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May 2010 Archives

Marie CurieAda Lovelace

We're not gonna lie: we have some outspoken, intelligent, and sometimes intimidatingly geeky women here at ThinkGeek HQ.

That might have had something to do with our recently-launched series of Heroines t-shirts, starting with Ada Lovelace (who invented computer programming) and Marie Curie (who glowed in the dark).

We do what we must because we can.

Apparently other geeky girls were delighted with them too--and, even better, boys as well! We should've known. So we're currently working on printing them up for the dudes who would prefer to not wear babydoll t-shirts. Thanks for your patience (and restraint), guys.

And because there appears to be such a need--nay, a demand--for historical geek heroines on your torsos, this series will continue, and each time we launch a new shirt we'll give $1 per sale to charity for the first month. (Right now we're giving to Girl Effect. Check 'em out; they do good work.)

All this means we need more ideas for future Heroines t-shirts, and we'd like to hear from you so we don't miss any historical girl geeks.

UPDATE 8/2 3:20pm: Curie and Lovelace for boys exist! And we've added Mary Shelley to the roster as of today. We'll have dudes styles in soon, too.

We're excited about this series and hope we can keep it going for a long time, so thanks for your suggestions!

Please put something on this monkey.

Timmy's taking a handful of lucky ThinkGeek monkeys to San Diego Comic-Con at the end of July.

As you may know, Timmy has a few ensembles--a Jayne hat knitted by @Rumielf, a NASA flight suit donated by @NASAblueshift, his black t-shirt--but he's not ready for the extravaganza of costumery they call Comic Con.

He needs more kick-ass outfits to wear, and we're kinda hoping you'd like to pitch in to his con trousseau. We're specifically looking for costumes like:

Jedi (robe and saber), Stormtrooper, or Vader
Star trek red shirt, Tribble
Arthur Dent in his pajamas (or Zaphod?)
Zombie, Pirate, or Ninja
Killer rabbit
Beholder, Megaman, Mario, Link, Sonic, Donkey kong (including barrel), Katamari
Naruto, Domo, TRON suit, Cloud (FF7), Kratos
Portal jumpsuit (with companion cube)
Facehugger (suit, or mini one for Timmy)
Vork, Sheldon, Hurley, or Smokemonster

Here are his measurements so you can see what we're talking about, scale-wise:

Height: 8"; Chest (all the way around): 9.5"; Neck (all the way around): 8"; Arm (shoulder to end of hand): 3.5"; Inseam: 2"; Head (where a hat would fit): 8"

So if you've got mad sewing/knitting/crocheting/modding/replicator skills, and you'd like your costume to be worn by Timmy at SDCC, with credit given in our Flickr photosets, we'd like to hear from you.

UPDATE: We've gotten a slew (like, eighty) of awesome costume ideas and we've contacted or will contact all those crafty geeks very soon. So for now we're removing the submission form, but if you have a stroke of artistic evil genius, feel free to send your Timmy costumes here by July 15:

Timmy's Costume Project
11216 Waples Mill Rd
Suite 100
Fairfax, VA 22030

Meantime, we'll keep our eyes on the mailbox. We'll post Flickr pics as soon as they start coming in!

Last Friday we sat Guillaume, our favorite French codemonkey, in front of our conference room screen and subjected him to the best kind of rigorous scientific observation: a Star Wars-themed movie night.

Being an obliging test subject and always willing to share his geek naturalization story, he wrote the following mission debrief:


Absolutely hilarious! I've always thought that being a Stormtrooper could be glamorous, but I guess that only a few get the privilege of dying on the Death Star. Most of them just have to police boring outer worlds and deal with common (imperial) law enforcement problems.

Favorite quotes:
"I've got a wife and kids too, but you don't see me out here stealing imperial droids, do you?"
"We gotta find their nephew-- Duke?"

[Ed. We've heard from the creator of TROOPS, who says he has something cooking in time for Comic-Con. We look forward to seeing what he's been up to!]

