Popgadget Holiday Gift Guide 2006: Pets

Last but not least, gift ideas for the furriest member of your family:

What's your dog wearing this holiday May we suggest the Twinkling Star Sweater from Pretentious Pets? Made of soft and comfortable acrylic, each red turtleneck sweater features a Christmas tree appliqu with sequined ornaments, bones, and a brightly blinking star. Battery provides up to 72 hours of blinking. Just twist the Star to activate it. Ribbed neck and cuffs provide a comfortable fit, and rear leg loops keep sweater in place. . Twinkling Star Holiday Sweaters are available in these sizes X-Small to X-Large for $14.95. (Evan)

Show important pets that you care this season with the Illuminated Dog Safety Coat. The wires flex to form fit a pet's contours and their glow can be seen from 1,000 feet away. Available at petgadgets.com for $59.95. (Ray)

Hear Now makes a two-way pet communication system. The collar has a speaker which works up to 12 miles, and comes with a GPS unit as well. Various models can be found at thehearnow.com and run from $199.99 to $259.99. (Ray)

Like most pups, my dog Henry likes to hang out the window while I drive. So when Bamboo Pets came up with the Quick Control Leash + Seat belt latch, both Henry and I were relieved. Besides eliminating driver distraction -- Henry prefers to drive -- I don't have to worry about Henry catapulting himself out the window. As you can see from the photo, the velcro pouch hides the metal universal seat belt connector, with a convenient zippered pocket to hold keys, money, waste bags. Visit Bamboo Pets for a store directory and list of online retailers. Approx $20. (Evan)

Here is a great gift for a pet who is smaller in stature. The Super Pet Critter Operated Chopper is an exercise toy for hamsters and gerbils. Place the "drivers" inside the front wheel and watch them go. Petco.com features this gift for $16.97. (Ray)

For the ultimate in pet luxury- customize your bathroom with the Jentle Pet whirlpool spa from MTI whirlpools. The Jentle Pet is ergonomically designed to keep your dog comfy as they soak in massaging swirls of water. A hand shower is included for easy shampooing, and the tub is self-cleaning- so the excess pet hair washes away with the bubbles after the bath. Starts at $1200 from MTI Whirlpools. (Mia)

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Holiday Gift Guide 2006 - Kids

Teaching kids the value of money is an important lesson that can never be learned too early. This ATM machine bank for kids works with real bills, and teaches children the concepts of depositing and withdrawing money. It uses functioning passwords and remembers how much money has been saved. The ATM Bank is available at the Discovery Channel Store for $39.95. (Ray)

I admit that when I hear "electrolysis" I think of permanent hair removal, but you can teach your kids to be smarter than I am with the world's smallest hydrogen fuel cell car. The solar-powered fueling station (can also use AA batteries) uses electrolysis to extract hydrogen gas from distilled water then sends the hydrogen to a balloon in the car which acts as a hydrogen fuel tank. This zero-emission vehicle is hopefully a glimpse into our future passenger cars, although hopefully the fueling time (10 minutes) to running time (3 minutes) ratio will be significantly improved upon before then. $130 at Hammacher. (Mia)

I don't know how they do it, but even infants seem to be able to detect when their toys are just plastic fake versions of the electronics that adults use. They want the real thing, even if they can't use it. The Kid Tough Digital Camera is kind of a hybrid -- very sturdy plastic exterior with big handgrips for still-clumsy hands, but it's also a working digital camera. There's a real 1.3" LCD screen for instant viewing, and enough internal storage for 60 photos (VGA resolution) with SD card expansion capability. USB connector so your little ones can become Flickr whizzes. There is a blue tough guy model for boys and a pink princess one for girls. I suggest being subversive and switching it up. $55 at Target.

