I’m dreaming of a blueschist Christmas

The festive season is speeding towards us at the terrifying rate of 3600 seconds per hour. Have you thought about what kind of geoscientific wonders to make or buy for the most awesome kids and/or grownups in your life yet? I hope not, because otherwise this post is pretty redundant… If you have, I’m sure you can think of <AHEM> at least one more earth scientist in your life you’d like to bring a smile to this winter.

I mean, here’s a bargain to start you off: a hammer and chisel for under USD 15 — an amazing deal. The fact that they are, unbelievably, made of chocolate only adds to the uses you could put them to.

If your geoscientist is on a diet or does their fieldwork in a warm country, then obviously these chocolate tools won’t work. You could always get some metal ones instead (UK supplier, US supplier).

Image © The Chocolate Workshop

Image © The Chocolate Workshop


Before you start smashing things to bits with a hammer, especially one that melts at 34°C, it’s sometimes nice to know how hard they are. Tapping them with a chocolate bar or scratching them with your fingernail are time-tested methods, but the true geologist whips out a hardness pick.

I have never actually seen one of these (I’m not a true geologist) so the chances of your geoscientist having one, especially one as nice as this, are minuscule. USD 90 at geology.com.

Image © Geology.com

Image © Geology.com


Hammers can be used around the house too, of course, for knocking in nails or sampling interesting countertops. If your geoscientist is houseproud, how about some of Jane Hunter’s beautiful textile artworks, many of which explore geological and geomorphological themes, especially Scottish ones. The excerpt shown here is from Faults and Folds (ca. USD 1000); there are lots of others.

If textiles aren’t your thing, these hydrology maps from Muir Way are pretty cool too. From USD 80 each.

Image © Jane Hunter

Image © Jane Hunter


Topographic maps are somehow more satisfying when they are three-dimensional. So these beautiful little wooden maps from ElevatedWoodworking on Etsy, which seem too cheap to be true, look perfect.

There’s plenty more for geoscientists on Etsy, if you can look past the crass puns slapped clumsily onto mugs and T-shirts. For example, if geostatistics get you going, start at NausicaaDistribution and keep clicking. My favourites: the Chisquareatops shirt and the MCMC Hammer cross-stitch pattern.

Image © ElevatedWoodworking on Etsy

Image © ElevatedWoodworking on Etsy


I like statistics. Sometimes, not very often, people ask my where my online handle kwinkunks comes from. It’s a phonetic spelling of one of my favourite words, quincunx, which has a couple of meanings, but the most interesting one is a synonym for a Galton board or bean machine. Galton boards are awesome! Demonstrate the central limit theorem right on your desktop! From USD 10: a cheap one, and an expensive one.

Oh, and there’s a really lovely/expensive one from Lightning Calculator if your geoscientist is the sort of person who likes to have the best of everything. It costs USD 1190 and it looks fantastic.

Image © Random Walker

Image © Random Walker


Let’s get back to rocks. You can actually just give a rock to a geologist, and they’ll be happy. You just might not see much of them over the holiday, as they disappear off to look at it.

If your geologist has worked in the North Sea in their career, they will definitely, 100% enjoy these amazing things. Henk Kombrink and Kirstie Wright are distributing chunks of actual North Sea core. The best part is that you can choose the well and formation the rock comes from! We gave some resinated core slabs away as prizes at the hackathons this month, and the winners loved them.

Image © Henk Kombrink

Image © Henk Kombrink


Traditionally, I mention some books. Not that I read books anymore (reasons). If I did read books, these are the ones I’d read:

xmas-books-2018.png

That’s it for this year! I hope there’s something here to brighten your geoscientist’s day. Have fun shopping!

PS In case there’s not enough here to choose from, you can trawl through the posts from previous years too:


Unlike most images on agilescientific.com, the ones in this post are not my property and are not open access. They are the copyright of their respective owners, and I’m using them here in accordance with typical Fair Use terms. If owners object, please let me know.

The post of Christmas present

It's nearly the end of another banner year for humanity, which seems determined as ever to destroy the good things it has achieved. Here's hoping certain world 'leaders' have their Scrooge moments sooner rather than later.

One positive thing we can all do is bring a little more science into the world. And I don't just mean for the scientists you already know. Let's infect everyone we can find! Maybe your niece will one day detect a neutron star collision in the Early Cretaceous, or your small child's intuition for randomness will lead to more breakthroughs in quantum computing.

