11 Fantastic Gifts for Geeky Grads

iStock.com/PeopleImages
iStock.com/PeopleImages

Have a loved one who recently graduated from high school, college, grad school, or a secret wizarding academy? Show your support with just the right gift.

1. Kodak PRINTOMATIC Digital Instant Print Camera; $70

A person prints out a black-and-white photo from a yellow PRINTOMATIC camera.

Kodak, Amazon

Kodak's PRINTOMATIC camera is more than just an instant camera that lets users to print snapshots on demand—though it does that, too. The digital point-and-shoot camera can be used to capture and save photos to a microSD card as well as print in color or black and white. The 2-inch-by-3-inch prints are water-resistant, smudge-free, and sticky, so they're ready to scrapbook immediately. The camera body comes in six different fun colors, so you can customize it to your grad's personal taste. 

Find it: Amazon

2. My Coffee and Book Club Subscription; $32 and Up

A stack of books on a table next to a cup and saucer
iStock.com/elenaleonova

Give your favorite bookworm/coffee geek a professionally curated box of their two great loves each month with My Coffee and Book Club. Each month, they'll get two hardback books, an e-book, and a bag of coffee. The subscription offers a choice between eight different genres (acclaimed fiction, acclaimed non-fiction, science fiction, thriller, mystery, horror, romance, fantasy), or users can elect to receive random picks, and the java comes in 12-ounce packages of small-batch whole bean or ground coffee. Each box ships out during the first week of each month. (If your grad isn't big on books, Cratejoy also offers of plenty of other geeky subscription boxes, from science kits to magic supplies to coding projects and "escape the room" games.)

Find it: Cratejoy

3. Beetlejuice Handbook For The Recently Deceased; $8 and Up

The cover of the 'Beetlejuice: Handbook for the Recently Deceased' journal

Insight Editions, Amazon

In Tim Burton's world, dearly departed characters can get a sense of what to expect from the afterlife with the help of the Handbook for the Recently Deceased. You can get a replica of the prop that appeared in 1988's Beetlejuice in several forms: Give the paperback or hardback notebook version of the book to your grad and he or she can fill in whatever tips might be helpful, or give them the notecard set to ensure you get a very spooky thank you card in return.

Find it: Amazon

4. Ghostbusters Playing Cards; $9

Select cards from the 'Ghostbusters' playing card pack

Albino Dragon, Amazon

Help your favorite student pass the time between cram sessions with Albino Dragon's officially licensed Ghostbusters playing cards, which are decked out with original illustrations. Each face card has a different character from the classic ‘80s comedy, including Slimer, Peter Venkman, and Winston Zeddemore.

Find it: Amazon

5. BB-8 Desk Lamp; $33

All nighters can be conducted under the soft glow of a BB-8 lamp, minus the concentration-breaking sound effects. The lamp stands 8.5 inches tall and has three different lighting modes—tap BB-8's head and it switches between natural white, amber, and warm white light.

Find it: Walmart

6. Bookworm Beach Towel; $40

A towel with an image of book spines on it

Cassia Beck, Society6

No matter what their next move is, we hope your favorite grad is about to wrap up their months of studying by spending some much-needed time hitting the beach. Help them show off their love of literature with this beach towel from artist Cassia Beck. The image features a collection of books by literary juggernauts like Virginia Woolf, J.D. Salinger, and more. (We also recommend this one, which looks like a classic library card, or this one, which has a more abstract writerly vibe.)

Find it: Society6

7. Skillshare Subscription; $36 and Up

A chalk outline of a person's head with a yellow lightbulb inside it
iStock.com/anilakkus

Just because graduation is over doesn't mean your favorite nerd is going to stop learning. Give them the gift of post-grad learning with a Skillshare membership, which gives them unlimited ad-free access to classes on the site and offline. Options include lessons on languages, writing, design, animation, photography, business, crafts, and more. With gift subscription plans ranging from 3 months to one year, your recent grad can learn everything from how to knit a scarf to how to master Photoshop to how to understand the stock market.

Find it: Skillshare

8. Exploding Kittens; $20

'Exploding Kittens' card game in its box

Exploding Kittens LLC, Amazon

Exploding Kittens is a popular card game for anyone who likes cats, explosions, and the website The Oatmeal. The party game comes with 56 illustrated cards and allows for up to five players (or up to nine with the expansion pack). As the most-backed Kickstarter project of all time, it's practically guaranteed to be fun. If you want to keep your favorite grad's game night going even longer, there are also multiple expansion packs.

