It’s that time of year again, the shops are crowded, Lego Harry Potter Castles have sold out and the general population have divided themselves into the painfully organised and the blasé-until-Christmas-Eve-types. Here’s my top science related picks:
1. Science cannot be done without tea and Firebox has a great selection of mugs including the Periodic Table mug (£5.99), My Cuppa (£8.99, shown above), a Michael Fish weather-changing mug (£9.99) and mugs mimicking old Crayola crayons (£5.99). www.firebox.com
2. Following nicely on from all those tea and biscuits at one’s desk Firefox also supplies Cyberclean, a Silly Putty-esque product that really does clean out keyboards, mobiles and other hard-to-reach items. I can vouch for this one! (£6.99)
3. Books are always a good gift and there’s a great selection out there. Try the Science Museum webshop for inspiration or take your pick from the list below. All are available from www.amazon.co.uk as well as plenty of other bookshops.
– The Armchair Naturalist – how to be good at nature without really trying, by Johnson P. Johnson. My failsafe no-effort wildlife identification guide.
– Mortal Coil: a short history of living longer, by David Boyd Hancock. Aging is universal, and this has great reviews as a good overview of the topic from a scientific perspective.
– The Cloudspotter’s Guide, by Gavin Pretor-Pinney. I take no responsibility for bruises caused by no longer looking where you’re going once you start cloud spotting.
– Why Balloons Rise and Applies Fall: The Law’s That Make the World Work, by Jeff Stewart. The pop-science book for 2010.
4. More reading! For those who like to keep up to date with science in general a New Scientist subscription at £137 per year is available from www.newscientist.com
5. Londoners, or frequent visitors, may enjoy annual membership to the Natural History Museum. £61 gets you free entry to exhibits, a quarterly magazine, 10% shop discount and many other benefits. Visit www.nhmshop.co.uk
6. For sheer cuteness the American rock band ‘We Are Scientists’ makes branded merchandise such as t-shirts (from £18), mugs, badges and tote bags (from £8) which are available from www.wearescientists.com/store
7. And finally, for further ways to wear your heart on your sleeve, or in fact all over your t-shirt, visit www.threadless.com. T-shirts from $5 with 100s of designs ranging from cute pictures to social statements and the downright weird. A favourite amongst the UEA ENV department there’s barely a day when I don’t see someone in a Threadless tee.
None of the images in this post are mine, they have all been taken from the websites listed above.