Build a seismic station

There's surely no better way to discover the wonder of waves than to build a seismometer. There are at least a couple of good options. I built a single component 10 Hz Raspberry Shake myself; it was easy to do and, once hooked up to Ethernet, the device puts itself online and starts streaming data immediately.

The Lego seismometer kit (above right) looks like a slightly cheaper option, and you might want to check that they can definitely ship in time for Xmas, but it's backed by the British Geological Survey so I think it's legit. And it looks very cool indeed.

Everyone needs a globe!

As I mentioned last year, I love globes. We have several at home and more at the office. I don't yet have a Moon globe, however, so I've got my eye on this Replogle edition, NASA approved apparently ("Yup, that's the moon alright!"), and not too pricey at about USD 85. 

They seem to be struggling to fill orders, but I can't mention globes without mentioning Little Planet Factory. These beautiful little 3D-printed worlds can be customized in all sorts of ways (clouds or no clouds, relief or smooth, etc), and look awesome in sets. 

The good news is that you can pick up LPF's little planets direct from Shapeways, a big 3D printing service provider. They aren't lacquered, but until LPF get back on track, they're the next best thing.

Geology as a lifestyle

Brenda Houston like minerals. A lot. She's made various photomicrographs into wallpaper and fabrics (below, left), and they are really quite awesome. Especially if you always wanted to live inside a geode

OK, some of them might make your house look a bit... Bond-villainy.

If you prefer the more classical imagery of geology, how about this Ancient Dorset duvet cover (USD 120) by De la Beche?

I love this tectonic pewter keychain (below, middle) — featuring articulated fault blocks, and tiny illustrations of various wave modes. And it's under USD 30.

A few months ago, Mark Tingay posted on Twitter about his meteorite-faced watch (below, right). Turns out it's a thing (of course it's a thing) and you can drop substantial sums of money on such space-time trinkets. Like $235,000.

Algorithmic puzzles and stuff

These are spectacular: randomly generated agate-like jigsaw puzzles. Every one is different! Even the shapes of the wooden pieces are generated with maths. They cost about USD 95, and come from Boston-based Nervous System. The same company has lots of other rock- and fossil-inspired stuff, like ammonity jewellery (from about USD 50) and some very cool coasters that look a bit like radiolarians (USD 48 for 4).

orbicular_geode.jpg
orbicular_geode2.jpg
nudibranchNecklaceBlack_medium.jpg
radiolarian_coasters.jpg

There's always books

You can't go wrong with books. These all just came out, and just might appeal to a geoscientist. And if these all sound a bit too much like reading for work, try the Atlas of Beer instead. Click on a book to open its page at Amazon.com.

The posts of Christmas past

If by any chance there aren't enough ideas here, or you are buying for a very large number of geoscientists, you'll have to dredge through the historical listicles of yesteryear — 20112012201320142015, or 2016. You'll find everything there, from stocking stuffers to Triceratops skulls.


The images in this post are all someone else's copyright and are used here under fair use guidelines. I'm hoping the owners are cool with people helping them sell stuff!

St Nick's list for the geoscientist

It's that time again. Perhaps you know a geoscientist that needs a tiny gift, carefully wrapped, under a tiny tree. Perhaps that geoscientist has subtly emailed you this blog post, or non-subtly printed it out and left copies of it around your house and/or office and/or person. Perhaps you will finally take the hint and get them something awesomely geological.

Or perhaps 2016 really is the rubbish year everyone says it is, and it's gonna be boring non-geological things for everyone again. You decide.

Science!

I have a feeling science is going to stick around for a while. Get used to it. Better still, do some! You can get started on a fun science project for well under USD 100 — how about these spectrometers from Public Lab? Or these amazing aerial photography kits

All scientists must have a globe. It's compulsory. Nice ones are expensive, and they don't get much nicer than this one (right) from Real World Globes (USD 175 to USD 3000, depending on size). You can even draw on it. Check out their extra-terrestrial globes too: you can have Ganymede for only USD 125!

If you can't decide what kind of science gear to get, you could inspire someone to make their own with a bunch of Arduino accessories from SparkFun. When you need something to power your gadget in the field, get a fuel cell — just add water! Or if it's all just too much, play with some toy science like this UNBELIEVABLE Lego volcano, drone, crystal egg scenario.

