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Science Gifts

Ingenious Gadgets: Guess the Obscure Purpose of Over 100 Eccentric Contraptions
Maurice Collins, Ian Kearey

Grab yourself a copy of this quirky little volume and you and your friends can spend hours trying to guess at the purpose of 100 of the most bizarre inventions ever conceived. Ingenious Gadgets is a captivating and humorous testament to human ingenuity and imagination. I do have one question though; just why didn't the electric comb ever take off?

Digital Blue: QX3 Microscope

Want a closer look at life, warts and all? Then just whack a specimen under this easy to use USB powered microscope and zoom in and out to your heart's content. You can even manipulate captured images or time-lapse movies of your specimens on a PC. Who knows, you could be the first person to identify a new strain of avian flu!

Earth-Moon Model

Play... ahem, God, and piece together this fantastic Earth Moon Model Making Kit, complete with a fully orbiting moon and paints to create relief surfaces. The kit even comes with suggestions on how to use a light source to mimic lunar and solar eclipses, moon phases, and other celestial lightshows. Let there be light!

Vice Versa Balls

These seemingly humble colored rubber balls are sure to perplex your friends on Christmas day (especially if they've had a bit too much eggnog). One ball is made from natural, bouncy rubber, while the other is made from butyl rubber, which doesn't bounce at all at room temperature. But put both balls in the freezer and watch how these properties become miraculously reversed. The kit also allows you to fashion your own pink and green balls from crystals and mold... say what?

John N. Hansen Hoberman Sphere Glow

No explanations needed here; the John N. Hansen Hoberman Sphere Glow is an oldie but a goodie. The intricate expanding and contracting movement of this... er, device is made even more mesmerizing by a glowing center. Model expands to 30", and is suitable for all ages.

Oxford Dilemma Trivia Game

See how you rate against those toffee-nosed Oxford intellectuals in this fascinating trivia game. Thrown into the cerebral milieu are 400 question cards, 4 category boxes, 3 probability cubes (that's dice to you and me), student loans, and some filthy lucre thrown in for good measure. Oxford Dilemma is so cunning that you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel!

Solar System/Periodic Table Shower Curtain

Let's face it; showering can get mighty tedious. If only there were something that we could do to keep our minds active while waiting for the conditioner to work. Hey, what about these stimulating science shower curtains, from SMART? Choose from a variety of colorful, vibrant and tasteful SMART shower curtains, including the Periodic table and the Solar System. Sure, you might know what two hydrogen atoms and a single oxygen atom make, but do you know each element's atomic mass? All curtains are made from 100% EVA, and at 71" x 71" they will fit any terrestrial shower and bath recess.

Einstein Bicycle - Unisex Short-sleeve T-shirt

Who says that science is cold and unfeeling? Convey one of Einstein's more reflective moments to the world by wearing this stylish Atlas T, which reads: "The Most Beautiful Thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science." If that doesn't inspire you, then the fact that Einstein is riding a bicycle in space should. Made from pre-shrunk cotton, and available in all sizes (if you're quick!).

Obey gravity, It's the law!

There is a movement afoot proposing that gravity doesn't exist. Sort out this misinformed rabble and set things straight by slipping on this very cool Gravity Police t-shirt. Made from 100 percent cotton, this t-shirt, with its stylish burnt orange and white design set against its dusk blue background, will have you falling over yourself to get one.

D-Link i2Eye DVC-1000 10/100TX Broadband VideoPhone

Everyone in the world should have a D-Link DVC-1000 VideoPhone, so that telemarketers can see as well as hear how angry you are at them for disrupting your dinner. All that is required to hook up one of these nifty little machines is a broadband connection, a television and some relatives that you actually want to contact. You don't even need a PC! Just follow the easy to follow Setup Wizard and hey-presto; you'll have a high-speed high-quality videophone at your disposal.

Oregon Scientific PSM06A-Y Full Weather Station

Weather affects all of our lives, so what could possibly be more important than predicting this fickle force of nature? Hold that thought for a moment while you consider this weather station's state-of-the-art technology housed in Philippe Starck's killer design. The Oregon Scientific's sharp LCD digital readout displays indoor and outdoor temperatures, 24-hour barometric pressure forecasts, humidity, and moon phases. This impressive device also automatically sets itself to the official US atomic clock, is accurate to one millionth of a second, and the time can even be projected onto a nearby wall. Most importantly, it can do all this and more while looking chic.

