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BLURGH! The ThinkGeek Blog... Grok It!

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Singles' Day

A Bit Of History

Singles' Day is a Chinese Holiday that originated in Nanjing University in 1993. From Chinese, the name translates to "bare sticks holiday." Get it? Ones? Bare sticks? As a holiday, Singles' Day really took hold and grew on the Internet. While Singles' Day originated as Bachelors' Day, it's grown to be fully inclusive and is widely embraced throughout China, and interest in the holiday has been spreading throughout the rest of the world!

Singles' Day is essentially a fun festival that exists as a counterpoint to Valentine's Day. Singles' Day celebrates friendship, and exists as a strong affirmation that people should be happy regardless of their relationship status, which is something Timmy can get behind.

As the holiday has developed, the symbolism of its date and meaning has evolved. According to Wikipedia,

  • "1": The figure of "1" symbolizes an individual, a single person
  • 2x"1": Two individuals, finding each other, and being together on one side of the special date (11.11)
  • 2x(2x"1"): A celebration of 2 (and more) different and separate couples, each comprising two single individuals finding each other on the special date (11.11)

Singles' Day Celebrations

In China, lots of young people spend time with their friends, especially the single ones. People go out together for a night on the town, sing karaoke, and often find new friends due to all the other people celebrating. As Singles' Day's awareness and celebration has grown, the ways in which people have celebrated it have also changed. Some people are using the day to celebrate their soul-mates, saying they are "the only one." And, in what may be the strangest aspect of Singles' Day, lots of people get married .

They also shop. A lot.

Singles'_day_illustration.png

The Single Best Way To Geek Out

Be that as it may, we've just discussed how Singles' Day is all about inclusion. And we want to help you celebrate with the Single Best Way to geek out, which is, of course, picking up some great new loot from us here at ThinkGeek. (Yeah. Okay. We might be a little biased.) But in service of your Singles' Day shopping, we've marked down some of our best products.

Here are a few of our favorites, which honor some single characters from our favorite fandoms.

Ready to start your celebration? Treat yo'self to something special, and remember, in the words of Batmanuel,

"Alone" is a pathetic predicament. "Lone" is an aesthetic choice.

Shop our Singles' Day Sale products now. Whether you're looking for apparel, collectibles, vinyl records, jewelry, plush, statues, housewares, or something else entirely, we've got something to scratch your geeky itch.

Embrace your Singles' Day.
N7 Day - November 7th

Maybe you've been hanging out in a frozen cave on Gellix for the last few years and haven't heard, but N7 Day is a celebration of all things Mass Effect. BioWare celebrated the first N7 Day on November 7, 2012 to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the original Mass Effect game. Since then, BioWare and fans have celebrated the anniversary each year with fan art, cosplay, restrospectives, and amazing loot!

What's N7, And Why Does It Have A Day?

If you've played any of the Mass Effect games, this is all probably very familiar. But if you haven't, (and don't have the hours required to remedy this problem immediately), we'll have you up to speed in no time.

N7 is a designation of the Systems Alliance military, which protects the interests of Earth and all human colonies in Citadel space. This rank shows that its holder graduated from the rigorous Interplanetary Combatives Training program. The "N" indicates special forces, and the "7" is the highest level of completion. N7 designation can only be achieved by trainees who not only survive, but excel in active conflict situations throughout the galaxy. N7 personnel are the best and the brightest of Systems Alliance personnel.

As the first Mass Effect game debuted in North America in November 2007, the 7th day of November was chosen to officially mark the release anniversary--N7 Day had a pretty good ring to it! Please join us in celebrating our favorite N7 (Commander Shepherd, of course), the Ryder twins, Garrus, Peebee, and all things Mass Effect on the tenth anniversary of the original game's launch! (Editor's note: OMG has it been ten years!?)

Loot Fit For A Commander

Mass Effect Geeki Tikis

This year, we're proud to announce our new line of Mass Effect Geeki Tikis in honor of N7 Day. Enjoy your favorite galactic beverage from one of these ceramic tiki mugs. (Emergency induction ports not included.) Pre-order your set now to have them in time for the holidays!

Looking for even more great Mass Effect gear? We've got you covered! Take a look at all of our Mass Effect products and find the one that's perfect for you, or pick up the perfect gift for a Mass Effect fan in your life.