Stuff for your house

Just because you're at home doesn't mean you have to stop loving rocks. Relive those idyllic field lunches with this crazy rock sofa that looks exactly like a rock but is not actually a rock (below left). Complete the fieldwork effect with a rainhead shower and some mosquitoes.

No? OK, check out these very cool Livingstone bouldery cushions and seats (below right, EUR 72 to EUR 4750).

If you already have enough rocks and/or sofas to sit on, there are some earth sciencey ceramics out there, like this contour-based coffee cup by Polish designer Kina Gorska, who's based in Oxford, UK. You'll need something to put it on; how about a nice absorbent sandstone coaster?

Wearables

T-shirts can make powerful statements, so don't waste it on tired old tropes like "schist happens" or "it's not my fault". Go for bold design before nerdy puns... check out these beauties: one pretty bold one containing the text to Lyell's Principles of Geology (below left), one celebrating Bob Moog with waveforms (perfect for a geophysicist!), and one featuring the lonely Chrome T-Rex (about her). Or if you don't like those, you can scour Etsy for volcano shirts.

Books

You're probably expecting me to lamely plug our own books, like the new 52 Things you Should Know About Rock Physics, which came out a few weeks ago. Well, you'd be wrong. There are lots of other great books about geoscience out there!

For example, Brian Frehner (a historian at Oklahoma State) has Finding Oil (2016, U Nebraska Press) coming out on Thursday this week. It covers the early history of petroleum geology, and I'm sure it'll be a great read. Or how about a slightly 'deeper history' book the new one from Walter Alvarez (the Alvarez), A Most Improbable Journey: A Big History of Our Planet and Ourselves (2016, WW Norton), which is getting good reviews. Or for something a little lighter, check out my post on scientific comic books — all of which are fantastic — or this book, which I don't think I can describe.

Dry your eyes

If you're still at a loss, you could try poking around in the prehistoric giftological posts from 2011201220132014, or 2015. They contain over a hundred ideas between them, I mean, come on.

Still nothing? Nevermind, dry your eyes in style with one of these tissue box holders. Paaarp!


The images in this post are all someone else's copyright and are used here under fair use guidelines. I'm hoping the owners are cool with people helping them sell stuff!

Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree

I expect you know at least one geoscientist. Maybe you are one. Or you want to be one. Or you want one for Christmas. It doesn't matter. The point is, it'll soon be Christmas. If you're going to buy someone a present, you might as well get them something cool. So here's some cool stuff!

Gadgets

There isn't a single geologist alive that wouldn't think this was awesome. It's a freaking Geiger counter! It goes in your pocket! It only costs USD 60, or CAD 75, or less than 40 quid! Absurd: these things normally cost a lot more.

OK, if you didn't like that, you're not going to like this IR spectrometer. Yes, a pocket molecular sensor, for sensing molecules in pockets. It does cost USD 250 though, so make sure you really like that geologist!

Back down to earth, a little USB microscope ticks most of the geogeek boxes. This one looks awesome, and is only USD 40 but there are loads, so maybe do some research.

Specimens

You're going to need something to wave all that gadgetry at. If you go down the well-worn path of the rock & mineral set, make sure it's a good size, like this 100-sample monster (USD 70). Or go for the novelty value of fluorescent specimens (USD 45) — calcite, sphalerite, and the like.

If minerals seem passé for a geologist, then take the pure line with a tour of the elements. This set — the last of it's kind, by the way — costs USD 565, but it looks amazing. Yet it can't hold a candle to this beauty, all USD 5000 of it — which I badly want but let's face it will never get.

Home

If you have a rock collection, maybe you want a mineralogical tray (USD 35) to put them in? The same store has all sorts of printed fabrics by designers Elena Kulikova and Karina Eibitova. Or how about some bedding?

These steampunk light switch plates are brilliant and varied (USD 50). Not geological at all, just awesome.

I don't think they are for sale, but check out Ohio artist Alan Spencer's ceramic pieces reflecting each of the major geological periods. They're pretty amazing.

Lego

My kids are really into Lego at the moment. Turns out there are all sorts of sciencey kits you can get. I think the Arctic Base Camp (USD 90) is my favourite that's available at the moment, and it contains some kind of geological-looking type (right).

I don't condone the watching of television programmes, except Doctor Who obviously, but they do sometimes make fun Lego sets. So there's the Doctor, naturally, and other things like Big Bang Theory.