If you're trying hard to please a little gentleman, the Aero Ace radio controlled airplane will surely put you in his good books. The airplane thrust is provided by two tiny motors placed on the wings. It's small enough to be flown in a backyard or even indoors and does not require assembly. And it's pretty inexpensive too � priced at around $30, and available from Toys R Us (currently not available online). (Kanchana)

The Sand Sculpting Kit could come in very handy for those times that you cannot take your toddler to the beach but still want him/her to enjoy the pleasures of sand sculpting. The kit includes sculpting tools and � of course � sand that never dries out. So your children can let loose their imagination and build castles right in the backyard. And if you think that you love your child�s creation so much that you want to preserve it, just bake the model and you can store them away for display. The kit is priced at $49.98 and the sand refill at $19.98; available online. (Kanchana)

iKaraoke: Griffin Technology cut it close, but they got this ready just in time for Santa. It's karaoke for your iPod. iKaraoke's all-in-one microphone/processor isolates the lead vocal track, then fades it, giving you room to make like a lead singer. Plug in or use iKaraoke's FM transmitter to play through your home or auto stereo. The mic has controls for the music, volume and reverb. Adjusts backing music volume. Pause, scan forward and back, skip tracks. Boost your voice with adjustable reverb. Don't blame me when the kids put on a concert and make you sit in the front row. $49.99 at Griffin. (Evan)

The iSkin site has paired with the popular tokidoki line to create some gorgeous covers for your iPod. They make them for the iPod with video, the mini and the first generation shuffle, and they're working on a nano cover as I type. Your only problem is going to be deciding on which one for your munchkin.
$29.99 at iSkin. (Evan)

Cosmeo: Give your child the cosmos, well, technically, Cosmeo, the amazing Discovery Education site, loaded with multi-media. With over 30,000 educational video segments, 20,000 images, challenging interactive games, and 40,000 math tutorials, it's easy to see how this could enthrall a child who is researching a project or just looking for homework help. Cosmeo is based on the multimedia tools from Discovery Education, and video from Discovery networks including Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and Discovery Kids. Using research that suggests that when children are exposed to a concept in more than one medium, they become more engaged, Discovery Education built Cosmeo to bring together all the resources of multi-media. For grades K-12, you can either pay $9.95 a month or $99 a year at Cosmeo. (Evan)

We've written about a number of these interactive speakers: the i-Fish, the i-Dog, the i-Duck, the i-Alligator (ok, I made that last one up.) Now we have the mi Flower. Each mi Flower has an inbuilt speaker, illuminated flower petals, moving leaves and an expression face LCD display which can also function as a clock. Connect it to any digital music device such as an iPod and mi Flower starts to move and sway to the music; its flowers light up in rhythmn and the animated face makes "faces" at you. When the music turns off, mi Flower goes to "sleep." I would swat it across the room if it woke me up in the morning, but my daughter loves it. $24.98 @ b2stuf or firebox. (Evan)

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Holiday Gift Guide 2006 - Luxury

Here it is- the 2006 installment of our luxury gift guide -- full of things from the sublime to the ridiculous, robot speakers to clones (seriously).

So far, the only known successful dog clone is Snuppy the puppy, but some day, perhaps in the not too distant future, cloning beloved pets will be possible. Surely you'll need to save up the cash for such a procedure, but much more importantly, you can gene bank your pet now, with a CryoSure service -- having your animal's cells cultured now (just a small sample is taken and your pet isn't harmed) and then cryopreserving them in liquid nitrogen until you, science, and the world are ready for clones. Gene banking is $1,500, with a $150 annual fee for cryogenic storage. (Mia)

Do you nod gormlessly when the sommelier asks if you can smell the hints of spicy oak or black fruits in the the glass of wine in front of you? Train your nose with the Le Nez d Vin wine tasting kit, a handsome Italian case filled with vials of 54 aromas that are common in red and white wines. Some of the included scents are butter, cut hay, quince, and mushroom. $1,699 from Frontgate.

Charles and Ray Eames created the Lounge Chair and Ottoman in 1953. Sixty-three years later they still feel fresh and modern. As opposed to the over produced/copied Barcelona Chair, which is in just too many building lobbies. Instead, the molded wood invoke eternal coolness. Herman Miller versions are available at Design Within Reach for $3,595.50. (Ray)

Tailgating parties at sporting events have matured far beyond cooking hotdogs over portable charcoal grills. The Grill-n-Chill Tailgating Grill has a built in AM/FM radio (for listening to the game) and CD player. Cook gourmet burgers or steaks on the 24,000 BTU grill, and keep drinks cool in the 60 quart insulated cooler. For $2,999.99, you can take one home from Costco. (Ray)

,For those of you who fondly remember the days of vinyl, here is a gorgeous turntable for the rich and nostalgic. The German made Transrotor ZET 3 retails for € 3,736.00 ($4857) and will spin your LPs like no other player can. (Ray)