Carve A Spooky Timmy Geek-o-lantern

A Spooky Timmy Geek-o-lantern

Happy almost-Halloween! Here at ThinkGeek World Domination HQ, Halloween is probably our monkeys' collective favorite holiday. In addition to being dog-friendly, our office is also definitely costume-friendly (even Timmy dresses up!), and we take advantage of that each year. If you've been paying close attention over the years, you also know we love Jack-o-lanterns! We often carve some together and share our creations with you online.


History And Lore of Jack-o-lanterns

Of course, we couldn't carve Jack-o-lanterns without geeking out at least just a little bit. Do you know the history of the Jack-o-lantern? It's actually pretty interesting! The tradition of carving Jack-o-lanterns began in 19th century Ireland, and the original medium was a turnip, not a pumpkin. There is a lot of lore around the meaning of the lanterns, and much of it conflicts, but the name Jack-o-lantern is a reference to the unusual lights that flicker over Irish peat bogs, known as the will-o'-the-wisp, or, for the more technically inclined, ignis fatuus.

In Ireland and some parts of the Scottish Highlands, Halloween lines up with the festival of Samhain. It's long been believed that the souls of the dead wander the night at this time of year, and the Jack-o-lanterns people carved were meant to represent the spirits of the dead, or in some cases, to ward off the malicious ones.

Another telling of the origin of the Jack-o-lantern relates to the legend of "Stingy Jack," a man who asked the Devil to have a drink with him, and then tried to skip out on the bill. The legend follows Jack as he tricks and bargains with the devil time and again to keep himself safe throughout his life. Eventually, though, Jack died, and being barred from Heaven and exempt from hell, he roamed the Earth in spectral form with only a burning coal in a carved turnip to light his way. The legend of Stingy Jack is long enough for its own blog post, though, so you should just go read it here.


Carve Your Own

Want to carve your own Geek-o-lantern? Just download this Geek-o-lantern template, print it out, and cut out the black parts. Then, tape the stencil pattern to your pumpkin, trace on the design, and get to cutting! Just remember to be careful - knives are sharp and stuff.

Get yourself a nice, fresh pumpkin, get your tools together, and in no time at all, you'll have a great looking Geek-o-lantern to show off.

The Right Tools Make The Job Easier


Watch Us Carve Our Pumpkin

(Not at actual speed)


Put The Finishing Touches On Your Halloween Shopping

If you're still looking for the perfect Halloween costume or accessory, there's still time! Check out our Halloween apparel or just go ahead and order the perfect outfit for carving your Jack-o-lantern.

10/30 UPDATE: Thanks for hanging out with us! If you missed it (or just want to watch it again), check out the livestream on Twitch, Facebook, or YouTube!

Find us at www.twitch.tv/thinkgeek

Kobolds and goblins and adventure - oh my! All at Twitch.tv/thinkgeek

Spooky scary skeletons, and kobolds, and vampires, and beholders...

ThinkGeek is getting in the Halloween spirit with a Dungeons & Dragons 5e actual-play livestream! Join the adventure at 3 PM ET, Friday October 27th on Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube and you could win some loot of your own!

The Campaign

The harvest moon is rising and Countess Vorinica promises her most spectacular party ever. Guests will be attending from far and wide. The town of Fausthaven has been abuzz for weeks with enigmatic strangers arriving for the event. The ball will be held at the countesses country manor just outside of Fausthaven away from prying eyes and would be party crashers.

The Players

Dungeon Master, David Friant

David Friant is a friend of ThinkGeek and lifelong gamer. He runs Nerdarchy, a channel dedicated to everything involving tabletop roleplaying games. Nerdarchy is a great resource for player tips, DM advice, encounter building... you name it! He'll be DMing this game and will therefore be playing every character not controlled by our players.

Velisar Telurra, Half-Elf Warlock

Born into the noble Elven House of Telurra, Velisar found himself treated well but distanced from his family. This was not due to his half-elven heritage, but instead the actions of his father, a human adventurer of some note who fell to a cursed charm and turned upon his comrades. Among them was Velisar's mother who was killed. 

Long story short, as the years turned, a hint of the curse that befell his father tugged at Velisar until eventually it made contact: the Queen of Air and Darkness, Ruler of the Gloaming Court. He would be hers to direct for 50 years, upon which time he would be released from her cursed grasp.

