20 Mar 2010

ATLAS Experiment at LHC CERN Online Store

ATLAS is a particle physics experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Starting in late 2009/2010, the ATLAS detector will search for new discoveries in the head-on collisions of protons of extraordinarily high energy. ATLAS will learn about the basic forces that have shaped our Universe since the beginning of time and that will determine its fate. Among the possible unknowns are the origin of mass, extra dimensions of space, unification of fundamental forces, and evidence for dark matter candidates in the Universe.

ATLAS also has an online store! Amid the usual apparel is an original T-shirt design by Alan Alda with perhaps a slightly weird quotation of "imagination is more important than knowledge." How does that square with an experimental facility? You'll also find some great images and posters plus some free downloadable stuff

13 Dec 2009

XKCD: a webstore of romance, sarcasm, math and language

XKCD, a webstore of romance, sarcasm, math and language, is the online shop of their webcomic. Check out XKCD to get a feel for their style of warped science. The original cartoons have a double punchline with rollover text sometimes elucidating the underlying concept, though more often than not merely serving to deepen the confusion. A handy and active forum serves to explain away the mysteries to those who didn't get the joke.

The XKCD webstore has the usual merchandise of signed prints, posters, T-shirts and apparel. The Tech Support T-shirt is very popular. The Linux Cheat Shirt - printed upside-down so that you can read it whilst wearing it - and the "Stand Back, I'm Going To Try Science" will make you stand out as a sociopath. But my favourite is the Useless T-shirt - even the identity matrix is useless in the face of love. Sadly, the material world of T-shirts makes it difficult to have hidden text but the obvious solution is to print it on the back (so why haven't they done so?)

Enjoy the comic and remember... "SCIENCE. It Works, Bitches." (lucky there's a comma there)

26 Nov 2008

Curious Minds

Curious Minds has a wide range of scientific, mathematical and mind-bending toys.

As of writing their bestsellers seem to be glass prism, solar system toys, ant farms, electronics and chemistry kits, and a classic favourite, the gyroscope.

Based in the UK they will deliver worldwide but you may need to wait for them to quote you a total delivery charge.

16 Nov 2008

Bletchley Park Gift Shop for Code Crackers and Cryptographers

Bletchley Park's online shop has hundreds of gifts for people interested in code cracking and cryptography.

Books and CDs for children and adults on code breaking and the history of codes and the wartime work at Bletchley Park.

For the historian of science there are limited edition prints and photographs with many signed. You will find images of the Enigma Cipher, the Colossus MkII and the Decode Room in Hut 6. You can also own an original piece of slate from the Bletchley Park mansion roof.

The gifts section has some attractive mugs such as the Colossus "Plug" Mug and Coaster and a variety of souvenirs such as keyrings and mousemats, posters and greeting cards.

The shopping cart is a bit old-fashioned and worth looking through the subsections so as not to miss anything, but as children (and adults) love to make and break secret codes, you'll find some unique gifts here at Bletchley Park.

29 Oct 2008

Museum of Science, Boston, Gift Shop

The online Gift Shop at the Museum of Science in Boston has all the usual science books, games and toys. As always, I've had a dig around to see if there is anything unusual or interesting.

Their Unique Gifts section is very small but does include a set of salt and pepper shakers shaped like computer keyboard keys with letters S and P. There is also an Eco-conscious Gifts section, again rather small but the T-shirts look attractive. Indeed worth looking around as the cross-linkage of items across categories is very poor, so that those eco T-shirts do not appear in the apparel category, also the futuristic MoS coffee mug is in Souvenirs but not in Drinkware!

For being such a big museum, their online shop is disappointing. But T-shirts and drinking mugs do look nice, but as I said, have a look around as things are not always in the obvious place.

9 Oct 2008

American Museum of Natural History Museum Shop

The online shop of the American Museum of Natural History has a wealth of original gifts, from just a few bucks up to many thousands of dollars. An Alisa Peacock Navajo Wool Rug will set you back $10,000 and yet an attractive black AMNH mug can be had for just $12.95.

Apart from the usual stock of science and natural history educational materials and toys, the American Museum of Natural History is very good at creating decorative gifts and apparel linked to both their temporary and permanent exhibitions. As of writing they have specific sections on Butterflies, The Horse and Space. A silk T. Rex Skeleton Tie at $52 is on the tasteful side of novelty ties.

Worth checking out as new exhibitions appear.

2 Oct 2008

Royal Society of Chemistry

The Royal Society of Chemistry has a small online shop, mainly selling books, as well as journals and subscriptions.

I think the two most interesting and unusual books are the Chemistry and Biology of Winemaking and Kitchen Chemistry.

"Someone once said that 'wine is a mixture of chemistry, biology and psychology'. It has certainly fascinated people over the centuries and without a doubt been enjoyed by many. Indeed, from its serendipitous roots as an attempt to store fruit, wine has been woven into the fabric of society; from its use in religion to today's sophisticated products sampled over a meal."

Sadly, not really very much as yet in the games section and general cultural artefacts, however there is a 550-piece Visual Elements Jigsaw puzzle.

The RSC also has an extensive Image Library that you can browse online and order reproductions, but there are no prices so this has to be done by request or just pop in to Burlington House.

The Linnean Society of London

The Linnean Society has a very small online shop. You can order the society's publications but the most unusual objects are a Tercentenary Wedgwood Medallion and Bronze Medal. The Bronze Medal is in a limited edition of only 300 and, last I looked, still seem to be available.

The portrait medallion of Linnaeus is one of several variants of the famous Wedgwood profile. It was originally made in 1775 by the English sculptor John Flaxman (1775-1826), and derives from one of the wax portraits of 1773 by C.F. Inlander. I think the medallion makes an original present for the botanist, zoologist and general natural historian.

16 Sep 2008

Villalcor - goma2

I discovered this company whilst browsing the Adler Planetarium online shop. However, it took some digging around to track them down.

Villalcor is a manufacturer of reproduction period pieces, including mathematical and scientific instruments from the 12th to the 19th centuries. Their contact details seem to be on this page, which is just a directory listing on Artesania Iberica. Strangely, there is no link to their catalogue, which is here at goma2. Yes, both sites are in Spanish only and goma2 is a horrible website, but just take a look through their catalogue. It seems to me a real shame that such beautiful objects are given such a poor online presence. I haven't investigated further but the company also seems to have let their domain name lapse. Perhaps they would just rather deal through agents.

Anyway, you will see that Villalcor makes antique compasses, portable sundials, armillary spheres, optical games such as zootropes and anamorphic images, and other decorative antique items. Some have been reproduced as miniatures to make them more affordable and portable.

As I said, Villalcor products are available in some shops, so perhaps the best approach is to send them an email to ask about stockists, unless, of course, you speak Spanish, in which case a phone call is likely to be much faster.