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Geeky Toys For Mad Scientists

Given how outrageously popular STEM careers are in the modern economy, scientists have it made. They’re the life of the party, the best paid, and they get to snark on us lesser mortals who didn’t choose the one true career path.

Scientists also tend to have a better-developed sense of humor. Don’t ask us how we know this, we can’t cite a study – but just look at them. They have legions of cartoon artists on their side: Gary Larson’s The Far Side, Randall Munroe’s XKCD, Scott Adams’ Dilbert, Zach Weiner’s Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, and Matthew Inman’s The Outmeal. Apparently a compartmentalized, classified world-view just automatically gives you an appreciation for the absurd.

When it comes to geeky toys, there’s a special kind of wonder imparted when they’re done right. Taking something drawn from universal fundamental truths as we understand them and then making a plaything of it just invokes this urge in the mind to fully possess it, in a way no other kind of medium can.

Really, science-based toys go a long way back; the oldest toys we can recover from ancient history are typically based on simple expressions of the laws of mechanics and engineering. Tops, yo-yos, and Newton’s Cradle all share this common denominator.

Science itself even comes under attack, we must not forget. Whether conflicting with religious fundamentalists or clashing with the agenda of those who hold the wealth and power, science has had to defend itself whenever the pursuit of knowledge is at odds with the status quo. So tossing a bit of science into our daily mundane lives helps raise awareness that, in the words of Neil deGrasse Tyson, it works whether you believe in it or not.

So join us on this exploration of nerdy playfulness. We found some of the most interesting stuff this time…

STEM Gift Periodic Table Engraved Bamboo Wood Cutting Board with Handle and Funny Quote Graducation Gift for Teacher Scientist Chemist Professor Student Graduate

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BrandThe Quintessential Hostess
Item DimensionsHeight: 25; Length: 1275; Weight: 100; Width: 925
LabelThe Quintessential Hostess
ManufacturerThe Quintessential Hostess
Package DimensionsHeight: 39; Length: 1275; Weight: 100; Width: 941
Package Quantity1
Part NumberQH-CCPTPr
Product GroupKitchen
Product Type NameKITCHEN
PublisherThe Quintessential Hostess
SizePeriodic Table
StudioThe Quintessential Hostess
TitleSTEM Gift Periodic Table Engraved Bamboo Wood Cutting Board with Handle and Funny Quote Graducation Gift for Teacher Scientist Chemist Professor Student Graduate
WarrantyThis cutting board will last and last if treated properly. Never wash in dishwasher or let stand in water. Wash with warm soapy water and and stand to dry. Keep the board from drying out, which can cause splitting, by applying food grade mineral oil every few weeks depending on use.

There’s a lot of things we could find with the periodic table of the elements on them: posters, T-shirts, tote bags, all kinds of stuff. But this is the most elegant expression: carved into bamboo to make a solid board with a punny message, of course. You can see the connection between the elements and cooking when you see that the elements are simply the recipe to make a universe. Anyway, you have this to remember the elements so you don’t have to repeat the Tom Lehrer song.

3D Crystal Ball with Solar System model and LED lamp Base, Clear 80mm (3.15 inch) Solar System Crystal Ball, Best Birthday Gift for Kids, Teacher of Physics, Girlfriend Gift, Classmates and Kids Gift

$39.98  in stock
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  • Special 3D design, the solar system crystal ball will add a touch of elegance to any room, ideal decoration for your bedroom, living room and office to show an elegant lifestyle
  • Lighting base with seven colors, making the solar system crystal ball more beautiful and magical in darkness
  • 8 planets of the solar system inside( not including Pluto)
  • Diameter of crystal ball: 80mm(3.15inch), it means you can hold the solar system in your hand
  • Prefect gift for kids, astronomer, lover of the Universe, teacher of physics, boyfriend, classmates and kids

Crystal balls are associated with magic and wizardry, so what better way to express the wonder of the solar system model than by encasing it in a crystal ball? This has the sun and all eight planets – no Pluto, despite the fact that Pluto continues to angrily protest on Tumblr that it identifies as a planet.

Chemist's Spice Rack, 14 Piece Chemistry Spice Rack Set

$64.99  in stock
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  • Chemistry Spice Rack 14 Piece Set includes nine test tube for spices, three Erlenmeyer flasks for sugar, salt and pepper, an Erlenmeyer flask for oil, and a carrying tray; Salt and pepper flasks have holes for shakers; Each flask has a rubber stopper; Set includes 36 stickers to choose which spices you wish to display
  • Spice rack is made of metal with silver tone finish and tubes are made of glass
  • Spice rack box measures approximately 16 x 10 inches
  • Perfect for functional use and decorative display in the kitchen
  • Ships in protective packaging

Here we go again with scientists in the kitchen. If you got the periodic table cutting board above, you’ll just have to go with the chemistry-themed spice rack too. Note that the set just uses a chemistry decorative theme; the labels aren’t accurate to the contents. Yes, how much trouble is it to say “NaCl” for the salt shaker, but by the time you’re trying to break down the complex chain molecules in mustard, you’re running out of space on the label.