You can fiddle with these while you wait for the awesome HMS Beagle model to come out.

Books etc.

A proven success — winner of the Royal Society's prestigious Winton Prize for science books this year — is Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet We Made, by Gaia Vince, Milkweed Editions, September 2015. Available in hardback and paperback.

Lisa Randall's Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe (HarperCollins) just came out, and is doing remarkably well at the moment. It's getting decent reviews too. Randall is a cosmologist, and she reckons the dinosaurs were obliterated by a comet nudged out of orbit by mysteriousness. Hardback only.

If those don't do it for you, I reviewed some sciencey comic books recently... or there's always Randall Munroe.

Or you could try poking around in the giftological posts from 2011, 2012, 2013, or 2014.

Still nothing? OK, well, there's always chocolate :)


The images in this post are all someone else's copyright and are used here under fair use guidelines. I'm hoping the owners are cool with people helping them sell stuff!

Six comic books about science

Ever since reading my dad's old Tintin books late into the night as a kid, I've loved comics and graphic novels. I've never been into the usual Marvel and DC stuff — superheroes aren't my thing. But I often re-read Tintin, I think I've read every Astérix, and since moving to Canada I've been a big fan of Seth and Chester Brown.

Last year in France I bought an album of Léonard, an amusing imagining of da Vinci's exploits as an inventor... Almost but not quite about science. These six books, on the other hand, show meticulous research and a love of natural philosophy. Enjoy!


The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage

Sydney Padua, 2015. New York, USA: Pantheon. List price USD 28.95.

I just finished devouring this terrific book by Padua, a young Canadian animator. It's an amazing mish-mash of writing and drawing, science and story, computing and history, fiction and non-fiction. This book has gone straight into my top 10 favourite books ever. It's really, really good.

Author — Amazon — Google — Pantheon

T-Minus: The Race to the Moon

Jim Ottaviani, Zander Cannon, Kevin Cannon, 2009. GT Labs. List price USD 15.99.

Who doesn't love books about space exploration? This is a relatively short exposition, aimed primarily at kids, but is thoroughly researched and suspenseful enough for anyone. The black and white artwork bounces between the USA and USSR, visualizing this unique time in history.

Amazon — GoogleGT Labs

Feynman

Jim Ottaviani, Leland Myrick, 2011. First Second Books. List price USD 19.99.

A 248-page colour biography of the great physicist, whose personality was almost as remarkable as his work. The book covers the period 1923 to 1986 — almost birth to death — and is neither overly critical of Feynman's flaws, nor hero-worshipping. Just well-researched, and skillfully told.

AmazonGoogleFirst Second.

A Wrinkle in Time

Hope Larson, Madeleine L'Engle, 2012. New York, USA: Farrar, Straus & Giroux. List price USD 19.99

A graphic adaptation of L'Engle's young adult novel, first published in 1963. The story is pretty wacky, and the science is far from literal, so perhaps not for all tastes — but if you or your kids enjoy Doctor Who and Red Dwarf, then I predict you'll enjoy this. Warning: sentimental in places.

Amazon — MacmillanAuthor 

Destination Moon and Explorers on the Moon

Hergé, 1953, 1954. Tournai, Belgium: Casterman (English: 1959, Methuen). List price USD 24.95.

These remarkable books show what Hergé was capable of imagining — and drawing — at his peak. The iconic ligne claire artwork depicts space travel and lunar exploration over a decade before Apollo. There is the usual espionage subplot and Thom(p)son-based humour, but it's the story that thrills.

AmazonGoogle


What about you? Have you read anything good lately?

It's the GGGG (giant geoscience gift guide)

I expect you've been wondering what to get me and Evan for Christmas. Wonder no more! Or, if you aren't that into Agile, I suppose other geoscientists might even like some of this stuff. If you're feeling more needy than generous, just leave this post up on a computer where people who love you will definitely see it, or print it out and mail it to everyone you know with prominent red arrows pointing to the things you like best. That's what I do.

Geology in the home

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Art!

Museums and trips and stuff

Image is CC-BY by&nbsp; Greg Westfall on Flickr

Image is CC-BY by Greg Westfall on Flickr

Geo-apparel

Blimey... books!

Who over the age of 21 or maybe 30 doesn't love getting books for Christmas? I don't!... not love it. Er, anyway, here are some great reads!

