck shirt, long-sleeve shirt and sweatshirt.
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Lightsaber selfie stick
Selfie sticks are lame, right? Wrong! At least not when the selfie stick doubles as a lightsaber. Use the force to take better pictures with this gadget that features the hilt of Darth Vader's lightsaber.
The selfie stick, which retails for $15.62 on Amazon, can telescope out to about 40 inches (1 meter) when fully extended, meaning you can include your entire Imperial squad in shots. And if you have an iPhone, you can take photos remotely by plugging a cable into your phone's headphone jack that allows you to snap shots simply by pressing a button on the hilt of the lightsaber.
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TARDIS Projection Alarm Clock
Alarm clocks don't always have to be a nuisance when they ring. If you have a diehard "Doctor Who" fan in your life, this TARDIS Projection Alarm Clock may be the perfect gift. In addition to all the standard clock functions, this TARDIS timepiece can project the time and the "Doctor Who" logo onto the ceiling. And when the alarm goes off, it sets off flashing lights and TARDIS sounds. The clock, which retails for $26.99 on Amazon, measures about 4.5 inches (11.4 centimeters) tall and runs on four AAA batteries.
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"The Walking Dead" trivia
Think you know everything about Rick and his crew? Test your knowledge of "The Walking Dead" with this trivia game about the hit TV series. Players start as humans, but beware: if you answer too many questions incorrectly, you may turn into a walker. The game, which retails for $10.97 on Amazon, can accommodate 2-6 players, and features more than 400 trivia questions.
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Discuss the enigma of the brain as you sip hot tea (or something stronger) while using these brain specimen coasters. The set of 10 shows different slices of the brain. On a slightly less romantic note, it's also a great conversation starter for what to do with your brain once you die — check out the NIH Neurobank to learn more about your options.
The coasters can be purchased at ThinkGeek, and cost $19.99.
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"I solemnly swear that I am up to no good." Harry Potter needed to utter that memorable phrase to activate the Marauder's Map, but you can summon its powers whenever you want with this detailed, full-size replica. The map, which measures 15.5 inches by 72 inches (39 cm by 183 cm) when fully open, is printed on parchment paper. Relive all the magic of the "Harry Potter" series with this fun prop, which retails for $35 on Amazon.
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Plush Poké Ball
Got to catch 'em all! Still, everyone need to rest sometimes, so for any Pokémon trainers who find themselves needing a power nap in between battles, this plush Poké ball is the perfect place to rest their heads. The ball, which measures 5 inches (12.7 centimeters) across, is soft enough to cuddle after a long day of hunting Pokémon. The Poké ball, which retails for $11.99 on Amazon, is also weighted with beans so that it stays upright no matter how you toss it (just like on the show).
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Every cocktail chemist knows that the key to a great drink is using the right amount of every ingredient. But unless you have a lot of practice, the perfect pour is hard to master. Luckily, perfectionists and tech geeks now have another option for getting their drinks just right: the Perfect Drink App-Controlled Smart Bartending system. To use this super dorky drink tool, you simply put your glass on a smart scale that connects to an app on your mobile device. The app tells you exactly how much of every ingredient to pour in real time. Of course, if you're looking for a gift for a non-drinker, there's also the Perfect Bake App-Controlled Smart Baking system. Bon appetite!
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Plush dinosaur bouquet
Surprise your loved one with a colorful bouquet of creatures from the Mesozoic era. This plush gift includes six dinosaurs in all, including Tyrannosaurus rex, Triceratops and Apatosaurus. Then, you can get into a lively (but loving) discussion about whether the long-necked sauropods Apatosaurus and Brontosaurus are from the same genus, or whether they are completely different and need a new family tree.
The bouquet can be purchased at ThinkGeek, and costs $50.
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"Star Wars" speaker
Music just sounds better when it's flowing from the face of your favorite "Star Wars" character. And the force is strong with these wireless Bluetooth speakers, which will sync with most mobile devices — including smartphones and tablets — from 30 feet (9 meters) away. Those who have turned to the dark side might like the Darth Vader version of this musical gift, while loyal Rebels will likely prefer the Chewbacca speakers.
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Name a star
Show your geeky partner the depth of your eternal love by naming a star in their honor. The International Star Registry has several gifts for sale, including the $54 "Custom Star Kit," that includes a personalized certificate with the star's name, date and coordinates, as well as a star chart with the named star in red.
Granted, the registry isn't recognized by the International Astronomical Union, the scientific organization that officially names stars, but it's still romantic to go stargazing with your sweetheart and find the pinpoint of light that shares their name.
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Dinosaur rolling pin
Let paleo-beasts sweeten your favorite geek's day with this dinosaur-patterned rolling pin. The laser-printer-engraved rolling pin can be used on dough, clay and even noodles, according to RainbowRollingPins. But if used on pies or cookies, feel free to review the scientific names of the dinosaurs on your delicacies, including a Tyrannosaur, sauropod, Stegosaurus, Triceratops and a Velociraptor.
The rolling pin sells on Etsy for $29.99.
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Higgs boson watch
The Higgs boson is thought to give all other particles mass, and this elusive particle also inspired artists to design a mesmerizing watch. You can 's second hand spin around, representing the Higgs decaying into other bosons, according to the Unemployed Philosophers Guild.
The watch is for sale for $42.95.
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Mathematical pie plates
Once you have your dinosaur-patterned pies, what better way to serve them than on "i eight sum pi" plates? These microwave- and dishwasher-safe plates come printed with a fun equation that has a secret meaning.
A set of two plates at UncommonGoods costs $35.
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"The Martian" Extended Edition
Hold onto your potatoes! Fans of the 2015 hit film "The Martian" can now get even more action from the Red Planet with the extended edition DVD or Blu-ray. The film, starring Matt Damon as an astronaut left stranded on Mars, was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture. This special two-disc set includes a behind-the-scenes look at the science behind the movie, plus more than 10 minutes of footage not shown in theaters.
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Heartbeat silk scarf
Does your loved one make your heart skip a beat? We hope not — that means you could be experiencing premature ventricular contractions! They're no big deal, but the Mayo Clinic recommends that people seek treatment if it happens frequently, as it could be a sign of an underlying health condition.
Either way, this beautiful heartbeat scarf will be a sure sign of your affection, and a great way to brighten your partner's wardrobe.
The silk scarf is for sale on Etsy for $65.
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Need to buy a gift for a coffee drinker who also loves playing with Legos? Well, you're in luck. The Build On Brick coffee mug combines the practicality of a mug with the playfulness of a Lego set. The mug is compatible with most brands of building blocks, but you'll have to bring your own Legos to the breakfast table (blocks aren’t included).
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The amazing tardigrade can survive in the vacuum of space, and it can also decorate a necklace or keychain that your geek will treasure. Pull back the tardigrade's plates to see its internal anatomy, including its digestive, nervous and reproductive systems. Notice its muscles, and be sure to share with anyone who will listen that the tardigrade has been found all over the planet, from ocean trenches to the tips of mountains.
The tardigrade is on sale at Etsy for $24.75.
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