Good news everyone! We’ve made it through 91.7(ish)%* of the year. Huzzah! It’s also getting to be that time of year when folks ceremoniously fling gift things at each other. So, here are some neat things I think you might find nifty and possibly want to fling at people**.
Do you like funny things? Do you like listening to a funny person say funny things and then laugh? Do your friends and family also like such hilarious things? Then I highly recommend the amusing amusement of master comedian Joseph Scrimshaw. He has a book and comedy albums and other fun things. He even made a very entertaining list of all these things for your convenience because he is also a super nice guy.
If you know anyone that enjoys reading–especially science fiction/fantasy and general sciency things–here are my recommendations from the books I read this year.
Ancillary Justice and Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie are excellent books which are sort of hard to explain. If you know someone who likes hard science fiction these are great. These will become the next sci-fi classics.
What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe takes the crazy questions submitted to Randall over the years and attempts to answer them in a way only he can do; thoroughly amusing yet completely scientifically accurate.
Capturing the Light: The Birth of Photography, a True Story of Genius and Rivalry by Roger Watson and Helen Rappaporte is a great story about the early history of photography and the various inventors.
Lock In by John Scalzi is the best in futuristic pandemic true crime novels! It’s sort of like if Castle took place in a world where a significant portion of the population runs around in robot avatars and/or virtual constructs because their bodies are paralyzed as the result of a nasty plague. In short, yet another great story from Scalzi.
Or perhaps you are looking for some nice musical music for your friends’ and family’s musicless earholes. Here are some noteworthy*** things for them to listen to.
The Doubleclicks – Dimetrodon album is full of earwormy goodness including, but not limited to, songs about cats, dogs, dimetrodons, and burritos.
Woob – Ambient Disaster Movie is one of my go-to albums for awesome non-distracting ambient tunes.
While generally my opinion of auto-tuning is “meh” at best, Melodysheep – Symphony of Science (Collectors Edition) puts the utterances of scientists such as Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Brian Cox to music. I’ve been listening to this non-stop for a month.
Pomplamoose – Season Two is so much fun. SO. MUCH. FUN.
And finally, other random stuff that I’ve seen and/or enjoyed.
Know anyone who likes wearing shiny things? If so, then I recommend these geeky beaded jewelry including light saber and DNA necklaces by Emily Watson. Perhaps you know someone in need of a new bag of holding, in that case there are these super adorable, useful, and bigger on the inside, cephalopod (and other adorable critter themed) bags by Namu. Did you know you can make a custom Muppet? It’s true! Or maybe you know someone who likes fancy tea. Some of my most favorite tea (and the fanciest) is from Palais des Thés. I recommend the N25 Holiday teas and Fleur de Geisha, but they are all so very good.
That’s it for me, what about you? What things did you enjoy this year?
* Your time-stamp may vary.
** Please do not fling at people. Unless, you know, the recipient of flung object is expecting something being flung at them. Then it’s cool. Probably.