  • How about 156 things for the price of three? Yeah, that is a deal.
  • They're not geological but my two favourite books of the year were highly geeky — What If? by Randall Munroe and Cool Tools by Kevin Kelly.
  • Let's face it, you're going to get books for the kids in your life too (I hope). You can't do better than Jon Tennant's Excavate! Dinosaurs.
  • You're gonna need some bookends for all these books.

Still stuck? Come on!


All of the smaller images in this post are copyright of their respective owners, and I'm hoping they don't mind me using them to help sell their stuff.

Update on 2014-12-12 01:41 by Matt Hall
In case you're still struggling, Evelyn Mervine has posted her annual list over on the AGU Blogosphere. If you find any more geo-inspired gift lists, or have ideas for others, please drop them in the comments.

All you want for Christmas

It's that time again! If you're tired of giving the same old rocks to the same old geologists, I've got some fresh ideas for you.

Stuff

  • My wife came back from town recently with this spectacular soap, from Soap Rocks. I mean, just look at it. It's even better in real life.
  • You just can't go wrong with a beautiful hammer, like this limited edition Estwing. Don't forget safety glasses!
  • Or go miniature, with these tiny (Canadian!) hammers in gold ($859) or silver ($249). Steepish prices, but these aren't exactly mainstream.
  • More jewellery: geode earrings. Hopefully not too massive.

Tees

It's the obligatory t-shirt collection! Here are some that jumped out at me — and one of them is even a bit geophysical. Available from (left to right) Threadless (here's another fun one), Etsy, and Metropark.

Books... and non-books

  • There are loads of books in our reading list — some of them are essential, and some are totally workable as gifts.
  • It would be remiss of me not to mention our own new book, 52 Things You Should Know About Geology — perfect (I think, but I would say that) for students and professionals alike, especially those in applied/industrial geoscience.
  • I'm a big fan of Edward Tufte's beautiful books about data visualization, and they are now available in paperback. All four books for $100 is truly a bargain.
  • It's not a book exactly, but I do like this minerals poster. Although less useful, this arty version is even prettier... and this cushion is verging on spectacular. 

Goggle box

Tired of reading about geology after cranking through papers or dissertations all day? TV has rocks too! There's Iain Stewart's various series (right — Earth, 2009, and How To Grow A Planet, 2011) for some quality BBC programming. If you're in Canada, you might prefer CBC's Geologic Journey, 2011 — inexplicably hosted by a non-geologist. The Discovery Channel made Inside Planet Earth, 2009 but I've never liked their stuff. some of this stuff might even be on Netflix... 

Kids' stuff

Kids like geology too. A Rock Is Lively manages to be beautiful and informative, Rocks: Hard, Soft, Smooth, and Rough focuses on the science, and If Rocks Could Sing is just cute. If it's toys you're after, you can start them young with this wooden stacking volcano, or you could go for this epic Lego globe... (not for the half-hearted: it will require you to load the Digital Designer file and order a large number of bricks).

Still stuck? Try my Christmas post from last year, or the year before, or the year before that. I highly recommend Evelyn Mervine's posts too — loads more ideas there.

The T-shirt and book cover images are copyright of their respective owners and assumed to be fair use. The soap picture is licensed CC-BY.

How to make a geologist happy

It's that time of year! Students are sitting exams, the northern oil patch is mobilizing, my boatshed office gets a bit chilly, and everyone is talking about AGU. And friends of geologists start wondering what the heck to get for them this Yuletide.

For the diehard field geologist

Maps are the field geoscientist's most basic tool. I have a soft spot for beautiful old maps. And beautiful maps are beautiful. Also expensive. But also beautiful.

A balloon flight over somewhere as geologically remarkable as Cappadocia (right), the Grand CanyonMalham Cove, or the Bay of Fundy would give anyone, geologist or not, something to remember forever. Especially if they are terrified of heights. 

I can't even tell you how much I want a portable Geiger–Müller counter. Almost as much as I want one of Little River's stream tables in my garage. (You could always start off with a budget version). Those Little River guys caused quite a stir with their scale bar pencils last year — you'll have to call them for one, but in the meantime, the forensic photography world has lots of nice scales for the field and lab.

