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April 2012 Archives

Heckling headboard

This would not be awkward at ALL.

Another week, another fresh crop of interesting links from the internet, harvested just for you!

Links from the Twitter, Google+, and Facebook 'verse:

Good morning! Fancy a 1,050-strip bacon burger for breakfast? (Rocket News 24)

OMG! RT @simonpegg: For spoiler hungry types, here's an EXCLUSIVE BEHIND THE SCENES photo from set of STAR TREK 2!!!! (TwitPic)

Here's that life-size 6'10" papercraft Samus you wanted. (Flickr)

When a GLaDOS & a Dalek love each other very much, they make little Aperture Daleks! Awww. (DalekFactor.Tumbr)

Reminder: If you take a Portal turret skydiving, put some anti-gravity boots on it. Oops indeed. (YouTube)

Afternoon Sweded theater: Marvel's The Avengers on a budget. (Mostly SFW; some bleeping.) (YouTube)

Hire us, Valve? Can't help but <3 their official new employee handbook [PDF] (Valve PDF)

And for my next ridiculous yo-yo trick... (YouTube)

Surprise! "Male poses do not generally require a visit to the chiropractor." @jimchines' fantasy book covers, pt II. (Jim C Hines)

In a world... where classic children's games are made into movies with special effects... (TwitPic)

Amazing AT-AT cat house & scratching post. But does it fall over easily? #starwars #catcat (Imgur)

Warning! Your internet membership has expired. Reconfirm your subscription for only $119.99. (ebay)

Children's Party Pro-Tip: If you hire a Batman entertainer, don't choose the Nolan Dark Knight version. (YouTube)

Space. The final frontier. These are the mesmerizing photographs of space probes Cassini & Voyager. (Vimeo)

Robot roll call! This is not at all awkward to have in the bedroom. (Twitpic)

You're going to look just like this Forever Alone statue when you realize it's already sold out. Aw. (ForeverAloneStatue.com)

Massage Cat reminds you it's Friday, so just relax. =^. .^= (YouTube)

Experiment You Should Not Try at Home, #642: Launching 55-gal drums into the air (& then dodging them) (YouTube)

Avengers, assemble (by IKEA) (The Curious Brain)

Wow, Emotionz Pro sounds like a really powerful video effects suite! Or was that the sarcasm filter speaking? (YouTube)

Your moment of mechanical zen, brought to you by Ralph Steiner circa 1930. (YouTube)

And now, 56 episodes of Star Trek TOS playing at the same time! (And yes, that includes audio.) (YouTube)

In case you were wondering, you *probably* don't need to check your email. (Forbes)

And now, Bill Nye the Science Guy dancing to his own theme song. <3 (YouTube)

Mmmm, this Minecraft cake tastes like grass. (Between the Pages)

It's a water bubble in an air bubble wrapped in a water bubble! Astronaut Don Pettit, we want your job. (YouTube)


Signal boost! Here are some links from our Twitter, Google+, and Facebook friends that might be interesting to look at:

FlummoxFriends: @thinkgeek Product suggestion!! (sort of) Wanna help us make/sponsor our cool TV show for geek kids? (Flummox and Friends)

GeekFight: @thinkgeek could you help spread the word about an indie geek based card game? We have a #kickstarter project going. (Kickstarter)

Zombie squirrels = Zsquirrelz. (Kickstarter)

Until next week, Chiiiiildren! /Three Dog

Mutant Jello and Hans

The Mutant Jello meets its creator after a year apart. Hans is wise and takes precautions.

It's been a year.

On April 26, 2011, Hans, our resident mad scientist, came by the social media and t-shirt monkey's office with a bowl of extra strength jello leftover from mocking up the Edible Gummi iPhone Case. As a joke, he plopped this 3x strength Jello out of the bowl and slapped it onto the glass door.

It stayed up there for 112 days.

