Sciency Christmas Gifts for the Whole Family

I'd like to call a truce on the War on Christmas. The true meaning of this holiday is, of course, the presents, and pursuant to that I have some suggestions for you in case you are stuck.

Dr Who Presents

The Doctor Who TARDIS Cookie Jar is a must have because is is a Dr. Who Thing, it is a TARDIS and it is for holding Cookies.

This particular cookie jar has light and sound effects. And, if you run out of cookies it is relatively easy for you and your companion to go back in time and get more.

This TARDIS does not come with cookies.

TARDIS stands for Time And Relative Dimension In Space.

Speaking of TARDIS, The Amazing Disappearing TARDIS Mug is a perennial present.

If you gave this to someone last year, consider giving it again. Chances are, by now, someone put theirs in the dish washer and melted off the magic coating that makes the TARDIS disappear into an alternative Time and Space Dimension when hot beverage is poured into it.

No home is complete without a Dalek. I recommend a Dalek alarm clock.

The Underground Toys Doctor Who Dalek Projector Alarm Clock is a particularly fancy model. It projects the time on the ceiling. The alarm itself is, as you would expect, unique. The clock shouts "Exterminate ... Exterminate...."

Just for fun you might consider throwing in a set of Dalek Blue Prints TV Poster.

Finally, The Tenth Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver is a must have for any Dr. Who fan. From the Manufacturer:

Let the Doctor help you get all of your home and office repairs done with this Electronic Sonic Screwdriver! The Doctor's handy-dandy sonic screwdriver is the epitome of multifunctional gizmos. Whether it's driving a screw, picking a lock, or disabling an opponent, this amazing implement seems to exhibit the precise capability required by its owner at the time. Now this marvelous gadget can be yours! The sonic screwdriver measures 8-inches tall x 1-inch wide. This Doctor Who Electronic Sonic Screwdriver Replica features button-activated light and sound effects. It includes a hidden ultraviolet pen and UV light that reveals your secret writing, as well as a spare standard ink nib. Look who's Doctor Who now! Requires 3x "AG13" button-cell batteries, included. The sonic screwdriver is a fictional tool in the British sci-fi television series Doctor Who. Its most common function is to operate virtually any lock, mechanical or electronic, and thus open doors for escape or exploration. It has also been used for repairing equipment, as an offensive weapon, and occasionally even to drive screws. Like the TARDIS, it has become one of the icons of the program and is closely associated with the Doctor.

Space Science Presents

There are myriad space science presents including devices to project stars on your ceiling, and of course, telescopes and such.

Here I just want to point out two interesting choices. First is The Magic School Bus: The Secrets of Space kit.

Starring Ms. Frizzle, kids get to make a night-vision flashlight, design a solar system mobile, a constellation box, and xonstellation cards. This is mostly for younger kids, maybe 3rd through 6th grade.

For older kids and the whole family, there is Monopoly Night Sky:

Can't really go wrong with that. Julia would probably like one of those.

Life Science Presents

For someone who has recently acquired (or is just getting) a microsocpe, consider something like the AmScope 100 Piece Assorted Specimen Collection for Home School Students, Basic Biology Science Glass Prepared Microscope Slides (Set E). This incudes animal and plant tissues, insect parts, etc. all prepared in a cool wooden box. Sure, it is good to make your own slides, but it is also nice to have a set of slides with diverse objects so you know what a nice set of slides looks like. This particular one is normally about $250 but is on sale for way less as I write this.

I've been looking at USB digital microcopes such as the Learning Resources Twist Flexible Digital Microscope. They seem to vary a lot in terms of features but there are several models of digital USB scopes that would be great. You should look through a variety and find one that seems to be made to do what you were thinking you would do with it and then check the reviews to see if the particular one you are looking at is bogus, great, or somewhere in between.

Cameras make the best presents

Just so you know, THIS, or a similar model, is the camera you should get your loved one if you really truly love them. I've not seen THIS ONE in action but it looks really cool and is orange. Both have really nice lenses.

True Geek Presents

If you know someone who messes around with their Linux or even Windows computer a lot, get them a 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive (SSD) along with a cheap conversion kit so they can put the new drive in either their laptop or desktop.

If you know someone who makes podcasts and is currently using a cheap mic like the one that came built into their computer, get them a Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio Microphone (Cardioid) (highly recommended by many) or even the Platinum Edition of the same mic.

Ultimate Expensive Gift for the Apple Lover

Do you know someone who has an iPod Touch and really likes it, but does not have an iPad? Consider the Apple Ipad Min.

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If you know a Dr. Who fan and you plan to buy that person a present, consider the following: Doctor Who: The Complete Specials. This will be a much appreciated addition to anyone's library. A Sonic Screwdriver. Don't leave the Tardis without it! A Dalek Alarm Clock, which wakes you up to "…
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Since Phil has suggestions for holiday telescope shopping, I have to offer some suggestions for microscope shopping. If you really want to get a kid interested in biology, a microscope is a great gift, but I'll give you the price tag right up front: $150 is probably the minimum to get a decent, low…

I've got a dinolite USB microscope and have had great fun with it. In the end it wasn't portable enough and I now get as good or better magnification of subjects using a telephoto lens and doubler

I took the USB microscope out into the desert once on a camping trip and tried walking from bush to bush with a netbook. It was awkward to say the least. But for two years I lived in a rustic cabin where the wildlife came right to my desk and for that it was great. I have a few photos from it tagged here:

I feel a little like the guy who wrote this craigslist ad I flagged for best of... so much fun it was only used once:

By Mike Lewinski (not verified) on 08 Dec 2012 #permalink

Ah, to be consistent you can't say you're calling a truce to the War on Christmas and then say that Christmas is all about the presents - that's precisely the sort of statement that gets the collective goat of the people who complain that there's a war on Christmas.

How about a Dalek cookie jar that goes ape and screams "exterminate!" whenever someone takes the lid off to get a cookie (or to put cookies in for that matter).

By MadScientist (not verified) on 08 Dec 2012 #permalink

Hey Mike thanks. I liked it the most :)

By (not verified) on 17 Dec 2012 #permalink