The Neiman Marcus Christmas book offers two Pet Homes, from Italian designer Marco Morosini. The $5,000 Nomad comes with matching rug and wall paper. Whereas, the $7,000 Good Life model is an Italian leather armchair encased in crystal glass. (Ray)

When it comes to the ultimate remote control that one can have, the Philips Pronto TSU9600 comes pretty close. Quite simply, it has got the best display among remotes, with its 3.7-inch touchscreen capable of dishing out VGA-quality graphics. When coupled with WiFi and RS232 extenders, it enables you to control an entire household of digital devices, ranging from high-end home theater equipment and custom lighting to multimedia servers. Available only from custom installers (you can locate one in your area via this link), this one will set you back around $1,299 (does not include the cost of configuring the remote). (Kanchana)

The most expensive television in the world -- the Yalos Diamond special editon High-def television, studded with diamonds, and yours for just $195,000. From Yalos. (Saresha)

"Giant Beauty" is an apt name for the GE Monogram 72" built-in bottom-freezer refrigerator. Done up completely in premium stainless steel, it measures H84"xD29" W72", with a total capacity of 41.2 cubic feet. Within this large space are 10 glass shelves -- 8 adjustable and 2 fixed, ensuring that all kinds of food storage requirements can be handled with ease. The Advanced Temperature Management System provides even distribution of air throughout the refrigerator, keeping your food fresh for longer periods. The other goodies include an automatic icemaker, water filtration system, ice storage bin and wine caddy. Evidently, size does matter. Available from US Appliance for $12,949. (Kanchana)

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12. 4.2006

Holiday Gift Guide 2006: $400 - $1000

Camera phone pictures are great for impromptu photo ops but not exactly suitable for framing or printing- not so with the Nokia N93 phone, which has a 3.2 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics and a 3x optical zoom. $939 from Neiman Marcus. (Mia)

Make like Grant Achatz of the molecular gastronomy haven, Alinea, and serve your sauces and purees frozen, instead of hot with the Anti-griddle. The -30F surface instantly freezes food or flash freezes the outside, leaving the inside soft and creamy. $845 from Cuisine Technology. (Mia)

The Motorola Ojo PVP1000 personal videophone transmits near broadcast TV quality video and in-sync audio over a high-speed internet connection. The video transmission is at a cool 30fps with the default 150Kbps bandwidth. The audio quality is also near perfect with very little delay even over cross-country calls. Its looks are arresting as well - the eye-catcher being the 7-inch LCD digital display mounted over a slender silver stand. All-in-all, an ideal gift to keep in touch over long distances. Available at GadgetBase for around $760. (Kanchana)

The X5 espresso machine kit was designed by Italian architect Luca Trazzi for Francis Francis! Trazzi gave his creation bold sloping lines and distinct angles to great effect. Kitchen appliances are in a rut of black and stainless steel and its getting a little tedious. In a refreshing move, the X5 comes in nine different colors. (Minimalists need not worry, as black is one of them.) The X5 retails for $650. (Ray)

For the person who has almost everything...the Moto RAZR V3i Dolce & Gabbana Phone & Luxury Package. For a mere $899, you can gift this gold tone or silver tone finish phone with the engraved D&G logo. It's the same guts as the Moto RAZR V3 but in a glittery package. Luxury Package Includes:
Moto RAZR V3i Dolce & Gabbana phone,
Metallic gold leather carrying case,
Wired stereo headset,
H700 Bluetooth headset,
Arrives in gold-tone/silver-tone box .

Terrariums are moving beyond the back shelf of your 3rd grade classroom. This eco-friendly one was designed by Justin Parker for Esque, based in Portland Oregon. It stands an ample 18 inches tall and is made to order using recycled glass in a furnace that is powered by wind energy. Branch offers this elegant piece for $945.00. (Ray)

Monster AVL-300 Home Remote: Ive spent some time with the Monster 300 remote; and its a great remote for controlling a plethora of a/v equipment. Programming light switches and dimmers into the home theater setup is just too cool, and it never ceases to amaze my friends. The only downside is that the programming isnt overly simple, so make sure that youre giving it to the technically proficient member of the family. The base remote package is $600, and enough lighting controllers to outfit a single room will cost a few hundred more. (Johnny)