We watched in horror as the Mutant Jello sagged, grew crusty, then craggy. A semblance of a mouth appeared on its surface. It curled up around the edges and became more loathsome as time went on, but it did not budge. We documented its ominous progress via Twitter to keep a record of its changes. Just in case it succeeded in dominating the world.

It escaped in August. Four months later.

We proceeded to catch the Jello in a net and hang it from the ceiling for observation. In the year since, we have not seen any further evidence of sentience, though the foreboding we feel as it looms above leads us to believe that it is not dormant, but waiting.

As a birthday present to our benevolent overlord, we decided that it was time to free it from its confines, if only for the day. This is what happened.

Mutant Jello Suspended

This has been the Mutant Jello's home since its escape. The lights would make it a cheery little nest, if the Jello didn't loom so menacingly.


It is down!

It is down! Please note the gloves worn in careful precaution.


We remove the restraints.

We carefully remove its restraints. Yes, we were afraid for our lives.


We remove the restraints.

No Timmy! Don't touch it, you don't know what will happen!


Time for your closeup!

A close up of the eldritch horror.


Mutant Jello's Back

Its formerly squishy back has become a calcified and pockmarked landscape.


Aww! You care!

Yes! We remembered!


Timmy returns the Jello

After its outing and several escape attempts, Timmy finally returns the Mutant Jello to its home. We rest safe in the knowledge that it is again restrained.


For more pictures, check out The Mutant Jello birthday flickr set. There are close-ups of its mysterious crags and pockmarks if you feel brave enough to embiggen them. We cannot take any responsibility for madness caused by gazing into the abyss, however. So proceed with caution.

Happy birthday, you loathsome thing! You make our lives...interesting. To say the least.

Mother's Day Gift Guide at ThinkGeek ThinkGeek's GeekMom $1,000 Shopping Spree

Moms. The greatest of all spawn points.

In the game that is life, we have all had a mother. Whether the mother in your life is a geek herself or simply supported your geekiness, she helped shape who you are today--and we'd like to hear her story.

This Mother's Day we're working with GeekMom to award the most deserving mother with a $1000 ThinkGeek Shopping spree and GeekMom prize pack. We need your help finding her.

To enter, write us a short essay explaining how your favorite mother has influenced your life and warmed your heart and submit it on our GeekMom contest page by May 4, 2012.

Mother's Day is May 13, so don't wait to put your words where your heart is!

George Takei at the Social Security Office

Please leave your phasers and tricorders in your shuttle before entering. Thank you.

ThinkGeek HQ is pretty close to the local Social Security office. Close enough for lost strangers to regularly try to blunder into our office by mistake. This means that we also walk by the Social Security Office on a regular basis.

Recently, while on a mission for delicious sandwiches, we happened to glance into their doorway.

A very familiar face was looking back at us.

It seems that George Takei has teamed up with Patty Duke and the Social Security Administration to encourage aging Starfleet officers to Boldly Go [PDF] online to apply for their retirement benefits. This means that there are pictures of our favorite helmsman all over the walls of a very un-geeky place. Of course we needed pictures. Brochures. Leaflets. Everything.

Timmy with his Brochure

Timmy wisely plans for his post-poo flinging years.

Click to download a brochure of your very own.

We were not allowed to geek out.

Our glorious photoshoot plans were thwarted by a stern security guard who saw our cameras and body-blocked us when we tried to enter. However we did manage to grab a brochure [PDF] and snap a few photos of George in the entryway of the office. Like ninjas.

It didn't really matter in the end anyway, because as is usually the case, the best parts of the whole campaign were online. Through some very Takei videos, we learned that applying for retirement online is so easy that Kirk could do it (ha!) and it makes the crankiest klingon smile.

Oh MY.

Kind of makes you want to apply for retirement early, doesn't it?

But wait, there's more!

Not only did this discovery make us realize that George Takei has world domination plans that are similar to our own, but it happened at the most startlingly synchronistic time. You see, today is George Takei's Birthday.

Happy birthday, George!!

Thanks for 75 years worth of awesomeness!