Hardware Wars

I liked the fact that a lot of the dialogues were first-degree humor versions of what happens in the movie. I'll totally start referring to the "Droid-kid" in Star Wars-related conversations from now on.

Favorite quotes:
"Oh no, it's too weird in here!"
"Do you feel a great disturbance in the force [...]? No, just a headache."

Robot Chicken: "Star Wars"

I love Robot Chicken, but I hadn't seen that particular episode. Lesson learned: get something better than a crybaby dark Sith lord to protect thermal exhausts less than 2 meters wide!

Favorite quotes:
"What the hell is an aluminium falcon?"
"That thing wasn't even fully paid off yet! Do you have any idea of what this will do to my credit?"
"Oh geez, he's crying". [giggle]

Star Wars, non CGI version

I actually have never seen the CGI version, but I saw the non-CGI version more than 15 years ago, in French.

What struck me is that Princess Leia's voice is just as annoying in English as it was in the French version, but Han sounds smarter in English. I'm sure you've guessed though that Chewbacca sounds exactly the same in all the localized versions of Star Wars.

POLL UPDATE 5/10 9:58am EDT: Office Space declared winnar!

We'll just have to stock up on red staplers.

We deal with fraud just like any other retailer, and it's very simple: sometimes people try to trick us into giving them free things.

One of our mechanisms to help combat these nefarious plotters is to double-check orders that have billing addresses in one country and shipping addresses in another.

For one such recent order, we asked the customer for photo identification and verification of his address, and he emailed us a photo of his passport just as requested.

That would normally be fine except he is not Stephen Colbert.

Fig. 1 Totally 'shopped passport photo doesn't do Mr. Colbert justice. Besides, he's French.

FAIL UPDATE!! By popular request, we've added the photo to FAIL BLOG and it needs your votes! Vote! For great justice!

Turns out that passport photo is floating around out there on the interwebs and, even better, is actually a sample passport presented by the Hungarian ambassador when Colbert won a bridge naming contest. Here, let us Google it for you. Our quote-unquote-customer just yoinked it and applied (very poorly rastered) warped text to it. He didn't even resize it.

So we replied:

Hi "Jeff Neff,"

Thanks for writing in. Unfortunately the verification information you have sent in is incomplete.

Also, the photo in the ID you presented is Stephen Colbert. While we do love his show and amazing humor, we believe that you, Jeff Neff of Alberta Canada, are not him. Because of this we have had to delete your order and suspend any order activity originating from your IP Address. The information you've presented during checkout will be handed over to the authorities so they may take appropriate action.

Rob Patak
Customer Service Manager

So much for our brush with greatness, and better luck next time, "Jeff."

Running the course

On Friday, us ThinkGeek Robo-monkeys were invited out to Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology's freshman bot competition. We were there to judge the beauty bots, but mostly to hand out free goodies: Tribbles, R/C wall climbing cars, Annoy-a-trons, and some space schwag from our @NASA_SDO friends.

Wall-E #1

TJHSST is our favoritest geek training ground not only because it's local, but because our own dear codemonkey Jacob walked its halls back in the day. So we do it for the proto-Jacobs out there at TJ.

While the kids ran the robot gauntlet, we took a look at the beauty bot line-up and unanimously decided on the endearing Wall-E with his little cockroach pal. There were lots of impressive ones in the bunch, though, including the house from Up complete with tiny, tiny balloons, Yoda, and a paint palette with LED colors.

After the competition winners were announced, TJ faculty asked the gym full of students to gather for a photo, which was of course full of fail, and then the great teenage horde fell upon our goodie tables, pushing us back a few feet and ravenously snatching at whatever wasn't nailed down. It was AWESOME.

ZOMG STAND BACK Our fancy plaque!

Before heading home, the faculty presented us with a fancypants plaque to make our 4th year's sponsorship official. Timmy and Shane were thrilled to accept it on our behalf and have already vowed to go back next year with even more stuff.

And yes, we did apologize to the teachers for bringing Annoy-a-trons with us. We're sure they'll be reminded of us often--and we hope fondly. Bwa ha ha ha.