Gifts in spaaaace

Small things are awesome. (Did you see our post last week about Robert Hooke? He liked small things.) You can look at small things all day with this nifty digital microscope. Need something cool to look at? Get some little pieces of scrap metal. From space. Especially this beauty from Manitoba. (How good did you say you've been?)

Geologists aren't exactly sartorially renowned — unless there's GoreTex to be had, obviously — and T-shirts are de rigueur in all conceivable social situations. Avoid that tempting Schist Happens slogan and go for awesome design instead. Like these nice cross-sections (below), only slightly spoiled by the lettering and those dodgy sleeves. I think the peace sign is my favourite. The mineral samples are pretty great though.

If you like textiles, but not tees, try some geological embroidery.

Wrap up and read

T-shirts, while practical and (sometimes) cool, aren't seasonal apparel in every part of the world. We Canadian geologists mostly don chunky jumpers and stay indoors in the winter. So what we need is books. Here's a book about geology and whisky — an ethereal combination. (Read it with a glass of this lovely stuff). And here's a beautiful book of Postcards From Mars. Want something more arty? Andy Goldsworthy is your man (left). And finally, in a shameless plug, who doesn't want to know more about geophysics?

Still stuck? Check our reading list. Not good enough? There are lots more ideas in our 2011 giftology and 2010 giftophysics posts. And you'll find even more geeky awesomeness over at Georneys. If, after all that, you spot something even more giftological, please tell us about it in the comments!

The photo of balloons over Cappadocia is licensed CC-BY-NC by Flickr user Stephen Oung. The T-shirt images are copyright of their respective owners and assumed to be fair use. The Goldsworthy image is licensed CC-BY-SA by Wikipedia user mikeanegus

Giftological and giftophysical goodness

The giving season cometh — are you angling for a lump of coal again? Coal balls — for the geologist who has been extra good this year. How do you measure geological goodness anyway? Number of samples taken maybe, or papers written, talks presented, blog posts posted, students instructed, children impressed with the volcano–earthquake–dinosaur trifecta.

If you're looking for things to light up a geo-nerd you care for, here are some ideas.

Comestibles

  • Single malt whisky comes from Scotland, like water, rocks, and tough folk. What could be more geoloigcal? Don't know where to start? Look out for Bruichladdich ROCKS.
  • The SoCal Beer Company brews a nice-looking Seismic IPA but <cry> I can't find a shipper.
  • There's always chocolate pebbles, or Brighton Rock.

Gadgets

T-shirts

If the geos you know just like to read, keep them quiet with our reading list. If you're still stuck, there are lots more ideas in last year's giftology post — that Triceratops is still for sale!

Rock sweets image from flickr user su-lin and licensed CC-BY-NC-ND. Low-res T-shirt image considered fair use. 

Giftology and giftophysics

Geologists are not difficult to buy gifts for. In fact, you could do worse than just filling a shoe box with rocks from your garden. But if you want to, you can excite and inspire a geologist with some new kit, a nice map, or a piece of meteorite.

Geophysicists might be slightly trickier to please. A book on Fortran? A couple of ki's of dynamite? Best thing is to accidentally on purpose treat them like a geologist. After all, it's the thought that counts!

Compasses

Features to look for include clinometer, declination adjustment, and a sighting mirror. A bubble level and a scale bar are nice to have. Seasoned field geologists will already have a favourite, so steer clear unless you know what they need.

  1. Good — Silva Expedition 15TDCL, about $60
  2. Better — Suunto Tandem with declination adjustment, about $220
  3. Best — Brunton GEO Pocket Transit, about $820

Hand lenses

Features to look for include German manufacturer, metal housing, glass lenses, triple lens configuration, no chromatic aberration (this property is sometimes called achromatic), no spherical aberration (aplanatic). The 'gold standard', as it were, is the Bausch & Lomb Hastings Triplet, which usually sells for about $40 to $50 (for example, here). But there are others out there, like these:

  1. Good — BelOMO Triplet Loupe, about $35
  2. Better — Celestron LED illuminated loupe, about $40
  3. Best — Harald Schneider triplet loupe, about $280

Random stuff

You can't go wrong with any of these excellent gifts. 

For the geologist who has everything

These gifts speak for themselves. Joy guaranteed.

  1. Awesome — UGOBE PLEOrb robot dinosaur, about $470
  2. Awesomer — Andy Paiko glass seismograph, about $5000
  3. Awesomest — Triceratops horridus skull, about $70 000