There are so many retro-themed merch options out there, but I'm tickled blue by Rhayader Computers's mouse mat designs showing BASIC interpreters from classic 8-bit computers. It seems only the C64 and Amstrad CPC are thusly honored, but there's lots of other well-chosen designs to pick from.
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Cartoonist Phil Foglio (previously) writes, "I designed a cool t-shirt!" They're $22 from Offworld Designs.
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After researching dozens of Nicolas Cage-themed pillows, we found that the DoubleUSA Nicolas Cage Rainbow pillow [Amazon] is the best option for most users. Featuring two-sided high-definition printing, a hidden zipper and a contemplative yet intense Nicolas Cage, it offers a whimsical 20x30" dose of hypoallergenic polyester.
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HIGH DEFINITION – The Most Advanced Printing Technology Ensures The Best Definition Image Of The Pillowcase.
ZIPPER – Hidden Zipper Closure At The Side To Keep Pillow From Sliding Out, And For Style, Comfort And Better Fit.
100% Polyester – Hypoallergenic, Long Staple Yarns Woven in a Sateen Weave Make These Pillowcases Incredibly Soft and Luxurious.
This Emergency Meal Transport Box marked "HUMAN ORGAN FOR TRANSPLANT" is surely just convincing enough to scandalize boomers. Even better, though, is pulling a wet slimy liver from a plastic box with a picture of Voltron on it and flapping it about while yelling "Prep for surgery!". [Amazon] Read the rest
There's an unlimited wealth of useless USB gadgetry to be acquired, obviously, but something about the USB half-golfball with one USB port [Amazon] posted to Twitter by @foone (whose epic threads about subjects such as "possibly cursed USB adapters" are easily the best thing on Twitter right now) captures the very essence of the genre. I immediately bought one, as it's the perfect gift for an older boomer-age male relative who has never in their life played golf.
Tell me about your conspicuously pointless, low-effort USB gifts in the comments! No prizes for Cuecats. Read the rest
Organize the week ahead with this handsome People To Kill notebook from Amazon. With 100 pages to accomodate a frenetic schedule, unlined to allow your deranged handwriting to freely wander the page and to provide space for scratchy, disturbing sketches, the A5-size hardbound book features liquid-resistant metallic lettering for a durable murder journal. Read the rest
Behold the Brain Coat, which is not a tinfoil hat but rather a silver-coated nylon skull cap with ear flaps. It's lightweight, breathable, and claims to be effective at shielding the brain from radio waves while remaining comfortable even if worn with other headgear.
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Microwave Shielding Effect: 35 dB at 1-10 GHz
As Easter approaches, my mind naturally goes to pencil erasers, as I'm sure yours does, too. Why didn't anyone think of this before?
A limited edition, bean to bar craft chocolate Easter egg, handmade by the wonderful Pump Street Chocolate in Suffolk.
Each dark milk chocolate egg houses 10 new & vintage erasers. With 150g+ of chocolate, measuring 17cm in length, this egg will satisfy your appetite & your desk.
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Martin Raynsford makes beautiful and intricate wooden puzzles with space-filling fractal curves and is kickstartering a set of four.
The pattern is a single line that crosses all of the two dimensional space without ever repeating. The puzzles follow these simple rules to break the line into multiple pieces that are almost identical but are actually unique. The pieces are so similar in style that once they are placed into the puzzle it is hard to see where the pieces are. The puzzles can be tricky to solve even if you have the solution on hand.
The puzzles are made from a high quality 3mm, 6 Ply, BR Grade, Birch Laser Plywood sheet. It shows the natural look of the wood and will have natural colour variations. Each puzzle is 200x200mm in size, the pieces are 3mm thick and the whole puzzle inside the tray is 6mm thick.
For immediate gratification, you can also hit up his Etsy Store; the Cryptex box (Note that it's for PLANS only, you'll need to cut and make it yourself) looks like a great gift for the smartest egg in your family. Read the rest
Designers Assia Quetin and Catherine Denoyelle created this ingenious sticky note desk accessory inspired by the beloved abstract artist Piet Mondrian. "Monde Riant" is €13.75 from PA Design.
