Arduino Kit

Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform for artists, designers and hobbyists. Computer programming skill a big plus.

$45 and up

The Blinkybug Kit

Make Your Own electronic insects!

$14

AeroPress

A very cheap way of making espresso, and while it involves some thermometer fiddling, much easier to use than a traditional steam-driven machine.

$28.90


Sodastream

This one is special because it vaguely resembles a penguin.

$200

Big-ass tub of LEGO

Ultimate 405-piece Lego set is ultimate

$25

Noise Hero

SymetriColour makes tiny noise makers. There are knobs and switches and the results are fantastic.

$80

Minecraft

The game of the year, for PC, Mac and Linux.

$13

Kinect

Sickeningly addictive game peripheral for the XBox 360; hardcore gamers probably should stay away until more sophisticated games are out for it, but the casual/family set will be delighted.

$196

GPX2 Caanoo

Emulates tons of old systems, including odd ones. Update of the Wiz.

$150

iPad

Magical.

$500

Samsung Tab

The iPad alternative for fans of Android 2.2 and contracts.

$600

Livescribe Pen

The LiveScribe pen is the Flying Spaghetti Monster's gift to journalists. And the new model doesn't require proprietary headphones, either.

$170

Kaossilator

Wonderful pocket-size synthesizer: don't forget some mini-speakers as it sadly lacks internal ones.

$109

Stylophone

The classic electronic public irritant.

$20

Pac-Man Moleskine

If you're going to have an expensive notepad, it is essential that you select the one vicariously marketed using a 30 year old video game.

$10

Snap Circuits

For the young, a toe in the water that won't result in electrocution.

$43

Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500

This instant PDF Sheet-Fed Scanner is this year's token practical item.

$420

Canon S95

A superb point and shoot camera.

$370

Hi-Fructose vol. 2

Pesco's favorite art magazine.

$26.37

Cheap Chopper

Your pets will hate this.

$29

Bananagrams

Just look at it.

$15

 

 

Logicomix

This exceptional graphic novel recounts the spiritual odyssey of philosopher Bertrand Russell.

$16

Get High Now

An illustrated, mind-blowing magic carpet ride of more than 175 ways to alter human perception and consciousness without drugs or alcohol.

$11

Under the Poppy

This book made me drunk. Koja’s language is at its poetic best and the epic drama had me digging my nails into my palms.

$16.32

 

Super Hybrid Gear II

A hard-shell pack that appears to contain some kind of Tardis ... Already saved my ass at the Dallas Fort Worth TSA checkpoint, when I nearly dropped my laptop on the floor.

$109

Tactical Pen

The pen is mighter than the sword, but this pen is mightier than your pen. Aso comes in green.

$25

Alan Lomax in Haiti

In 1936, ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax traipsed off to Haiti for four months with his 19-year-old fiancée and a 55-pound recording unit. The results are only now available for anyone to hear.

$118

 

 

Kindle

Reading on the go.Cool hacks.

$140

VitaClay Electric Cooker

Clay pot inside, instead of nonstick Teflon.

$78

11" MacBook Air

Remarkably capable ultraportable laptop: Core2 Duo spanks netbooks but it still has decent battery life. 4GB upgrade a good idea, too.

$980

 

Barebones Shuttle PC

Though this 500W barebones is pricier than most Shuttle boxes, this is the single best way to get gaming power in a shoebox. Don't forget to buy components!

$429.99

Muse Magazine

Sponsored by Smithsonian, children's magazine Muse features articles on space, genetics, rain forests, computers, physics, math, visual arts, earth sciences, and almost everything else in the universe.

$33.95

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

$14.29