Buying gifts is generally an annoying process. In terms of cost, effort and effect, you figure an envelope of cash is usually the way to go.

The following is a list of sorts. These aren’t gifts for Mom and Dad (though maybe that’s because my own mother goes to pieces if I buy her a picture frame and my father is content with a “hip” album). They’re weird and geeky. Forget what you think you know of technogeek Web culture. There are blogs and blogs listing the most out-there inventions and products, so even if nothing on this list makes it next to your menorah (or under your Christmas tree), perhaps at the least you’ll appreciate the geeks out there blogging about even weirder people building replicas of Halo weaponry and steampunk-style CPU towers. Enjoy.

Lifestyle designer Charlie and Marie puts a new spin on a gift idea as painfully banal as the necktie: the coffee mug. Their $25 version is all black with “OFF” written in white letters. Pour in some hot java, though, and the pigment reacts, changing to a white background with “ON” in black letters. Revo. Lutionary.

Nigel’s Eco Store has a couple of so-geeky-it’s-lovable (sort of) Christmas ornaments. A CD is carved into the likeness of a Christmas tree, circuit boards into stars (no Davidian ones, though) and bells. They’re about six bucks, and while not necessarily something to wrap up, they’ll give your tree a little kick.

Gobaz goes for broke with its Orgasmo Clock. No more NPR or blaring alarms. No siree, now you can wake to a female orgasm every day. (Unfortunately for fairmindedness, there’s no male equivalent.) The amount of jokes this product presents is endless: “Here you go, Uncle, a nostalgia trip to the ’60s”; “Hey bud, this is actually for your girlfriend. She was complaining that it was getting harder to convince you . “; and, of course, “This is for you, best friend in the world. I wanted to get you something no one else could give you.” It’s all yours for $25.

The scent of spirituality? Yes. Go to and see for yourself. Pope Pius IX (1792-1878), the man who formalized papal infallibility (thank you, Wikipedia), had his own fragrance. According to the product site, they “obtained this formula from descendants of the commander of his Papal Guard and lifelong friend, General Charles Charette. We have followed this complex, exclusive formula meticulously, using the same essential oils that his perfumers used 150 years ago.” There you have it. Eat your heart out, Armani.

Sally forth, techie wannabes. A brave new world awaits you.

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