All posts by ife

Gifts for the Geek III: Revenge of the Fun Geeky Gifts

Not everything a geek does has a practical reason behind it. Geeks like to have fun too – in their own way. So in this post I will be presenting some fun geeky gifts that are a little silly but a lot of fun. Click on the link in each description to get more info!

Star Trek Electronic Door Chime

Lets start off with the Star Trek Electronic Door Chime. This gadget would make a great gift for the Trekkie in your life and  non-Trekkies will enjoy it too. Anyone who has their own room, really! This door chime can be set to respond with a door opening sound or a Red Alert sound from Star Trek which will add some character to your geek’s room at warp speed.


Schrödinger’s Cat Executive Decision Maker

As your geek journeys through his/her college career there will certainly be many decisions that he/she will have to make. Some of these decisions will be ones that need time and effort, while others will be much less crucial (“should I eat tacos today?” falls into the less crucial category). For these less important decisions get your geek the Schrödinger’s Cat Executive Decision Maker. Ask a “yes” or “no” question, open the door of this gadget, and let Schrödinger’s cat make that decision for you. Your physics fans will absolutely appreciate this gift.


Mason Jar Speaker Amplifier

College is usually a place where your musical tastes will probably go through a major revamping for better or worse. A great gift for a freshman geek is a way to play all their music in the  geekiest way possible. Enter the Mason Jar Speaker Amplifier!  This completely self contained speaker/amplifier will allow your geek to take their music anywhere with them and look pretty cool while doing so.

geeky speaker/amplifer

Floppy Disk Drink Coasters

Looking for a cheap gift that is both a fun and useful gift? Check out these Floppy Disk Drink Coasters. Not only will this soft cushion prevent your drink from leaving residue on tables but it also a really cool geeky accessory.


Featured image from HJ Media Studios.

Gifts for the Geek II: Attack of the Practical Geeky Gifts

After all the fun I had finding the geeky gifts for the first post, I couldn’t resist creating an Episode II for it. With that said, here are some cool and practical gifts for your slightly geeky freshman.

Star Wars R2-D2 Folding Armchair

I definitely wish someone had told me to bring an extra chair to my dorm room my freshman year since it is always nice to be able to offer your guests somewhere to sit down. This geeky gift is one any geek, especially a Star Wars geek, will appreciate. With the Star Wars R2-D2 Folding Armchair, your freshman will not only have an easy to move chair in his room for guests but also a cool decoration that testifies to his/her geekiness.

R2-D2 folding chair - Gifts for the Geeky Freshman

Charging Tools

With the large role technology plays in our lives nowadays, chances are your freshman owns a phone and laptop and as a geek he/she probably owns many other gadgets that need will need to be charged.  Keeping all of our gadgets charged in the least bothersome way possible is a constant battle but it is one we can win… with the right gadgets. Sometimes more gadgets is the answer!

One of these tools is the Plug Hub. With this device, you can help to prevent the annoying occurrence of the mess of tangled up power cords under a desk.

plug hub - Gifts for the Geeky Freshman

To make your geek’s experience with charging his/her number of gadgets even better, check out the Tech Dock by Quirky. This device allows you to charge 4 of your your USB charged devices with only one power outlet. It also looks really slick, very much like an Apple device.

Quirky Docking Station - Gifts for the Geeky Freshman

Organ Transport Lunch Cooler

Finally for that geeky freshman who enjoys bringing his/her own food to lunch, especially if living off campus, I’ve got the perfect lunch cooler for you. With the Organ Transport Lunch Cooler, your freshman will definitely spark some conversations at the lunch table. Lets be honest – bringing a cool lunch bag to school used to be one of the coolest things you could do and still kind of is.

organ transport lunch bag - Gifts for the Geeky Freshman

Featured image by

Books for Africa

Growing up I was always a reader but have only recently started understanding the great impact books can have on a person’s life and future. This was really driven home when I heard about  William Kamkwamba.

William Kamkwamba is a Malawian man who at the age of 14 had to drop out of high school because his family could not afford the school’s fees. William did not let this misfortune stop his pursuit of a better life through education but instead began borrowing books about energy from a small community library. He then went on to build a windmill out of materials he found in a local scrap yard to power his home. Word got out about William’s endeavors and after a series of events including giving a TED talk and writing a book, he is now in his senior year at Dartmouth College.