Decodyne Math Wall Clock - Unique Wall Clock - Each Hour Marked by a Simple Math Equation

$25.95  in stock
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  • A UNIQUE WAY TO TRACK THE HOURS Instead of Roman numerals or traditional numbers, this clock has a different equation at each demarcation
  • PERFECTLY SIZED Clock measures 11-1/2 inches in diameter and is easy to spot from afar
  • GO WITH EVERYTHING DESIGN Black and white color scheme makes the clock look like a chalkboard and will complement any color palette
  • GREAT GIFT IDEA Give one of these wall clocks to a math teacher, engineer, mathematician or anyone who just loves numbers
  • NO CORDS OR WIRES Clock runs on one AA battery (not included)

This magnificent artistic statement is the perfect illustration of the difference between “smart” and “smart-ass.” The usual hum-drum base-10 whole-number Arabic numerals have been replaced by an equation for each one. And they’re right – we went through and checked. Six times Two is easy enough, but we had to think back to elementary algebra for a couple of these. In fact, there’s a lot of other equations they could have gone with…

Organic Chemistry Model Kit (239 Pieces) - Molecular Model Student or Teacher Pack with Atoms, Bonds and Instructional Guide

$24.99  in stock
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  • MOLECULAR MODEL KIT: This Educational Molecule modeling kit is designed for Easy Chemistry learning for organic, inorganic and functional groups. The Model Kit caters for beginner through to advanced science and chemistry learning. Develop and unleash your Chemistry Genius.
  • BONUS LEARNING GUIDE: This Model Kit for Organic Chemistry comes with an 8-Page Instructional Guide to easily identify all Atoms and Connectors. Delivered in a sturdy plastic box with four compartments for storage and portability. It's a complete toolkit to help learn Organic Chemistry.
  • 3D VISUAL LEARNING: The 239-piece set is built for students from Grade 7 to graduate level, with Color Coded bonds to help visually understand and demonstrate the structure and geometry of compounds. All Atoms are color coded to universal standards, making the Old Nobby Molecular kit your best Chemistry friend.
  • ASSEMBLE COMPLEX STRUCTURES IN MINUTES: The Molecular Model Kit for Organic Chemistry contains high-quality Atoms and Bonds that seamlessly connect and disconnect to ensure you don't get tired fingers. Bonus link remover included to make the task of dissembling your Molecular Model Kit Structures super easy and fast.
  • FUN AND EFFECTIVE WAY TO LEARN CHEMISTRY: Learning complex structures in 3D with color codes of Atoms, plus your Bonus Learning Guide, means the Organic Chemistry kit is designed to serve your Chemistry needs for years to come.

This kit is intended as a teaching aid for students, but don’t think for a minute that grown-ups won’t enjoy playing with it anyway. It’s great for explaining chemical interactions and aspects, so it will be handy to have on the desk for those facing with the non-scientific public. But beyond that, it’s just a nice fidget toy during break-time, and you can always leave a constructed caffeine molecule on your workstation to indicate you’re out for a coffee break.

ThisWear Funny Science Gifts Warning Dihydrogen Monoxide H20 Pun Periodic Table Gifts for Science Nerds Gift Aluminum Water Bottle with Cap & Sport Top White

$16.99  in stock
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  • Funny science water bottles make great Engineer gifts for men or women. Science themed gifts make great birthday gifts for teachers, science graduation gifts, or science teacher appreciation gifts.
  • This white aluminum water bottle holds 18 ounces of hot or cold liquid, and includes both a carabiner clip screw-top and a sports top for your convenience.
  • This aluminum water bottle is a perfect travel size bottle for taking to sporting events, enjoying outdoor activities, or keeping hydrated at the office.
  • The imprinted design will display on both sides of the water bottle as pictured.
  • The premium full color sublimation imprint creates a vibrant, long lasting, and lead-free design. Handwashing is recommended.

Have you heard of the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide? Did you know just a little bit of this dangerous chemical in your lungs can kill you? Well, don’t panic too badly; it’s water, and the chemical naming was the basis of a very famous science prank where students got a bunch of random people to sign a petition to ban dihydrogen monoxide based on a list of easily-hyped dangers. This clever sports bottle pays tribute to that bit of science-geek lore, with a dark observation of just how out-of-touch our public school education system is.