Jack Spade takes the typical messenger bag and gives it the perfect tweak by using a herringbone patterned fabric. This bag is 16"W x 12"H x 6"D, making it just the right size for carrying laptops and its accompanying gear. The Jack Spade "Herringbone - Industrial Field Bag" is available at Nordstrom for $425.00. (Ray)

The Nokia N80 does just about everything. The Quadband EDGE/GSM phone has wi-fi, Bluetooth, a 3 mega-pixel camera and an MP3 player. You can also view MS Excel, Work and Powerpoint files from its hi-res screen. With Nokia Xpress Solutions, print or share photos directly from your phone. Best of all, the N80 is available in the US and retails for $599.99. (Ray)

The Bauhuas Table Lamp was designed by Wilhelm Wagenfeld and Carl Jucker in the 1920s. These lamps come numbered and are certified with the Bauhaus logo. Thie design has also been included as part of the MoMA collection and is sold at the MoMA Design Store for $795.00. (Ray)

An ideal gift for someone who hopes to be the next Eric Clapton but isn't quite there yet. The Fretlight 421 looks and plays like a regular electric guitar, but the difference lies in the tiny red LED lights embedded beneath the neck. Plug the guitar into your computer via the regular USB port and the LEDs light up to show where to put your fingers to play various chords and melodies. Along with software called M-Player, these lights can also guide you through MIDI songs. Available for $599.99 (Kanchana)

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12. 1.2006

Holiday Gift Guide 2006: $100 - $400

750 Gig Seagate Barracuda SATA Drive
I've been rocking Barracuda drives in my desktop rigs for several years, and I have yet to be disappointed. Specs are seven hundred and fifty gigs on a 16mb data buffer accessed through SATA at 3gigs a second. Fast and dependable is all I ask for so be forewarned that this drive is a little loud. It's in the $380 range from most online retailers. (Johnny)

ReServe Wine Preserver
I don't sample my wine collection often because I would hate to spoil it... I only have a glass or two at a time, and almost always forget that I opened a bottle yesterday. I've been playing around with a ReServe wine preservation system, and this recommendation is personal: It works great. The ReServe forces out the oxygen in open wine bottles and replaces it with inert Argon. By stopping the oxidation it's possible to sample a bottle of wine and enjoy the remainder over a week later without losing the vibrancy of a freshly opened bottle. There's a $165 gift package at Dean & DeLuca that comes with two bottle seals, an argon regulator, and a gas cartridge good for 20 uses. (Johnny)

Our very own Popgadgeteer Stuart blogged about a virtual laser piano some months ago, but if youre not much of a pianist, dont despair, youll still be able to use this cool little laser gadget. This wireless Bluetooth keyboard means no plug, just play, and can revolutionize the way you communicate. You want to hang upside down from the rafters? No problem. The full size keyboard can be projected onto any flat surface, even in sunlight. It's compatible with some of the more popular PDAs and cell phones on the market. Priced at $179.95, and available via Live Science Store. (Maggie)

The All-Clad Deluxe Slow Cooker is not your parent's Crock Pot from the 70s. This Slow Cooker comes with an insert, in which you brown meat on a stove. Then, the insert fits back into the cooker so that you don't lose any flavor from the browning process. Available from Williams-Sonoma for $249.95. (Ray)

The Electric Vacuum Marinator can infuse meats and vegetables that usually take up to two days to marinate, in just ten minutes. The vacuum suction stretches and opens the fibers to allowing the marinade to quickly seep completely into the food. Sold at Williams-Sonoma for $199.95. (Ray)

I'm always impressed as the prices of these DVD portable players continue to drop. The PET724/37 from Philips is very reasonable at $139.95 from J & R. With a decent 7 inch screen and 4 hour playback, someone's flight home this holiday season may be a lot more pleasurable with this gift option along with The Little Mermaid (Two-Disc Special Edition) DVD. (Ray)

Famed designer Philippe Starck takes on time and weather with the Starck Time and Weather Station. The LED clock synchs with the official US atomic clock. The weather forecast is displayed along with the current temperature, barometric pressure and humidity. The MOMA design store offers this clock for $225.00. (Ray)

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Holiday Gift Guide Guide 2006: Gifts under $100

