PSA: It’s cool to be a nerd. Shout-out to all the science-savvy, cosmos-curious, mathematically-minded pals out there. We put together a list of gifts those proud geeks will love—or, should we say, that’ll increase their oxytocin levels exponentially.
I’m a life-long lover of outer space, and I love knowing that many of our customers are too. We’re always looking for creative ways to celebrate the wonders of the universe, so I was super excited when the rest of the team at UncommonGoods got on board with my planetary-inspired jewelry idea: our handmade Earth & Beyond Bracelets.
I knew from the start that I wanted to develop these bracelets in collaboration with Wakami, a company that empowers female artisans and their communities. Not only do they have an artistic vision that would help the idea come to life, but they also have a really great mission: connecting under-resourced communities to the global market.
Through Wakami, women in rural Guatemalan villages are able to generate income and access services (like professional training) that help improve their quality of life. Knowing that, we felt like the story, design, and craftsmanship of these bracelets would make a meaningful statement to anyone who wears them.
Carl Sagan once said, “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” We know that he was talking about the mind-blowing, cosmic kind of “something,” but we figure that same statement can apply to incredibly cool stuff here on Earth too. In the spirit of discovery–even if it’s simply the discovery of your favorite new space-themed goodies–we rounded up a selection of products that celebrate the moon, stars, planets, and beyond.
1. A necklace depicting our solar system. (Oh, hey Pluto!)
Most true space geeks are OK with the whole Pluto getting downgraded thing. After all, it’s science! Still, our solar system isn’t complete without everyone’s favorite dwarf planet, so this lovely bib necklace features the sun, the eight big ones, and lil’ Pluto.
2. Planetary bottle stoppers that glow in the dark.
These handcrafted glass planets (and the sun!) stop your open wine bottle with celestial flair, even in the dark.
3. A clock that lets you tell time using Saturn’s rings.
Days on Saturn are less than 11 hours long, but this clock has Earth time covered. The rotating rings tell the hour, the orbiting moon serves as the minute hand, and the stationary moon spins with the seconds.
In 2018, SpaceX sent Elon Musk’s red Tesla into orbit (complete with a dummy driver dubbed “Starman”), launching renewed buzz about the strange, offbeat, and downright surprising stuff humans have sent into space. Since the beginning of the Space Race, hundreds of unusual objects have been propelled into the unknown for the sake of science (or sometimes just for fun). Choosing the weirdest really wouldn’t be fair to the rest, so here’s a rundown of our top ten extraterrestrial odds and ends:
To French artist Govy, planets are much more than big rocks throttling in circles throughout the sky—they’re measures of time, markers of our place in the universe, and fodder for some really cool creations. Creations like her Personalized Solar System Art Print, a joint venture with Martin Vézina that takes a date and time that’s important to you and turns it into a piece of sleek, custom-made artwork that highlights where, according to NASA, the planets and dwarf planets in our solar system were at that very moment. Pretty cosmic, huh?
We first caught a glimpse of Govy’s work here in our Brooklyn office, a world away from Japan, where she now lives with her beloved cat, Taiga. We love the inviting, but minimal look of her prints, with their personal flair and art-meets-STEM approach, and we knew we simply had to reach out and see if she’d tell us more about how she developed the idea. Read on for Govy’s answers to our burning questions (you know, burning like big balls of gas, billions of miles away), plus a couple of photos of Taiga herself.
For space geeks, it’s an awesome time to be alive. From the Great American eclipse to Cassini’s swan song, 2017 was a big year for space stuff. And with new, weird exoplanets popping up all the time and propulsion innovations bringing us closer to Mars, the future’s looking equally far out. So for all the stargazers on your list, we’ve assembled a constellation of space-inspired gifts to make the holidays merry and bright as Alpha Canis Majoris.
Just in time for summer, the search for exoplanets—worlds beyond our solar system—is heating up. Literally. Astronomers have discovered a planet that’s beyond blistering. It’s almost as hot as the surface of our sun and even hotter than many other stars. More than twice the size of Jupiter, gas giant KELT-9b boasts a daytime temperature of 4,300 °C. For comparison’s sake, the hottest planet in our solar system—Venus—averages only 460 °C and the hottest spot on earth is Death Valley at a pitiful 58 °C. “You call that hot?” say imagined retirees living on KELT-9b.
Your nightstand—it’s just the utilitarian bedside spot for stashing your alarm clock or phone, some tissues, and your latest nighttime read, right? Maybe, but it should be a whole lot more. Think about it. What’s the last thing you see at night when you reach over to turn off the light? What’s your waking sight when you reach for your alarm each morning?
Since your nightstand is the closest thing to your bed, it’s your first and last visual cue of the day—so why not give a little attention to this overlooked spot? Add some thoughtful, personalized touches that are both functional and decorative for calming your mood at night and adding some energetic pep to your morning.
According to Carl Jung, the sea symbolizes our collective unconscious, spilling forth each night with dreams concealed by day. The swirling waves of this bedside lantern will be just the thing for your nightstand. Made from recycled paper, the wave-printed shade casts a warm glow perfect for cozy bedtime lighting and even adjusts for brightness. | Glowing Wave Paper Lantern