Gifts for science lovers
Are you looking for a gift for a special someone who really digs science? How about a pendant made from a Jurassic fossil, a scarf printed with colorful portraits of cells, or a giant plush ebola microbe?
Live Science has put together a geeky gift guide for the science-loving people in your life.
DIY Lego drones
Build! Fly! Crash! Rebuild!
Learn about programming by building your own flying drone from Lego bricks, and then send it into the air using a Bluetooth-enabled mobile device or tablet and a companion app. The kit contains everything you'll need to build and launch a range of quadcopter designs, which can be controlled via a platform that is open source and customizable. Kits are recommended for ages 14 and up. Prices start at $149.00 for the Flybrix Quad Starter Kit, and kits are available from Flybrix.
Microbes are all around us — some bacteria, fungi and viruses can represent threats to our health, while others live on and inside our bodies and play a vital role in regulating our normal bodily functions. Why not celebrate these amazing microbes with an adorable plushie that magnifies them a million times, and is also extremely huggable? Though soft and fuzzy, the plushies have the shape and general structure of the microbes that they represent — including bird flu, leprosy, ebola and cholera — and each comes with a printed card that includes fun and educational facts.
Geeky knitting books
The delightfully nerdy knitting patterns in these books will make geeky knitters reach for their needles. "Unobtainables: Fake Elements, Real Knits" (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform) presents 25 patterns celebrating fictional chemical elements, such as kryptonite, unobtanium, and carbonite, to name a few. "Knits of Tomorrow: Toys and Accessories for your Retro-Future Needs" (Interweave) compiles fun projects that reference the technology of the future as imagined by science fiction visionaries of the past. And "Doomsday Knits: Projects for the Apocalypse and After" (Cooperative Press) offers an array of projects inspired by post-apocalyptic worlds imagined in books, movies and television.
3D printers typically use inedible plastics, but the PancakeBot turns a cartridge of batter into delicious pancakes, cooked on its nonstick griddle. Choose from hundreds of ready-made shapes, or customize your own pancakes using the free PancakePainter software. An easy-to-use interface lets you create your perfect pancake design, upload it from an SD card, and then watch it take shape. The PancakeBot disassembles for cleaning and storage and costs $299.00.
Apollo cockpit necktie
Space aficionados will be over the moon for these satin microfiber ties that are hand printed with schematic images of the Apollo lunar module control panel, taken from declassified NASA documents in the Apollo Operations Handbook Block II Spacecraft, circa 1969. Ties come in several sizes — standard, narrow, skinny and XL — and in a range of colors. They are available from Cyberoptix and cost $36.00.
Waterproof endoscopic camera
Want to take a closer look at something underwater or around a tight corner? Just whip out this handy, waterproof, 2 megapixel camera attached to a flexible 10-foot (3-meter) cable, and connect to an app on your phone or tablet via WiFi for live viewing. Adjustable LED lights improve visibility in dim conditions, and resolution is up to 1280 x 720.
Ammonite fossil necklace
Paleontology buffs will really dig these fossil ammonite pendants. Ammonites were chambered marine molluscs that first appeared during the Devonian period (around 416 to 358 million years ago), and disappeared from the fossil record around 65 million years ago during the Cretaceous period, likely wiped out by the same extinction event that killed off the non-avian dinosaurs. These ammonite fossil pendants are available from the Etsy shop heysomeday in a range of sizes and with varying amounts of visible detail in their chambers, priced at $21.00 and up.
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 $20.97 on Amazon, measures about 4.5 inches (11.4 centimeters) tall and runs on three AAA batteries (not included).
"Science Comics" books
This charming book series introduces a number of fascinating science topics — such as coral reefs, the history of flight, and the genetics and behavior of dogs — in a highly readable and entertaining comics format, penned by a roster of talented artists and writers. The books retail for $12.99 and can be purchased at a number of outlets. Upcoming titles that are scheduled for release in 2018, such as “Robots and Drones,” “Sharks,” and “Rockets,” are available for pre-order on the publisher’s website.
A neutron walks into a bar and asks the bartender, "How much for a beer?" The bartender smiles and says, "For you, no charge."
Anyone who appreciates chemistry humor will surely have a positive reaction to these chemistry socks, decorated with images of bubbling beakers, atoms and molecules. The socks are 65 percent cotton, 15 percent nylon, 15 percent polyester and 5 percent spandex, and fit women's shoe sizes 5 to 10.