Armada Von Singhel, Human Fighter

Armada is the latest hunter in a long line of hunters dedicated to ridding the world of monsters. She was trained from birth to track, hunt, and kill the creatures that prey upon mankind. Armada has no patience or leniency for those who fall into the category of monster, seeing the world as only black and white, good and evil, with no shades of gray.

This fighter has made a name for herself as a capable woman with an ability to solve unique problems and is often sought after by nobility of various ranks to help rid their lands of evil creatures plaguing their people. She will use nearly any method in pursuit of her goal, knowledge of arcana, history, even dabbling in magic, if it helps her save the day. Although, usually a crossbow bolt through the heart works well enough.

Harold Howard Copperworth, Bugbear Barbarian

Orphaned by his goblin tribe as a child, Harold was taken in and raised by the members of a chef's guild with more curiosity than common sense. The guild taught the bugbear everything they knew: cooking, conversing, fitting in in a more "civilized" society.  When his mentors thought him ready, they found him employment in the home of a more open-minded noble. Harold was diligent and thoughtful, earning his employer's favor and, eventually, the title of head butler.

But something dark lurks within Harold that he has to fight to control. He has always struggled to suppress an inner rage for as long as he can remember. While Harold won't speak about the incident that got him removed from his previous position, he is on the lookout for a new employer. Harold wishes to redeem himself as the civilized butler he knows he can be, but he can not always contain the animal instincts he has within. 

Fairegoe Il'Linde, Dark Elf (Drow) Bard

Fairegoe is a drow with dreams. He yearned to make a name for himself as a musician on the surface, but quickly found himself shunned from polite elf society because of his appearance. Turned away from the Elven musical academies, Fairegoe was forced to learn his trade by sneaking into bard colleges and theatres to practice in secret. 

To avoid the same rejection he faced in his youth, the drow wears a mask when he performs and will only publically play his music at night. Because of this, Fairegoe has built up a bit of a reputation for being mysterious, while whispered rumors wonder whether or not he is some sort of shade or specter. Now, Fairegoe is in search of a partner equal to his musical prowess. His enchanting voice and haunting melodies lure other bards to his side, but as of yet, no one has been worthy to join him.


Helja Gunnloda Wellsdeep, Gray Dwarf (Duergar) Rogue

Helja was born on the surface and raised by her mother, a duergar exile and a master criminal. She learned the tricks of the trade quickly, picking pockets and cutting purses while her mother served as a distraction. Helja was never satisfied with her performance, no matter the gold earned, and worked to prove herself a better thief than anyone. Her reckless attitude eventually lead to a falling out with her mother. This only served to motivate her further.

Helja often takes advantage of her innate ability to turn invisible, leading her to attempt more daring and foolhardy schemes. She is always looking for the next big score, eager to unleash her roguish reign of terror on unsuspecting towns.

Kelvin Ricard Drollsy III, Fallen Aasimar Wizard

Kelvin Ricard, or "KeeRye," was always an awkward child who liked to play with dead things from an early age. As an adult, not much has changed. Except now, the dead things play with him as well, and he is happy for their companionship. He has been bereft of living friends and family since the untimely death of his family due to a rotting disease that swept the household when Kelvin was 11. KeeRye was the only survivor, and it was months before anyone came to clean up the country estate.

Ever since then, he passes the time studying his mother's books on magic to discover the best ways to bring them all back. He enjoys playing games and having conversations his pet rat/bat Nebbekanezzer (affectionately known as NebNeb) and his favorite housemaid, who both help him as he studies dark secrets within his country estate. Though others may view him as strange and quite mad, KeeRye believes that those who cannot converse freely with the dead are the ones who have a touch of true madness.

Tune In to Win!

So don't forget to join us on Friday October 27th at 3 p.m. on Twitch, Facebook, or YouTube!

And if you're planning your own campaign, gear-up with our latest Dungeons & Dragons accessories!

Drink. Pina colada. Ice cold.

Can you believe it's been 30 years since the Enterprise-D explored the furthest reaches of space? Neither can we! This is a cause for celebration. The brilliant culinary monkeys here at ThinkGeek have devised a few drinks for you Trek fans. Delicious beverages that are so easy to mix that even a Crewman 3rd Class could make it so!

Don't forget the matching drinkware! Star Trek: The Next Generation Geeki Tikis are an excellent addition to any ship's galley.


