This is kind of part Christmas gift list, part notes to myself, and part just links to things I think others might also find interesting.

  • Tomy Flip Flap. A solar-powered plastic plant, perfect for cube living.
  • Despair.com Irresponsibility desk photo. If you don’t know despair.com, take some time and check them out. Many of these are hilarious. “Meetings” would be good for a conference room, “Destiny” or “Dysfunction” for an ex-lover, etc. I like “Irresponsibility” because, besides the cool picture, it’s actually a pretty important principle. Nobody thinks they are responsible for destroying the environment, for screwing up the product they work on, for electing George W. Bush, for the prevalence of junk food and bad TV/movies – and yet millions of people are responsible for those things. All those actions and decisions and votes and purchases do add up. The positive side of that is that small good things add up too. If more people thought about the relationship between raindrops and floods the world would be a much, much better place. I like the picture as a reminder of that.
  • Piano Tribute to Pink Floyd. That just sounds like an awful idea, doesn’t it? Well, I happened to pick up the tribute to Dido for cheap, and it turned out to be remarkably good. In fact, I like the tribute versions of some songs better than the originals, especially where the piano can convey a particular feeling better than Dido’s own not-so-strong voice. Not all of the tributes seem to be of the same high quality, but Vitamin does provide samples and the Pink Floyd one seemed to be of the same excellent quality.
  • Disappearing Civil Liberties Mug. I don’t actually want this one for myself because I’m not that much of a hot-beverage drinker and I already have a rare Angst Technology mug I like to use, but I thought other people might like this idea. They also have one that shows the effects of global warming on sea levels.
  • A good online wish list that’s not tied to a specific vendor. I use my Amazon wish list for whatever I can – mostly books, music and games – but none of the items on this listare available through Amazon. Sometimes I don’t even have a specific make or model of something in mind anyway, but I’d like to put it on a gift list anyway. There seem to be bunches of sites offering this functionality, but I have no idea if they’re any good. Some of the online to-do lists are nice, and Ta-da List’s random list of lists is kind of fascinating in a voyeuristic way, but that’s not quite the same thing. Something like Amazon’s priorities and quantity-wanted/quantity-purchased handling (to prevent getting two of the same thing without spoiling surprises) would be really nice. If anyone has any experience with such a thing, please let me know.