We'll let these guys express our well wishes in song, because if we tried, it would be off tune and slightly awkward.


Theater to bookstore transformation

Theater to bookstore transformation: Complete.

We've been more than a little distracted this week by the arrival of Discovery (more on that later), but we still managed to find a remarkable list of links for you. Go ahead, dive in. You know you want to.

Links from the Twitter, Google+, and Facebook 'verse:

And now for something completely different! A pogoing lamb! (YouTube)

Mind-bending afternoon theater: New trailer to Ridley Scott's Prometheus. Coming in June! (YouTube)

Why I always make two cups of tea. Mind = blown. (Twitpic)

Let's play guess the voice actor! Wait for Zoidberg at ~3:17. (V) (;,,;) (V) woopwoopwoop. (YouTube)

Is your tiny tummy just a little bit hungry? Have an itty bitty teensy weensy snack. (FlavorWire)

The touching love story behind the Simpsons couch, animated by Bill Plympton. <3 (YouTube)

Parkland HS is Millennium Falcon from above. Home of the fightin' Wookiees! (Twitpic)

Soft clouded leopard cub, warm clouded leopard cub, little ball of fur. (YouTube)

One does not simply slice into this Mordor cake. (TwitPic)

Theatre --> bookstore (WhatTheCool)

Why old books smell. (YouTube)

Baboons can learn to recognize words. Timmy's not surprised, but he's biased. (Scientific American)

If Nintendo made children's books: "One coin, two coin, red coin, blue coin" by Dr. Mario. (Loldwell)

Hmm, would the GLaDOS ring make you feel fat? Cores & more paint-your-own Shapeways rings. (Rampaged Reality)

Click link to add drama. (Just in case you've missed it.) (YouTube)

Double dutch dog may actually blow your mind. (YouTube)

D&D connected to devil-worship, suicide, & murder? Ed Bradley investigates on 60 Minutes in 1985. (YouTube)

Sooooo... this counts for the magnet versions, too, right? (Gizmodo)

asjkldk;lasdsdal (That's a quote.) (YouTube)

Can you imagine driving down the highway and spotting this? (Google+)

Any Inspector Spacetime fans in the house? This Danny Pudi short is for you. (Also: pew pew pew!) (YouTube)

We're just going to leave this here and wish your coworkers good luck. (Business Week)

This Captain America birthday cake looks great on the outside, but when you cut it open it reveals an American flag pattern. Happy birthday, JD! (LoveandLotsofSugar)

Props to Oraicia, the student who painted these high school lockers--and props to the school for allowing it! (No word on if it's bigger on the inside.) (Oraicia)

Bleep bloop beep! Not only is this R2-D2 cake amazing, but Stacked Cakes posted a step-by-step tutorial including templates. (Stacked Cakes)


Signal boost! Here are some links from our Twitter, Google+, and Facebook friends that might be interesting to look at:

Epic Mario. (Kickstarter)

My daughter has a 1 in 20 chance to win a college scholarship, plus I can win a huge DonorsChoose giftcard for me and my teacher friends. Would you mind helping out with a vote? Thanks so much! (Kickstarter)

Steampunk kickstarter with Dr. Who Tardis, a crashed zepplin, and kraken arms...not to mention helping red-listed animals find homes... (Kickstarter)

Now. Back to the shuttle.

Apr
17
2012

How to win at haiku

Timmy composes haiku

Timmy puts his haiku skills to the test.

You've been sending us Haiku. Dozens upon dozens of poetic nuggets streaming into our designated haiku inbox, all written with the hope that this haiku will be the one to win a $50 gift certificate. We totally understand. After all, a haiku is relatively simple to write, and if ten minutes wins you $50 it's time well spent.

Most of the time.

You see, we read all of these haiku, so we've seen a lot. There are great, snarky haiku with brilliant twists, sentimental haiku that make us sigh, and groan worthy haiku that make us shake our heads and chuckle.

To help you towards your shiny $50 goal (and to fill our inbox with more great haiku) we'd like to give you a list of the sorts of haiku that have been overdone, so that your hard work won't immediately fall into the non-winnars folder.