Wi-Fi is great, but sometimes you get all excited about locating a hot spot just to find out after logging on that there�s a huge traffic jam. With a Wi-Spy Spectrum Analyzer, you�ll be able to detect signal strength for all Wi-Fi networks as well as Bluetooth, 2.4 GHz cordless phones, microwaves, Zigbee, and all other 2.4 GHz transmitters. You�ll be able to find out which channels are quiet, and which traffic jams to avoid. $99.99 at ThinkGeek. (Maggie)

Although seen on Project Runway judging up and comers, Michael Kors had fashion design street credibility long before the show. Here is his "Astor" Cell Phone case from his MICHAEL line. The best part is that it is only one piece from his "Astor" accessory collection, allowing for complete fashion coordination. Available at Nordstrom in Black (shown) or Luggage, for $48.00. (Ray)

Create your own home-made yogurt with the Automatic Yogurt Maker in less than half a day. Of course, the procedure would involve some work from your end to create the initial mixture, which you pour into the provided glass jars when ready. Then set the timer and relax as you wait for some creamy, delicious home-made yogurt. The yogurt maker retails at Williams Sonoma at $39.95. (Kanchana)

I love this retro inspired radio designed by Marco Pulga & Luc Artioli for Lexon Design. The LED display reads green for FM and red for AM. Currently available at designstore.com in wood (shown) for $60 or in colored rubber for $48. (Ray)

Given my tendency to misplace stuff, I'm almost tempted to gift myself the Credit Card Alarm. The alarm is an intelligent plastic-and-steel card case that beeps every twenty seconds when empty, in which case, you are being softly warned that your credit card could be missing. Extremely practical and can be used with your most valuable cards. Buy it online at $55 a piece. (Kanchana)


Trio's ingenious interchangeable covers give you 3 ways to carry your iPod Nano. The soft inner lining keeps your Nano like new, and the tough, genuine leather outer case keeps it safe and looking good. And the colors are beautiful. $24.00 at Griffin Technology. (Evan)

Schott's Almanac, from the author of Schott's Original Miscellany, Schott's Food & Drink Miscellany, and Schott's Sporting, Gaming & Idling Miscellany, takes us through the year in this humorous, non-traditional almanac which covers everything from political and economic events to memorable moments in pop culture (including a choice quote from Paris Hilton). A nice gift for the person in your life who has everything. $17.14 from Amazon.


For the rock n' roll diva in your life -- the Diavolina Belt Buckle. Made of a silver looking metal, it may just be the prefect accessory. $45.00 @ tokidoki. (Evan)

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Holiday Gift Guide 2006: Stocking Stuffers

For those who just don't want to brave the crowds on the busiest shopping day of the holiday season, Popgadget brings you the first installment of our holiday gift guide -- stocking stuffers that you can shop for online. These are our personal favorites:

To put you in the right mood, how about some circuit board Christmas ornaments from Acorn Studios? Not only would these make great ornaments for your tree, they also make good decorations for your computer monitor. They're $14.95 each, and until November 30th, shipping is free to Canada and the U.S.on orders over $20, and you get a free keychain with each order. (Hoyun)

You can apply makeup in any lighting situation with Kiss & Tell Lighted lipgloss, lipstick and mascara. They're $15.00 each. However, these won't help steady your hand in the back of a bumpy taxicab. (Mia)

Perfect for any dog owner, the "How Smart Is Your Dog IQ Test" contains 12 tests to determine the Canine Intelligence Quotient (CIQ) of their loyal companions. Available at I Want One Of Those for 4.99 (Approx USD $8.98 / 7.39.) (Ray)

The ever cute Mood Beams glow with different patterns. With two modes, they are activated by a simple tap or sound. Moon Beams are ready to be shipped to your home from I Want One of Those for 9.95 or approximately USD $17.91 / 14.73. (Ray)

One of our favorites featured earlier, Harry the Organizer from Mocha. Just stick it on a flat surface, shape it up as you like and fit in any number of little objects that you dont fancy lying around. Simple living, high thinking. Pick up Harry at $30 or Harry Jr. at $22. (Kanchana)

These Arriva headphones, designed to be worn around the back of your head, are very bendable and made to stay in place during extreme sports. $29.95 on the Arriva website. (Hoyun)