With that, we will be taking a look at Books for Africa (BFA) – a charity that seeks to provide the same resources that opened up William Kamkwamba’s future to other students and kids like him in Africa.

books for africa logo

What is it?

Unfortunately a great number of kids in many African countries do not have access or have very limited access to books. Books for Africa hopes to end this book poverty in Africa by sending books to Africa. Simple and straightforward. In their own words:

“The mission of Books For Africa is to end the book famine in Africa. With your help, we will help create a culture of literacy and provide the tools of empowerment to the next generation of parents, teachers, and leaders in Africa.”

How can I give?

BFA has 3 ways to donate to their cause. You can donate funds to BFA, donate to a specific BFA project, or honor a friend with a donation. This third option is especially great because the person you honor with a donation receives a handwritten note card or email from BFA. You can also donate books to BFA.

I think the great thing about Books For Africa is that it is such a simple idea for a charitable organization but it is one that has real and immediate impact. With the various ways of giving to its cause, BFA is a great charitable gifting opportunity and one to consider when you’re looking for a gift for someone who has everything!

Gifts for the Geek

Most geeks are true geeks if they have some sort of obsession that runs their lives. True geeks don’t see their geekiness as a source of shame, but rather, a mark of pride. One of the really fun perks to being a geek are the many different geeky accessories we can use to flaunt our geekiness.

Here are some great gifts to give the proud, self-proclaimed geek in your family:

Geeky Watch/Clock

Since the birth of the term “geek,” it seemed like there were a few accessories every geek must have. Besides glasses, the most obvious accessory is a watch.

But to take your geekiness up a notch, try a watch where the numbers are represented with different math terms including a factorial, binary, cube root, and of course modular arithmetic (also known as clock arithmetic).  It doesn’t get much geekier than that!

Geeky Watch

Similarly, you can get your geeky freshman’s new dorm room the geek clock.


Geeky clcok


Toxic Waste Drum Laundry Basket

One item all college students need is a laundry basket, which is why this next geeky gift, the Toxic Waste Drum Laundry Basket, is one a freshman will love. Nothing spices up ones room like a good toxic waste bin.   After all, we all know geeks never have time to wash their clothes, right?


Bracer of Battery Life +2 (Universal Gadget Wrist Charger)

One thing most geeks share in common is a love for technology. So when your freshman’s tech device runs out of battery when he/she is on the go, you know he will NOT be happy. The Universal Gadget Wrist Charger, aka the Bracer of Battery Life +2, is a gift that will allow your geeky freshman to take his/her tech device anywhere without worrying about it running out of battery life. This portable charging device charges cell phones, mp3 players, gaming systems, and any device that is compatible with a mini USB. Plus it looks pretty darn cool (I can’t be the only who thinks it looks like something straight out a comic book).



The Clutch for iPad

The next item on our list is one for the chic geek girl. The Clutch for iPad is a great gift for any geeky girl with an iPad2/iPad3. With this accessory, a chic geek can hold everything she loves on the go plus her iPad. According to the creators of this great accessory:

Basically, it’s perfect. Not only will it keep your iPad happy, but it will keep you organized too. There are pockets for cash and change, credit cards, business cards, pens, a stylus and a mobile phone. Plus, you’ll still have room in the larger pocket for your lipgloss, sunglasses, passport, keys and more!

iPad Clutch

Featured image by Larry Wentzel



Charity Navigator

When giving to any charity organization, a question that is always at the back of my mind is: just how much of this donation is actually going to the cause? Today, rather than presenting a charitable gift opportunity, we wanted to share a tool for answering this question and finding great charities that efficiently do what they claim they do. Enter: Charity Navigator!

Charity Navigator

What is it?

The mission statement of Charity Navigator, according to their website, is as follows:

“Charity Navigator works to guide intelligent giving. By guiding intelligent giving, we aim to advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace, in which givers and the charities they support work in tandem to overcome our nation’s and the world’s most persistent challenges.”

Simply, this means that Charity Navigator allows givers to know how effectively the funds they give are used by different charitable organizations in  hopes of compelling charities to more effectively meet their objectives.

How does it work?

Charity Navigator accomplishes its goal by investigating each charity and evaluating the organization on the qualities of financial health, accountability, and transparency. Each company can receive a maximum of 4 stars and a maximum rating of 70 based on these qualities. The ratings can be viewed on the company’s Charity Navigator page along with statistics that justify the rating.

According to Charity Navigator,

“Our ratings show givers how efficiently we believe a charity will use their support today, how well it has sustained its programs and services over time and their level of commitment to good governance, best practices and openness with information.”