Picard Punch

  • 4oz Blood Orange Juice
  • 4oz Pineapple Juice
  • 1/2oz Grenadine
  • 2oz Dark Rum
  • 2oz Light Rum
  • 1oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice

Courage of Kahless

  • 1oz Rum
  • 1oz Blue Curacao
  • 2oz Pineapple Juice
  • 1oz Coconut Cream
  • 1 cup Ice

Risa Sunrise

  • Champagne
  • 1/4 cup Blood Orange
  • Chopped strawberries
  • 1 Orange Popsicle 
  • Garnish with Mint

Risa Sunrise (Non-Alcholic)

  • Sparkling Water
  • 1/4 cup Blood Orange
  • Chopped Strawberries
  • 1 Orange Popsicle
  • Garnish with Mint

Choco-Lutus

  • 1/2 cup Cocoa
  • 2 1/4 cup Milk
  • 1 1/2 tbs Corn Starch
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • Choco-Lutus Preparation Tips:
    • Whisk until smooth
    • Bring to a boil (Whisk frequently to prevent scorching)
ThinkGeek Trivia Night

I understood that reference!


Tickets on Sale NOW!

Because what's better then eating a bunch of candy in the company of your fellow geeks?!

*Cue spooky music*

The pumpkins have been spiced. The leaves are crispy. The werewolf in your basement is really getting into the spooky spirit. HALLOWEEN IS UPON US!

Get straight spoopy on Wednesday, October 4th for Geek Trivia Night at Jammin' Java in Vienna, VA.

Keep those Ouija boards close at hand in case you need to call for help, because we're not scared to get obscure with our trivia! From childhood science shows, to video games, to philosophy - no topic is off limits!

Tickets are on sale now at Brown Paper Tickets. There is a limited amount, so if it's anything like the previous Trivia Nights, tickets will sell out FAST. We suggest you start recruiting and forming your team of 6-8 people now! Choose your teammates wisely because we'll ask about anything and we won't go easy on you, even if you ask nicely.

The Details:

  • Geek Trivia Night will be held on Wednesday, October 4th at Jammin' Java in Vienna, VA. The venue serves food and drink (purchased separately) for you to indulge on while participating in the trivia fun.
  • Doors open at 7pm ET, with the festivities running until 10:30pm. There will be 4 rounds of questions, 10 questions per round.
  • Tickets are $15 each and are on sale now; they will be sold at a first come, first serve basis. We recommend teams purchase their tickets together.
  • Due to the nature of the content of this show, and the fact that the host(s) can't be trusted to keep their mouth shut, ThinkGeek is requiring that all attendees be 18+. Thank you for understanding.
  • Teams must be composed of 6-8 people. We will be contacting the ticket purchasers later regarding your team name, members, and leader. If you have less than 6 but still want to play, we can match you up, but you must agree to leave your fate up to the almighty Timmy! There will be time at the beginning of the night for you to meet your new team & form new friendships.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask us in the comments below.

May the Force be ever in your favor, champion! See you on October 4th!

We're at PAX East! Find us at booth #6188.

We're ready to take on PAX West! Find us at Sky 9. Photo by: Kiko Villasenor.

PAX West, here we come!

Come one, come all to our circus of value! Timmy and the ThinkGeek away team are headed to PAX West this weekend in Seattle, WA. We hope to see you there! This is our fifth PAX West - and we're aiming to make it the best one yet. We've got new products, we've got con exclusives, we've got freebies, and we have FREE SHRUGS! Catch the PAX West Away Team at Booth Sky 9 to purchase your favorite TG goodies and hang out with Timmy!

We've got a lot in store for all you con-goers this weekend, including brand new merch, con exclusives, and freebies!


The Official Guide to Stalking ThinkGeek at PAX West 2017

Where to Find Us:

  • For most of the con, you can find us at booth #Sky 9. Along with our newest and most popular items, we'll be carrying some con exclusives as well. Pick 'em up before we run out!

Swag:

  • We've got a TON of awesome new products we'll be debuting at PAX West. Check out our latest legendary loot!
  • ThinkGeek is debuting a new Pinny Arcade pin at West this year! If you're a fan of DND or ordinary things that could be monsters, we think you'll like our latest offering.
  • We have a PAX West exclusive shirt available, only at booth Sky 9! Stop by to see what all the fuss is about.