Marli bottle opener: Two years ago Steven Blaess designed a simple figure-eight bottle opener, and Alessi picked it up for production. The Marli design is simplistic, and fits in the palm of your hand; and can even be used with an old necktie as a fancypants designer belt buckle to, uh, hold up your fancy pants. At $19 it's one of the cheapest steel pieces in the Alessi catalogue. Available from MoMa or direct from Alessi. (Johnny)

Glenrothes Scotch gift pack: Sometimes you give a gift that the receiver will enjoy, and sometimes you give a gift to prove that you have good taste. Glenrothes is a Speyside single malt, and one of my absolute favorites. Typical Glenrothes has a sweet nose with golden honey tones in the middle and a tiny bit of peat on the finish. This trio of 100mL bottles is the perfect size for two people to share a glass out of each and sample three unique vintages. These packs are in limited supply this year so spend your $33 at
quickly. (Johnny)

What's more important than keeping warm this winter? Yup, keeping your gadgets warm. MacBook and iPod wrappers are essential for keeping your digital friends nice and cosy. As an additional bonus, the environmentally friendly gift packaging has "your name, the date your cover was made, and for custom covers the number of embroidery stitches." Available from Wrappers. (Stuart)

I'd be very happy to find this Muji multi-tool in my stocking. This stainless steel tool (5.5 inches long) includes a hammer, bottle opener, knife, file, two saws and a hexagon wrench, and comes with a pouch. At the MoMA store for $15 ($13.50 for members). (Hoyun)

The UM Hold uses reclaimed factory waste industrial felt to create these elegant wallets. The zippers come in organge, blue and green. Buy one this holiday season at Branch for $38.00. (Ray)

Celebrate your geekdom with the USB powered Holiday Tree. Simply plug into any USB port and the blue LED will add some Christmas cheer. Includes a Christmas star and Star of David, so you can make a Xmas tree or Hanukkah bush. $11.99 at ThinkGeek. (Evan)

money%20soap.jpg Show me the money! First, you're going to have to take a bath, though. Inside each pear-berry scented glycerine soap bar is either a $1, $5, $10, $20 or even a $50 bill. Perfect stocking stuffer for the mercenary. $12.99 from Bits and Pieces. (Evan)

Goodbye to tedious winding. Set your kitchen timer with a single swish-and-pull of the Tape Timer. Pull the ring to set the timer (up to 60 mins). The tape goes down gradually and signals the end of time with a loud ring. Arty. Available at $15 from Uncommon Goods. (Kanchana)

Vitra Chair Poster: I have one of these posters hanging in my living room, and if your recipient is a fan of design there is no better quick reference for chairs from 1820 to 1990. I consult "The Poster" often to get a designer's name or to see when a certain iconic piece was made. It's forty bucks at Design Within Reach, and DesignBoom has a pair of complimentary posters featuring rocking and folding chairs for $10 a pop. (Johnny)

Case Mod T-shirt: Being a tech kid isn't just about liking computers, but more about being the person who understands how it all works inside the box. When it's time to build a new computer the case is the first thing that gets assembled. Show off your skills with a blow apart schematic of just how it all fits together on the Case Mod t-shirt from mnpctech. This shirt costs ten bones direct from the maker, and any nerd will be proud to fly these colors. (Johnny)

Take a number, Bud! For the person in our life whose family or co-workers are always bugging them to do something. Just use these push pins to put the request on your bulletin board and they'll get the message. $5.95 for set of four at See Jane Work. (Evan)

The Electronic Handheld Sudoku Game can help past the time while improving skills of logic and deduction. Test your brain with over 100,000 puzzles using its cool touch screen. It's available at the Discovery Channel Store for $19.95. (Ray)

The Donut FM Radio has a funky design, is really entertaining to use (rotate the outer ring to tune and inner ring to switch on/off and adjust the volume) and looks awfully cute. Available for $30 a piece at the MoMA store. Dont keep it around at meal times. (Kanchana)

Still struggling to find something despite this guide? Wow, you are picky. Maybe you should try imagini.net instead. Imagini uses VisualDNA, their very own made-up word to describe their unique gift guide system that's specifically suited to the individual. The site works by providing you with a series of photos, and instructing you to make simple selections based on what one you like best. At the end of it all, you're provided with your very own personal gift guide. Try it now at imagini.net. (Stuart)

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