I should also mention that Charity Navigator does not accept funding from any of the charities it rates to keep its evaluations unbiased.

charity navigator

Moving Forward

While it should not be the only measure taken into consideration before funding a charity, Charity Navigator is definitely an important and useful tool to employ when researching charitable giving opportunities. It is certainly one we use here at Charity Gifts and we encourage you to check it out next time you are planning on making a charitable donation.


The charitable gifting opportunity we will be presenting today is very similar to KIVA, which was the first charitable featured by Charity Gifts, in the sense that it allows its users to essentially make a loan to a small business but with the added feature of expected interest.

The name of this opportunity is Microplace.


What is it?

According to their website,

“MicroPlace is a brokerage platform where you can invest in companies that are creating a positive social impact in the U.S. and abroad and that offer a financial return to you.”

This means for $20 or more I can fund an organization that is creating real, positive change in its community and possibly earn a return between 0.5% and 4.5% on my investment which I can invest in another company if I so choose. How awesome is that!

microplace Quote

How does it work?

To get started changing the world one investment portfolio at a time, a user creates a MicroPlace brokerage account, looks through the investment opportunities available, which are organized by social causes, location, and financials, selects an investment and investment amount. They’ll then purchase a short-term note through an insurer, an organization carefully selected by MicroPlace, which offers investment opportunity focused on solving a social issue.

Why is it a great gift?

Microplace is such a great charitable gifting opportunity because it is an opportunity that keeps on giving. Not only is the giver likely to get their donation back with interest which can be the fuel for another cause investment but also because the cause invested in is likely to cause a chain of positive events for the community.


This week on Board Game Gifts we are going pay some homage to a board game that may be the first board game mentioned in history. This game that has been widely played worldwide in countries including Persia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, China, and Turkey for many millenniums with its very own seal of approval from Mr. Locke from Lost is Backgammon.


How do you play?

In this two-player game the goal could not be any simpler. One player races the other player to be the first to move 15 of their pieces from one side of the board to the opposite side and off the board. Here is a more detailed blurb from Board Game Geek:

Each player has a set of 15 “men” that must be moved from their starting positions, around, and then off the board. Dice are thrown each turn, and each player must decide which of his men to move based on the outcome of the roll. Players can capture each other’s men, forcing the captured men to restart their journey around the board. The winner is the first player to get all 15 men off the board.

Why is Backgammon such a great game to gift?

There are three key reasons that Backgammon makes such a great gift to give to anyone:

  • First of all, it is a game of strategy that is very easy to understand and play since there are such a few number of rules involved .
  • When one owns Backgammon, one literally owns a piece of history which is pretty darn  cool.
  • Finally this is one board game I can call a classic because if a game can stay popular for over five thousand years, it deserves to called a classic.

Try out this boardgame for timeless fun!

What I Love About You Book

There are very few things more romantic than letting the one you love know the small details that caused you to fall head over heels- whether it be their goofy smile or their quirky attitude about life.

This is especially true for those in long distance relationships where distance might make it easier for these memories to fade. Long Distance Relationship Gifts is proud to present “What I Love About You,” the book that helps you expresses these romantic thoughts to your lover in a fun and entertaining way.

what I love about you - relationship journal

What is it?

This book is similar to many other relationship journals because of the nature of its questions but its distinguishing value is just how engaging these questions are. With a mix of standard lovey dovey questions like “I first knew I loved you when” and fun questions like “if we’d met in a comic strip, the thought bubble over my head would’ve said…,” this book makes for a fun, warm and fuzzy time for both the reader and the writer.

Why is it on Long Distance Relationship Gifts?

From a look at its title, this book seemed to be just another relationship journal, but after reading what the Fairytale Beginning blog had to say about it I became engrossed and had to check it out for myself. Surprisingly enough, I found that I actually agreed with the blog: this relationship journal was absorbing enough that I found myself flipping through the pages and actually attempting to answer some of its questions in my head.

Why would it make a great gift?

Here are the three reasons I believe “What I Love About You” makes such a great gift for those in a long distance relationship:

  • First, its questions (and yours/your lover’s answers) make for great, fun conversation starters.

  • Of course, it is a very romantic and fun gesture.

  • Finally, this book is a great way to keep your lover’s thoughts nearby even if he/she is far away.

What has your past experiences with relationship journals been like? Please leave a comment below.