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!



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



This one is special because it vaguely resembles a penguin.


Big-ass tub of LEGO

Ultimate 405-piece Lego set is ultimate


Noise Hero

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



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



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.


GPX2 Caanoo

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





Samsung Tab

The iPad alternative for fans of Android 2.2 and contracts.


Livescribe Pen

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



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



The classic electronic public irritant.


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.


Snap Circuits

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


Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500

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


Canon S95

A superb point and shoot camera.


Hi-Fructose vol. 2

Pesco's favorite art magazine.


Cheap Chopper

Your pets will hate this.



Just look at it.





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


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.


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.



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.


Tactical Pen

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


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.





Reading on the go.Cool hacks.


VitaClay Electric Cooker

Clay pot inside, instead of nonstick Teflon.


11" MacBook Air

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



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!


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.


The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks