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February 2010 Archives

A few weeks ago we launched Operation Guillaume to educate our new singe codeur français in American geekery. We didn't know where to start so we asked you guys to vote on which movies he should see.

Last Friday, we had our first brainwashing screening, and we chose to show "The Trouble with Tribbles," Schoolhouse Rock classics "Conjunction Junction" and "I'm Just a Bill," and The Princess Bride.

Guillaume's mission debriefing follows.

Trouble with the Tribbles*

* [Ed. Yes, he got this wrong--should be "The Trouble with Tribbles"--but it's too cute so we're leaving it.]

Let me start by saying that I'm glad that the clothing style from the 60s is not around anymore. If one day I have to create a galactic federation/republic/empire, I'll want my people to inspire fear. I know I'm disappointing our resident Trekkies but really, fear first. Then comfortable pajamas and mini-skirts.

That said, Star Trek isn't unenjoyable, far from it. This episode was quite similar to an old-style Columbo in that you sort of know what the end result is going to be from the beginning ("50% of a Tribble's metabolism is geared towards reproduction" gives you strong clues), but you don't know how the characters are going to find it out.

Also, it's important to note that what you watch influences what you see. After watching this, I couldn't help but notice people wearing red shirts, after Jacob explained me that the red shirts are pretty much expendable. Fortunately, just as nobody died in Trouble with the Tribbles [Ed. Except for the tribbles!?], my Saturday went without incident, thank you.

Conjunction Junction and I'm Just a Bill

Pretty funny, but I don't think I have the connection to it that most people who watched it when they were kids now have.

I've had the "conjunction function, what's your function" tune in the head for about a day though, so it's working. Next thing you know, I'll be hooked on phonics and lose my accent.

[Ed. Unlikely.]

The Princess Bride

Awesome dialogues! I should have watched this movie a long time ago!

My preferred quotes are probably:

"My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

"I do not think it means what you think it means."

"Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line."

Also, it certainly improves both my geekness and my ability to work at ThinkGeek (they go hand in hand, don't they?):

         Guillaume: I refactored 3 librairies yesterday.
         Jacob: INCONCEIVABLE!
         Guillaume: [blank stare]

         Guillaume: I refactored 3 librairies yesterday.
         Jacob: INCONCEIVABLE!
         Guillaume: I do not think it means what you think it means.

So, what will we watch next? Guillaume would like to see Office Space because we quote it so often, though Star Wars (but which, and in what order?) and Back to the Future figured higher in our poll.

What would you foist next upon our test subject?

As you may have heard, it snowed a little bit here in Virginia last week. And before you say, "Oh, those silly Southerners! Four feet of snow is just a sign of spring!" we'd like you hear this true story of a local area man's brush with the snowpocalypse.

Billy was snowed in at home and, like most of us, was passing the time in front of his computer. Yetis are naturally frightened of microprocessors so this was a logical choice.

After updating his Facebook status with details on his dwindling pantry (canned beans, tacbac, and pickle juice) and tweeting "This sucks. #snomg" at least three times, Billy leaned back in his chair to grab his V-Cube--a 7x7x7 cube of Rubiksian frustration--to give it another shot.

Just as he leaned back and reached, a tree fell through his house and crushed his desk and computer. The tree missed him by two feet.

Was the internet punishing Billy for complaining about the snow all week? Did the V-Cube save Billy's life so he'd have a chance at solving it? Or will Billy meet his grisly end after solving the V-Cube and it no longer needs him to fulfill its mission?

Good luck, Billy. And don't bring that V-Cube anywhere near ThinkGeek HQ.

Actual snowpocalypse photograph

Actual photograph moments after the tree attack. Now what will keep the Yetis away?

Students from Ms. M's Chicago class need netbooks

The Geek<3 results are in!