1. Haiku about winning the Haiku contest

When you're staring at the screen trying to summon the spirit of inspiration, it's not unusual to be inspired by what you see in front of you, or by the very goal you're trying to reach. However writing a haiku about how great we are and about how you really hope to win, while flattering, isn't usually newsletter worthy.  Unless, of course, you manage to capture the essence of writer's block frustration like Aaron did.

run ThinkGeekHaiku
Segmentation fault (core dumped)
I hate debugging

2. Haiku in binary or 1337

It's probably one of the first things that comes to mind when you see the words techie haiku. "Techie!" you may think, "That means COMPUTER LANGUAGE!".

Sadly, all of the spirit of a haiku is kind of lost when it's run though a binary or 1337-5p34k translator. Also, we know you used that translator. That's cheating. What is awesome is when a bit of brilliant math, science, or code is written into a haiku in context. That's a little more difficult, but the effort is seriously appreciated.

Here's a good math-ku:

Every other one
Is divisible by two
Now is that not odd?

3. Haiku that...aren't haiku.

You rebel! You sent us a bawdy limerick! That's utterly fantastic and we kind of love it, but it's not a haiku. We hate to place limits on your creativity, but it is a haiku contest after all.

There once was a war over current,
by two men who boasted all through it.
"To alternate's best!"
"No direct beats the rest!"
But we use them both now, so screw it.

This limerick is so great, for so many reasons. But it's not a haiku. Sorry Michael!

4. Haiku about everyone's favorite fandoms

This one is a little harder to pin down. It's not that we don't love Doctor Who, Star Wars and Star Trek. We really, REALLY do. However we see a lot of haiku about TARDISes and lightsaber battles. If you're writing about everyone's favorite Doctor, try to delve into some of the more obscure themes, or reflect upon the way this world makes you feel as opposed to the images you see. Haiku were originally written in an attempt to evoke emotion, transporting the reader. There are so many resonant moments in our favorite stories that you can take us back to with just a few words.

Here's a great example:

Take me to the black
I am a leaf on the wind
My Serenity


Final Thoughts on Winning $$$ for Your Brilliant Techie Haiku

1. Give us a title in the subject line of your email. When we're scrolling through a big batch of emailed haiku, it's must easier to remember the brilliant one with the subtle physics joke if the subject line references it.

2. It's okay to send us lots of haiku in one email! Really! It's cool to break them out by subject if you're really on a roll, but we totally don't mind one email with six or seven haiku.

Remember. We love your spicy brains, and the wonderful things that come from them. We like each and every haiku, even the silly, intentionally bad ones. Why? Because they're from you, and because they fuel our creatvity-powered world domination device. So keep sending them in!

We've found so many great videos this week that it's best if you just block out about two hours to marathon them, and make yourself some baconpop to stave off the hungries. Go ahead. Everyone will understand.

Links from the Twitter, Google+, and Facebook 'verse:

Dun dun. Dun dun. DundundunDUNDUNDUN (Guardian)

That didn't take long! Google Glasses parody. (YouTube)

Happy 1st birthday, Nyan Cat. You're just as adorably obnoxious as when you were uploaded 1 year ago today. (YouTube)

Kids, do not try this at home. No, really. Flaming sword fight. (Lightsaber SFX, anyone?) (YouTube)

"And Introducing...", a video essay of famous actors & actresses' 1st appearances on screen. D'awww. (Vimeo)

"People who live in fabric houses should not run with scissors"? These sculptures are incredible. (DesignBoom)

Stressed? Maybe popping 23' of bubble wrap on a hydraulic press would help? Ahhh, that's better. (YouTube)

Spock is not impressed with the Spock is not impressed tumblr. (Tumblr)

Arthur C. Clarke predicts the internet in 1974. Not even a little bit wrong. <3 (YouTube)

Katniss Everdeen Barbie is revealed! Y'know, in case you live in the Capitol & have money for it. (Entertainment Weekly)