Sharper Image "Now You Can Find It!" Wireless RF Electronic Locator

If you're one of those people who are always misplacing remote controls, keys, and other small and important items, then the Wireless RF Electronic is for you. The system is so brain-dead-simple even a child could use it. If you lose an item, just push the corresponding color-coded button on the mounted main control and a signal will sound. Is there no end to the usefulness of wireless technology?

iPod T-shirt for On-the-Go Security

With all of the digital items hanging off of our persons these days we really need more appendages. But while we're waiting for evolution to sort out that little adaptation, you can always fall back on a handy and secure BlackCoat-T. The t-shirt is comprised of two secreted receptacles strategically joined by a single passageway, where you can safely transport your precious iPod. Just throw on a shirt, blouse, or gorilla suit over the t-shirt, and nobody will be any the wiser.

Mathmos Aduki

Om... watch as this Mathmos Aduki mood light peacefully transitions through a spectrum of glorious colors. And if a particular color just happens to take your fancy one night, all you have to do is flick a concealed silicone switch and bask in the atmos of your favorite color. Beautiful. The light's stylish base is fashioned from polished zinc alloy, which has class written all over it (not literally). The Aduki can be charged and used to create the perfect outdoor setting for up to 6 hours. The light gets its name from Chinese and Japanese ceremonial dishes, but just remember that seppuku could ruin the mood.

Brain Age

If you sometimes forget the reason why you entered a particular room you might need the aid of Nintendo's Brain Age. Everyone acknowledges that it's important to keep exercising to stay physically fit, so why would it be any different for your brain? The first thing that the Brain Age does is run you through your paces to determine your actual brain age (it's best to be seated while receiving these results). Once you get over that bad news, you can choose from a variety of specially designed, neuroscientifically inspired tests that can really give that mental muscle a good workout. As you draw pictures, solve math problems, log statistics, play Sudoku, and read classic literature, among other brain-stimulating exercises, you can really feel the gray matter expanding. Einstein never had it so good.

Fuel Cell Car and Experiment Kit

Here's one for all those budding environmentalists looking to wean us off of our fossil fuel dependency. This fantastic kit allows you to assemble and experiment with a model car that runs on water! Welcome to the 21st century.

LEGO Mindstorms Robotic Invention 2.0

Forget everything that you know about Lego, because this 718-piece LEGO Mindstorms Robotic Invention System allows you to assemble robots more articulated than Oscar Wilde. The LEGO robotics system can be programmed from a PC to perform up to 10 tasks simultaneously, travel complex floor plans, and negotiate obstacles. The infrared programming system is highly responsive and intuitive, and is sure to terrorize pets and small children across the nation. And if you grow tired of your robot henchman you can always refer to the step-by-step plans supplied with the kit that show you how to construct other different robots.

Ultimate Power Rocket

This rocket and launch pad really look the part, with performance to match. As rocket engineer, you have to transform citric acid crystals and water into hydrogen fuel, power up your launch pad, and wait for mission control to begin countdown. Then stand back and watch as your rocket blasts off 200 feet into the sky. Don't worry about your rocket's potentially devastating Scud-like descent back to Earth, as the package also comes with a dual-blade helicopter recovery system. Comes in a variety of colors for style conscious rocket men and women.

Spider III Robot

Not only does the SPIDER III look cool and menacing, it can navigate its way around in the dark like a real spider. Ergh! Packed full of many interesting features, the SPIDER III emits light sensor rays and electric pulses to steer itself clear of potential danger.

Celestron Powerseeker 60EQ Telescope

Make sure that you get an XXL Christmas stocking this year, so that Santa can drop off your Celestron Powerseeker. A PowerSeeker is the perfect telescope for new astronomers, as it's packed full of features, great value for money, and has exceptional viewing quality and power. The PowerSeeker range comes with a choice of refractor (unobstructed view, high contrast and good definition), reflector (larger aperture and greater light gathering power), equatorial, or altazimuth mount designs. With so much choice and viewing power at your disposal, who knows what you'll see out there!

Hitec 77003 Robonova I Humanoid Robot Kit

This is it, this is the one; this is the ultimate robot package! You'll never be short of friends if you have one of these mesmerizing bots in your possession. It can walk, run, do flips, cartwheel, dance, and once tweaked to perfection can perform in elite robot comps. Enjoy the satisfaction of building your robot from scratch, or say hello to your pre-built, ready-to-walk robot buddy ($1,199) straight out of the box. Robot hobbyists and students of robotics could piece together and program Robonova within a relatively short space of time, while novices may take... ahem, a tad longer. Once built, however, novices should still be able to quickly learn how to get Robonova to execute some basic programming directives. Instruction manual, servos, accessory modules and software come included. Just don't mix up your Robonova instructions with your Ikea manuals on Christmas day.

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