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The Sciences

Giving Science for the Holidays: Gift Ideas!

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This marks the first year that several readers have emailed me inquiring about gift suggestions. Not just one or two of you either... I've received a flurry of questions about book recommendations, toys, and gadgets. So after listing a few great things I've purchased or received, readers are invited to share their suggestions for fun and/or educational science gifts for the holidays...

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My niece pretty much always gets marine-themed gifts. Before she was born, I bought her You Can Be A Woman Marine Biologist. It's not that I'm forcing her into marine science, but more that there is no cooler field on the planet. (

Off the planet is another matter

). More recently, she got Discovery Toys Kids Animated Marine Lamp. For older science fans, I often give books. (And no, not my books--that would be weird). My dad recently received Paul Parsons' The Science of Doctor Who. Books like this are always fun. Jennifer

Ouellette's The Physics of the Buffyverse or Lawrence Krauss' The Physics of Star Trek are two terrific similar examples.

There are several wonderful new titles from 2010. Vanessa Woods' Bonobo Handshake, Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and Brian Switek's Written in Stone are three I like very much. My favorite childrens' books this year were the ZooBorns pair by

Andrew Bleiman and Chris Eastland. Other cool reading ideas include subscriptions to awesome magazines like Discover, National Geographic, and many more. You also can't go wrong with fun equipment to use outside. One of my favorite gifts ever was a Meade telescope for my 21st birthday. Similarly gear from REI or Sierra Trading Post will encourage the nature lover in your life to explore the world. And of course, don't forget donations! Two of my favorites charities are SavingSpecies.org and Lola Ya Bonobo sanctuary. That's a start for a holiday science-giving guide... Add your suggestions in comments!

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