Now we know what Facebook sends the police if your profile is subpoenaed. (Spoiler: It's everything.) (The Boston Phoenix)

Your moment of Zen: stack of paper + belt sander = THIS. (Vimeo)

100% of your daily cuteness allowance: Kid built a cardboard arcade & sole customer set up a surprise flash mob. <3 (Vimeo)

Oregon, you lucky snot. 41 Springfields in the US & Matt Groening chose yours. Mystery solved! (The High Definite)

One does not simply rock their body into Mordor. (So sorry; had to share.) (YouTube)

Have sweet, bacony dreams under this pancake quilt and matching bacon rug. Yumzzzzz. (Art of the Quilt)

Apropos of nothing, "Don't Stop Believing" as sung by the movies. (YouTube)

D&D connected to devil-worship, suicide, & murder? Ed Bradley investigates on 60 Minutes in 1985. (YouTube)

Slimer Fingernails? That's kinda awesome. Cheese Nips? Hmmmmmmmmm. (Web Urbanist)

Great behind-the-scenes interview with the The Big Bang Theory propmaster, Scott London, by our friends at NASA Blueshift. (NASA)

How to make 14 pairs of geeky shoes. (Geek Femme)

Marie Curie. More bad-ass than any pop culture female superhero--and actually radioactive to boot. (YouTube)

What'd you do this weekend? 'Cause the Purdue Society of Professional Engineers broke their own world record with a 300-step Rube Goldberg machine. (YouTube)

Signal boost! Here are some links from our Twitter, Google+, and Facebook friends that might be interesting to look at:

We are trying to raise funds so we can fully support the needs of gamers in the Military community.Our company is owned & operated by an Active Duty Service Member who got frustrated with the lack of options to aquire gaming products & supplies. Please help us help them. (IndieGoGo)

Send Captain Picard to Space! (Kickstarter)

Did you watch them all? Good. Now it's time to get up and stretch.

We're still basking in the post April Fool's glow.

Making all of those things was loads of fun, but seeing how many of you we got was even MORE fun. Did you get fooled by any of our April Fool's stuff? Which item really got you good?

Despite that whirlwind, we still have a week's worth of links to share. After all, the internet doesn't stop serving up nuggets of entertainment just because everyone's gone pranky for a day! Enjoy the wonders that we've found on our journeys this week.

Links from the Twitter, Google+, and Facebook 'verse:

Heard of the mathematician Noether, one of the most influential theorists ever? Well. She was awesome. #ladygeeksftw (NY Times)

The scariest sheep-who-must-not-be-named cake you'll see all day. (CakeWrecks)

WAKE UP! (BoingBoing)

Early Caturday theater 1: Cat <3s deer (YouTube)

Early Caturday theater 2: Cat <3s lizard (YouTube)

Early Caturday theater 3: Cat <3s eagle and fox (YouTube)

Some say the world will end in fire, some say in singing robots from the uncanny valley. #science? (YouTube)

Yipes. HTML5 Gendered Advertising Remixer makes toy commercials even more frightening. (Gender Remixer)

Apparently Gandalf longboards on his morning commute and is a total jerk about it. (YouTube)

Ready to dance in your seat? Geek anthem "I'm the One That's Cool" by #geekandsundry. (Some NSFW Lyrics) (YouTube)

Ashton Kutcher to play Steve Jobs in an indie biopic. The resemblance is downright eerie. (Laughing Squid)

Tough day? These Dalek relaxation techniquies will (wait for it) EXTERMINATE your tension. (YouTube)

Best or worst 404 page ever? Make sure your sound is on first! (Fruit.gs)

Is it a cake made of rainbow pegasus unicorns, or rainbow pegasus unicorns made of cake!? #deepthoughts (The MarySue)

Beaker-421, why aren't you at your post? (He was at @emeraldcitycon) (Comics Alliance)

Taken by @RealNichelle at the oval office. Live Long and Prosper! (Twitpic)

Tiny Han Solo & his faithful Chewie are ready to try the Kessel Run. That's @thekarpiuk's Liam! (Twitpic)

Arpeture: Lab Ratt teaser trailer. Look for it in May! (YouTube)

Classic. (Quickmeme)

Cadbury. Creme. Deviled. Eggs. (Serious Eats)

Happy Fish Fingers and Custard Day! Two years ago on April 4th, we met the 11th Doctor as played by Matt Smith. And then he ate fish fingers and custard. (Bakingdom)

Until next week! Stay awesome.

