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December 4,2012- RainyDayGiftGuide:Science...

Finding a gift for a science geek can be difficult. Not many NSGs (Non-Science Geeks) know what the science-minded really want. As with previous years, the RainyDayScience folks are here to help! Just remember that science geeks have inquiring minds. They want to explore and discover. Tools, books, and activities which assist in the quest for knowledge will always be appreciated.

Two popular frontiers with lots of potentials for exploration and discoveries are outer and inner space. While a telescope is the obvious choice for exploring outer space, something like the Vixen Polarie StarTracker (FirstLook, Setup, accessories) can offer an even more rewarding evening under the stars. This pocket-size device will give the owner the ability to capture the night sky in ways previously available only to those with expensive and cumbersome equipment.

For those interested in the exploration of inner space, we suggest NeuroSky's Mobile MindWave. This headset is not some gimmicky new-age gadget, but a true-to-life EEG detector (FirstLook, FirstUse). We are not the only ones fascinated by the potential of this gadget. There are projects popping up exploring the various potential of integrating brainwaves to assist with performing tasks (ex: RC copter control). Of course, all of this is at the VERY EARLY stages, but that is precisely what makes it so exciting to a science geek!!!

Tracking stars and scanning brain waves are uber geeky and definitely cool, but low-tech geek-gear can also be a lot of fun as well. Consider the simple magnifier. This piece of tech has been around for a few hundred years, yet is as useful today as when it was first invented.

The hands-free magnifier is helpful when you need to do more than just look, and the clip-on ones are perfect for glasses-wearers. However, the best magnifier gift has to be the $5 accessory which converts any iPhone into a 60x digital microscope. It is awesome enough to make one's head explode!

If exploding their heads sound too messy, perhaps expanding their minds with one of the following books would be a better alternative:

For those looking for hardcore quality science-related items such as astro stuff like a celestial globe, rock collections, etc., the best source is American Educational Products (AMEP). They are set up to sell to science educators rather than to the individual, but that is precisely why we find their offerings fascinating. It is a toy store for geeks, but without the consumer-oriented marketing hype.

Our favorite item from AMEP is definitely the celestial globe (FirstLook, Setup). Not only does it work, it is probably the coolest geek gadget/desk accessory available on the planet. Fans of the show "The Big Bang Theory" will know that Sheldon and Leonard have one on the shelf behind the couch in their living room.

If the above suggestions sound interesting, then follow the links below to the appropriate Amazon merchant:

While a diamond may be a "best friend" to some and getting a lump of coal is probably not the dream gift for most, rocks and minerals can be great finds under the tree for many (no, really). We were VERY excited to discover that AMEP has extensive rock and mineral collections, perfect for the geology geek on your list! The collections are grouped by various criteria. Here are a few which we found interesting:

We know that these ideas and suggestions are not typical, but isn't that why you are here?

What's on tap for tomorrow? Well, we have put together an exciting collection of lenses and photo gear for the RainyDayPhotographers on your gift list. [Permalink] - RainyDayGiftGuide: Science

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