Of course it reminds me of pastry chef Caitlin Freeman's wonderful Mondrian Cake below. (Recipe in Freeman's book Modern Art Desserts.)
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Some unicorns chase; some are chased down. These splendid and totally real unicorn skulls [Amazon] are sourced from troll and ogre fairtrade collectives, are 8.5" long and 10.75" tall, and individually skinned and boiled for an odor- and insect-free presentation.
The horn of the unicorn skull is screwed onto the skull for safe shipping and handling.
Brace yourself with this fossil skull phantom of a unicorn stallion. Display him at your desks, shelves or what have you and he will be a star at any hosting events! This unicorn skull will be a great conversation starter as well as an excellent ice breaker for you and your guests. Some of them will think unicorn did exist!
Don't know what they think they're trying to say with that last line there but it's thirty bucks a head. Read the rest
In the early 20th century, Arthur Earland and Edward Heron-Allen volunteered at what's now called the Natural History Museum, London (NHM). The two men spent their time researching fossils of single-celled organisms with shells, called Foraminifera, cataloging the various species, and creating microscope slides of the specimens. But each year when Christmas came around, they transformed their unique interest and skill into a fantastically fun gift exchange. From Smithsonian:
These Christmas-themed slides, which the two exchanged over their years of collaboration, had personalized greetings spelled out with microfossils (a term for fossils measuring under 1mm in size) that would be visible under a microscope. One from 1912 has Earland’s initials (“AE”), “XMAS,” and the year in an arrangement that measures about 1cm across.
Several examples of their Christmas slides are now in the collections of NHM. The 1912 slide is a part of the museum’s touring exhibition Treasures of the Natural World alongside birds studied by Charles Darwin and an Iguanodon bone described by Richard Owen. More humble than these illustrious objects, the slide is still an incredible work of art and science, with each small fossilized shell carefully selected and delicately attached to the slide using a fine paint brush and Tragacanth gum...
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The Boing Boing Gift Guide has dozens of great ideas for stocking stuffers, brain-hammers, mind-expanders, terrible toys and badass books.
It comes in four easily-digestible parts, this time around: Books, Gadgets, Toys and Stocking Stuffers.
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The best part of this marvelous guide is the "draw the rest of the owl" moment halfway in where you must perform an act of origami with a single hand that must simultaneously hold a corner down—and then are told you must next do two corners simultaneously. That said, I'm going to practice it until I get it, because I hate tape. Frankly, I don't know why we've created a world so dependent in so many ways on thin, easily split sticky tape that desperately wants to coil in on itself. Read the rest
Trumpy Bear [Amazon] is a thing this holiday season: an incredibly expensive teddy bear with a blond wig stapled on and a flag stuffed into a "hidden zipper". Wittgenstein's advice is recommended: "What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence." [via Snopes] Read the rest
As soon as I chanced upon The Art of Point-and-Click Adventure Games [Bitmap Books] today I knew what I wanted for Christmas: 460 pages of full-bleed screenshots from decades of computer gaming, with dozens of feature articles about the best and the more obscure alike.
A visual celebration of one of the most loved genres in gaming history, The Art of Point-and-Click Adventure Games is a sumptuous 460 page, hardback coffee table book packed with the very best pixel art and classic scenes from the most defining games of this genre. It will also contain extensive and exclusive interviews with the key developers, designers and artists behind some of the most beloved games and characters in the history of the medium. The book starts with a foreword by Gary Whitta (PC Gamer magazine/Rogue One: A Star Wars Story).
The book covers titles such as King’s Quest, Myst, Toonstruck, Discworld, Blade Runner, Gabriel Knight, Flight of the Amazon Queen, Simon the Sorcerer and of course other classics, such as The Secret of Monkey Island, The Dig, Maniac Mansion and Full Throttle. All of the most famous and iconic point-and-click adventures are going to be covered, as well as some lesser-known games and home-brew efforts.
Here's an interview with the editor, Sam Dyer.
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What made you focus on a specific genre this time around, as opposed to a particular console or system?
Sam: A book focussing on point-and-click adventure games has been something I’ve wanted to do for a while. I was surprised that not many books existed on the genre and saw an opportunity to do something.