Getting into his work

You may have noticed something odd about the site on Sunday, like some new things showing up on an unexpected schedule. Perhaps you emitted a tiny squeak of glee as you eagerly clicked "Buy Now." Then you remembered the date.

Oh no.

Oh yes.

We gotcha again!

Dry your tears, friends. You know us well by now. We have a history of making some of our seemingly implausible April Fools items a reality. Remember the 8-bit tie? The Tauntaun sleeping bag? Anything is possible.

Take a moment to go vote for your favorite. We'll do our best to conjure impossibilities if we can. Of course, nothing is guaranteed, and some of the things we think up are actually impossible--but not all of them. (Insert evil laugh here.)

Would you like a blooper reel while you wait?

Congratulations! You now have a song in your head.

How about an exclusive Looflirpa 2012 behind the scenes tour?

Please enjoy the images of us in goggles and gasmasks, draped across floors and mixing mysterious substances into tasty faux-meal goop. We do it all for you...and because it's really fun coming up with these ideas and pulling one over on everyone.

All brains are awesome.

Neurodiversity means that we love you for your brains--only not the way zombies love brains.

So we're going a step further than Autism Awareness Month this April to celebrate cranial diversity.

To commemorate our appreciation of what makes you you, autistic or not, we've worked with the Autistic Self Advocacy Network to create our neurodiversity shirt, and 100% of the proceeds from the month of April will go to ASAN. That makes ASAN our $1,000 monthly donation charity for April, though we should exceed the $1,000 threshold.

What makes the Autistic Self Advocacy Network a good partner for this project? Simple. ASAN is a nonprofit organization run by and for Autistic people. ASAN was created to provide support for people on the Autistic spectrum and to provide a genuinely autistic voice in the world, bringing autistic people to the forefront of community conversation about autism.

Learn more about their work from ASAN founder Scott Robertson in his discussion about life on the spectrum:

Thanks for your brains! All variations of them.

Tricorder Contest


We're going to give you the chance to get a taste of the future by letting you enter to win a Starfleet TR-580 Tricorder VII--straight from the bridge of the Enterprise NCC-1701-D! Well. Straight from the bridge set. This Tricorder comes to us via The Prop Store, so  it's not a functioning item, unless you count instantly raising your geek cred a function.

ST:TNG Tricorder prop

This Tricorder was actually used during the filming of of Star Trek: The Next Generation. So it's a little beaten up. By that we mean scuffed up, with taped-on images and some scratches. Think about it, though. Patrick Stewart might have held this Tricorder. LeVar Burton and Wil Wheaton might have, too. That makes the scuffs and the scotch tape special.

We're not done here.

In addition to the Tricorder and its certificate of authenticity, our grand prize winner will also get a $1,000 ThinkGeek Shopping Spree. You have to outfit your away mission crew, after all.

If the technology of the 24th century and a geeky shopping spree is not our thing, do not despair! The runner up will win the tablet-phone of the present: a 16GB Samsung Galaxy Note 4G Android Phone in Carbon Blue. Disclaimer: You'll have to provide your own mobile contract, and subspace communication frequencies will not be available for at least a couple hundred years.

Click the shiny button below for more details and all of the legalese!

Enter now!

UPDATE! This contest has closed and we'll contact our winners soon!

P.S. If you are interested in having a real Tricorder someday, take a look at The Tricorder Project, which is devoted to making science and medical Tricorders actually happen. So exciting!