Find it: Amazon

9. The Lord Of The Rings Doormat; $33

A doormat reads "You shall not pass" with a silhouette of Gandalf on it

getDigital, Amazon

A doormat that features a warning from Gandalf may not be the most welcoming item to put outside your front door, but at least it'll keep out the Balrog.

Find it: Amazon

10. Doctor Who Stein; $20

A ceramic TARDIS stein

Doctor Who, Amazon

This officially licensed stein is the perfect container for throwing back all kinds of inter-dimensional drinks. It has a lid and enough room for 50 ounces of liquid.

Find it: Amazon

11. Owl Tapestry; $34

No college dorm room or post-grad apartment is complete without a tapestry. Skip the usual kaleidoscopic designs and opt for something unique; Society6 has a whole slew of options, including this lovely bunch of owls.

Find it: Society6

A version of this article first ran in 2017. It has been updated to reflect current availability as of May 2019.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

This Convenient, Comfortable Travel Pillow Doesn’t Wrap Around Your Neck

Manuel-F-O/iStock via Getty Images
Manuel-F-O/iStock via Getty Images

If an angry bit of airplane turbulence has recently whammed your forehead into the window, you probably have the bruises to prove that sleeping on the go can be a dangerous game. Though neck pillows can offer some security, not everyone’s a fan—some people can’t sleep totally upright, some don’t think it provides enough support, and others simply don’t like the feeling of a plush toilet seat curled around their necks.

For those people, there’s the Ostrich Pillow Mini, a tiny, oblong pillow into which you slip your hand, forearm, or elbow, depending on what’s most comfortable for you. It will stay in place and protect your head from airplane turbulence in a way that no balled-up, threadbare hoodie ever could, but it’s not just for those lucky winners (or purchasers) of window seats. You can use the pillow wherever you might be inclined to rest your head on top of your arms, including plane or train trays, piles of library books, and office desks. One Amazon customer even used the pillows as elbow pads to protect himself from unforgivingly hard arm rests.

Ostrich pillow mini
Amazon

Since the Ostrich Pillow Mini essentially works as an extension of your arm, you don’t have to stay stone-still while you sleep. As Travel + Leisure’s Claudia Fisher puts it, “Sometimes, I even wake up from a nap to discover I’ve shifted in my sleep but brought my little arm pillow with me to support my head in its new spot.”

In addition to its main opening, the pillow has two other holes. One is a small, finger-sized opening through which you slide your thumb if you’re keeping the pillow on your hand. The other is a larger hole at the other end, through which you slide your hand if you want the pillow to stay on your forearm or elbow.

Ostrich pillow mini
Amazon

It’s compact enough that you can easily fit it into your carry-on bag, backpack, or briefcase, and understated enough that you can power nap in public without drawing attention to yourself. The outer layer is light gray, and the inner layer comes in Midnight Grey, Blue Reef, or Sleepy Blue. You can order it for $35 from Amazon.

Check out some other ways to make flying more comfortable here.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

Attention Movie Geeks: Cinephile Is the Card Game You Need Right Now

Cinephile/Amazon
Cinephile/Amazon

If you’ve got decades worth of movie trivia up in your head but nowhere to show it off, Cinephile: A Card Game just may be your perfect outlet. Created by writer, art director, and movie expert Cory Everett, with illustrations by Steve Isaacs, this game aims to test the mettle of any film aficionado with five different play types that are designed for different skill and difficulty levels.

For players looking for a more casual experience, Cinephile offers a game variety called Filmography, where you simply have to name more movies that a given actor has appeared in than your opponent. For those who really want to test their knowledge of the silver screen, there’s the most challenging game type, Six Degrees, which plays like Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, with the player who finds the fewest number of degrees between two actors getting the win.

When you choose actors for Six Degrees, you’ll do so using the beautifully illustrated cards that come with the game, featuring Hollywood A-listers past and present in some of their most memorable roles. You’ve got no-brainers like Uma Thurman in Kill Bill (2003) and Arnold Schwarzenegger in Total Recall (1990) alongside cult favorites like Bill Murray from 2004's The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and Jeff Goldblum in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984). Of course, being a game designed for the true film buff, you’ll also get some deeper cuts like Helen Mirren from 1990’s The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover and Sean Connery in 1974's Zardoz. There are 150 cards in all, with expansion packs on the way.

Cinephile is a labor of love for Everett and Isaacs, who originally got this project off the ground via Kickstarter, where they raised more than $20,000. Now it’s being published on a wider scale by Clarkson Potter, a Penguin Random House group. You can pre-order your copy from Amazon now for $20 before its August 27 release date.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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