Wednesday, December 8, 2010

addendum: Luscious Lauren's Guide to Gifting

If you're like me, you probably have to actually GIVE people tangible gifts for the holidays, at least in most cases. When you can't get away with donating to a charity in someone's name, here are a few ideas for the smrt-minded among us:

Let's start with books. I almost always give books. Books can last a lifetime and are just freakin' awesome.

Science books for kids:
- The ever-important and breath-taking Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be by Daniel Loxton
- Douglas Richards' Prometheus Project trilogy: Trapped, Captured and Stranded
- George's Secret Key to the Universe and George's Cosmic Treasure Hunt by Stephen Hawking and Lucy Hawking
- the League of Scientists book series

Please check out my recommended non-fiction and my recommended fiction on Good Reads.

Among my most recommended are:
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan (and everything else by Carl Sagan)
Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation, Olivia Judson
The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal, Jared Diamond
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, Barbara Kingsolver
The Sea Around Us and Silent Spring, Rachael Carson
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers; Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife; Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex; Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, all by Mary Roach
everything by Michael Pollan, especially The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals and The Botany of Desire: A Plant's Eye View of the World
Physics for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines, Robert Muller
How Not to Die: Surprising Lessons on Living Longer, Safer, and Healthier from America's Favorite Medical Examiner, Jan Garavaglia
Medical Myths That Can Kill You: And the 101 Truths That Will Save, Extend, and Improve Your Life, Nancy L. Snyderman
Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth about Your Weight, Linda Bacon
Trick or Treatment: The Undeniable Facts about Alternative Medicine, Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst
Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives, Michael Specter
Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure, Paul A. Offit

Situation-specific books:
Putting Children First: Proven Parenting Strategies for Helping Children Thrive Through Divorce, JoAnne Pedro-Carroll
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert, John Gottman
V Book: A Doctor's Guide to Complete Vulvovaginal Health, Elizabeth G. Stewart and Paula Spencer
The Trouble with Christmas, Tom Flynn
Parenting Beyond Belief: On Raising Ethical, Caring Kids Without Religion and Raising Freethinkers: A Practical Guide for Parenting Beyond Belief, Dale McGowan
The Easy Way to Stop Smoking: Join the Millions Who Have Become Nonsmokers Using the Easyway Method, Allen Carr

...Now, on to STUFF!!

Tops of the list for the nerds and geeks among us has to be Think Geek. My favorites for the kids include Mad Science Alphabet Blocks and Giant Plush Microbes. There are also Heroine shirts featuring female scientists like Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie!
Also fun for t-shirts and other gear are Threadless and Northern Sun. Cafe Press and Zazzle also have great stuff for just about any topic which they can put on shirts or mugs or mouse pads, etc.

Maple Landmark Toys in Middlebury VT crafts a wide range of toys and gifts from local (to VT) materials which follow American standards of product safety, employee safety, and environmental protection. And the toys are beautiful and fun, too!

Looking for science (etc.) action figures? Check out Albert Einstein, Ben Franklin, Edgar Allan Poe, William Shakespeare, and so on.

Beautiful jewelry for the science-minded: Surly Ramics. She even does custom orders, and I got a fantastic necklace for my sister-in-law last year.

Apparel and jewelry specifically for the geek girls in your life: Her Universe

Socks!! Who doesn't love socks? Well, I guess there are some people, but I know that I <3 socks, and I <3 Sock Dreams hard. Stuff for ladies, stuff for dudes, stuff for kiddies, not to mention accessories like leg warmers and garters and gloves.

Snaz75 also sells socks, but for the most part they are an excellent source (the northeast's largest distributor!) for outrageous shoes and outfits, stripper shoes, boots, costumes and accessories.

Looking for something smart and sarcastic? Placebo Bands to the rescue!! (I don't need to remind you why "Power Balance" bracelets are bunk, do I?)

Another gift that makes a point for those of your friends who understand the importance of vaccination: Hug Me, I'm Vaccinated gear!

Great Drinkers shot glasses and other neat-o gifts from the Unemployed Philosophers Guild

Darwin fish, humanism gear, liberal apparel and more at Evolve Fish

Have a crazy survivalist/ hunter/ doomsday prophet/ practical preparedness enthusiast in your life? Try Major Surplus & Survival for all kinds of gear, goodies, emergency kits, boots, cots, and even antiques and collectibles.

Gaiam is your source for green hippie compost yoga products, including bat conservatories and reusable water bottles. Beware, though, because they do sell whack-a-loon woo-woo stuff like light therapy and detox foot pads.
Burt's Bees also has great products, and Vegan Essentials is your one-stop shop for all things vegan.
Got a locavore to shop for? Check out Local Harvest for co-ops, restaurants and stores near your friend which use local organic ingredients and see if you can get gift certificates. Plus, gifts for gardeners, including seeds, supplies, clothing and books- can be found at Harris Seeds.

Want to buy gifts and still do good?
- Consider the UNICEF store, where everything you buy helps children around the world!
- The Natural Resources Defense Council has a Green Gift Giving Guide as does the Nature Conservancy.
- Proceeds from the Ford Cares Warriors in Pink campaign go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and the site even tells you exactly how much is donated for each purchase.

Now, go forth and spend wisely!! Oh, and be sure to run your credit check annually!!

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