Here are the DonorsChoose.org classrooms you guys voted for that we've just funded with a $2,000 total donation:

1. Laptops for Every Student! geeklings who need laptops
2. Be A Ray of Sunshine Round 2 geeklings who need calculators
3. Help Me Capture My Projects on Paper! geeklings who need a laser printer
4. What is a Candy Bar? geeklings who need an LCD projector
5. Mini Computers for Writing and Research geeklings who need netbooks (we were able to partially help fund this classroom)

Usually, the teachers will send updates on their classroom's projects after they've met their donation goals, and we'll share whatever stories or pictures we receive. (Here's some super cuteness from last year.)

And now for the winning cupids

This isn't why you voted, right? Right. But nonetheless, here are our random winning voters:

@jamesfish wins a Tauntaun Sleeping Bag + 1 $100 gift certificate, and @Susurrate, @cookingchemist, @grimreepr33, @The_Doombringer each win a $100 gift certificate. If you're one of the winners, we'll contact you on Twitter shortly. If you're not one of the winners, you are now free to harass them.

Thanks again for all your help spreading the geek<3, and have an as-wonderful-as-can-be-expected Valentine's Day this weekend!

PS: We made you a valentine. XOXO, Timmy

Once again the ThinkGeek robo-cupid monkeytrons are stringing their Nerf bows with technology. And once again, we need your help targeting geeklings from DonorsChoose.org who need fancy new learnin' gizmos in their classrooms.

You may recall that last year we donated $500 to the top-voted classrooms; this year we're quadrupling our donation to $2,000, and your vote will enter you into a drawing to win one of five $100 gift certificates! UPDATE: We're including a Tauntaun sleeping bag as a random prize!

How to vote/enter/play robo-cupid with us:

  1. Go to DonorsChoose.org and find a classroom you think needs some geek <3ing. Make a note of the classroom id. For example, if the classroom's url is
    the ID is #326857.
  2. Tweet to @thinkgeek (that's us!) the ID number being sure to include the tag #geek<3 somewhere in your tweet so we'll count it as a vote. If you don't include the #geek<3 tag, we might miss it and you won't be entered to win.
  3. Vote by 6pm EST on Friday, February 12! Votes after that will go poof into the great nothingness, though we're sure you meant well.

Thank you, geeky cupids! We've received 450+ votes so far and the current classroom leaders are:
1. Laptops for Every Student! whose geeklings need laptops
2. Be A Ray of Sunshine Round 2 whose geeklings need calculators
3. Help Me Capture My Projects on Paper! whose geeklings need a laser printer
4. What is a Candy Bar? whose geeklings need an LCD projector
5. Mini Computers for Writing and Research whose geeklings need netbooks

At 6pm EST we'll tally up the votes for each classroom and start donating to each top-ranking class until we exhaust our $2,000 donation budget. Shortly thereafter we'll contact our 5 gift certificate winners and post an update here on our blog. (Of course we'll tweet updates all day, too.)

Timmy is standing by to take your votes and is happy to donate his face to the cause. Feel free to yoink his Twitter icon (to the right) in honor of our Geek<3 project.

Good luck, robo-cupids!

In the tradition of sharing our interesting customer service stories with you, dear reader, we have unearthed another gem we hope you'll enjoy.

Please note that we've corrected the letter with some punctuation to help clarify the situation.

right, your friend, uh huh

Here's the transcript in case you have trouble with the text:

Dear ThinkGeek Co.
I became a customer of your products for a short time, thru a magazine ad, which I purchase (2) two GB video watches. One for a friend and the other for me, however I had to return my watch for a refund, because, I simply could not load the watch with video! The watch was very much to my liking and I wanted to keep it, but I could not put any video off my computer on it. So I requesting to your company if you can send me an easy to understand step by step guide on how to load the watch with video. I've tried to load some free porn downloads as a gag gift for a friend, but was not able to do so, even using the software that came with the watch. If you company could provide me with the simplest instruction for idiots such as myself. It would please me to purchase another watch (this time be able to load it) for myself & spread the word with friends and family about your company products and services. Thank you in kindest regards I remain..

Good times.