Here are the freebies college football players will get for participating in bowl games this year

There are 40 college football bowl games this season. Sporting News ranked each matchup (picking the Arizona Bowl as the worst), and also took a detailed look at all the freebies players will get for participating.

In addition to items like sunglasses, headphones, and $400 gift cards, some of the bowls will be giving away more exotic gifts. Cowboy hats will be given to players in the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl. Players in the Quick Lane Bowl will each receive a life-sized PhotoSlap decal featuring his own likeness. And players in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl will go on a Bass Pro Shops shopping trip.

You can read the full list here. Just about every bowl responded, except for the Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman. Read the rest

Fare thee well, ThinkGeek

It's the end of a geeky era: After 19 glorious years of flogging movie, comic book and gaming-related swag, ThinkGeek is shuttering its website next month.

From The Verge:

ThinkGeek will officially close down its website and will migrate its operations over to its parent company GameStop’s website instead. In the meantime, the store is holding a 50 percent off “moving sale.”

By way of explanation, a GameStop spokesperson would only provide the following business-speak: The company is “engaging in a strategic business transformation initiative to build the GameStop of the future,” and that as part of that effort “we have made the decision to reorganize our ThinkGeek business by streamlining the operations of our ecommerce platform and transitioning it within our omnichannel platform.”

Apparently, renewing that domain name every year was way outside of GameStop's budget. I suppose that being able to buy the same kit online will do, but it just won't be the same. Back in the day, I bought a number of handheld console emulators from ThinkGeek. It always felt like I was getting away with something special. I can't imagine having that same customer experience by shopping through a corporate behemoth like GameStop.

On the bright side of things, for the time being, over 40 of ThinkGeek's brick-and-mortar shops will remain open across the United States. I mean, you can't shop there at 3am in your underwear like you could with their website, but it's something, I suppose.

Image via Wikipedia Commons & Amazon Read the rest

Parasite playing cards

The lucky attendees at this year's meeting of the American Societe of Parasitologists got a gorgeous deck of parasite-themed playing cards into their conference bags. Read the rest