Freebies:

  • Check back here each morning before the show (or follow us on social) to get each day's quest - then come by the booth to earn yourself a li'l somethin' somethin':
    • Friday: Sign up for our newsletter at booth Sky 9.
    • Saturday: Show a monkey that you follow ThinkGeek on social media.
    • Sunday: Take a selfie at the ThinkGeek booth and share it using #ThinkGeekPAX
    • Monday:Tell a monkey at the booth this password, "What a horrible night to have a curse."

See you all there!

Bring the world of Star Wars to this corner of the galaxy.


Star Wars is bringing your favorite characters to life this Force Friday II with the Star Wars app! We'll have more unlockable characters, amazing Star Wars: The Last Jedi products, and your tried and true Star Wars favorites on sale at 12:01 AM ET on September 1st. In the mean time, scan Rey below for a taste of the #FIndTheForce campaign, and check out our Star Wars goods straight from the cargo hold of the Millenium Falcon.


#FindTheForce

Scan this image with the Star Wars app for a special surprise!

ThinkGeek Trivia Night

I understood that reference!


Tickets on Sale NOW!

Because it's nice to gather with fellow geeks in the chilly embrace of air conditioning.

Hail and well met, my dudes!

You're browsing the internet one summer night from the comfort of your air conditioned apartment outside of DC. One of those nights where you can REALLY tell that you live in the Swamp - the air is sticky and thick, even the mosquitos won't brave it. As you scroll, eyes idly tracking through your feed - WAIT! that's a cute dog gif, okay, continue - you come across a listing that grabs your attention. "ThinkGeek Trivia Night on 8/17/2017!" it reads, your finger halted in its unending scroll. "Yes..." you think to yourself, "yes, that will do just fine." You click through, registering for tickets before they can sell out. Distracted by the allure of a night of air conditioning, delicious beverages, and geekery, you don't notice the creeping Goblin behind you until it's too late. ROLL FOR INITIATIVE!

Want to know what happens next? Join us on Thursday, August 17th for Geek Trivia Night at Jammin' Java in Vienna, VA.

Make sure you roll well for INT, because we're going to Knowledge Check you at every turn! From Star Wars, to DnD, to physics - no trivia topic is off limits!

Tickets are on sale now at Brown Paper Tickets. There is a limited amount, so if it's anything like the previous Trivia Nights, tickets will sell out FAST. We suggest you start recruiting and forming your team of 6-8 people now! Choose your teammates wisely because we'll ask about anything and we won't go easy on you, even if you ask nicely.

The Details:

  • Geek Trivia Night will be held on Thursday, August 17th at Jammin' Java in Vienna, VA. The venue serves food and drink (purchased separately) for you to indulge on while participating in the trivia fun.
  • Doors open at 7pm ET, with the festivities running until 10:30pm. There will be 4 rounds of questions, 10 questions per round.
  • Tickets are $15 each and are on sale now; they will be sold at a first come, first serve basis. We recommend teams purchase their tickets together.
  • Due to the nature of the content of this show, and the fact that the host(s) can't be trusted to keep their mouth shut, ThinkGeek is requiring that all attendees be 18+. Thank you for understanding.
  • Teams must be composed of 6-8 people. We will be contacting the ticket purchasers later regarding your team name, members, and leader. If you have less than 6 but still want to play, we can match you up, but you must agree to leave your fate up to the almighty Timmy! There will be time at the beginning of the night for you to meet your new team & form new friendships.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask us in the comments below.

May the Force be ever in your favor, champion! See you on August 17th!

Some of you may remember that back when we used to sell a lot of caffeinated food products, we had a caffeine counter on the site that looked a little something like this:

Over 967,676,163 milligrams of caffeine served by ThinkGeek to its loyal fans since 1999. Wowzers! (from August 3, 2009)
Imagine what it'd be now! Fond memories of the caffeine counter led us to create a new counter in honor of the upcoming solar eclipse on August 21st: the Eyeballs protected counter, which you'll find on Starstuff. Check in occasionally to see what we're up to. (Note that it's manually updated currently - the coders are super busy - so please be patient with the update monkey.) And don't forget to get your own ISO 12312-2 protection before the solar eclipse, even if you're in the path of totality - Timmy likes your eyeballs!