Beyoncé, Star Wars or Vonnegut? Valentine’s Day gift guide for your geeky significant other

Okay, so we all know that in some ways, V-Day is a big corporate scam to get you to spend money on useless stuff in the name of “love”. And when it comes to jewelry, it’s way easy to break the bank in a way that may force you to subsist on bananas and bagels for the rest of the month. But what if you still have a dear one beside you that would love a shiny token of your affection on February 14? Hey, maybe you’d like to receive one, too! Whatever your gifting dilemma, you don’t have to surrender your wallet to ~The Man~ to grab an awesome, original prezzie for your sweetheart or close pal that celebrates all the wonderful things they’re into. Check out these rad jewelry alternatives!

1. Heartbeats necklaces by Erica Weiner

Wanting to create affordable, vintage-looking jewelry with plucky pop-culture references, Brooklyn’s Erica Weiner started out as an art student and costumer for Broadway shows. She began making jewelry after work as a stress-relieving hobby, and now she works with eight to ten other women in her studio to bring her creations to life. Because we think it’s pretty cool to support all-lady owned and operated businesses, these badass Heartbeats lyrics necklaces get our stamp of approval. Whether your jam was sung by Fleetwood Mac, Beyoncé or the Talking Heads, you or your honey can wear some of your favorite lyrics around your neck. (I’ve got the R. Kelly one and I hardly take it off!) They’re $55 USD for oxidized silver for $65 USD for 24k gold-plated, so you can cop some lovely bling without hitting the triple digits. Nice!

Source: ericaweiner.com

Source: ericaweiner.com

2. Superhero cufflinks by CustomSwagger

Treat the dapper lad or lady in your life with this Utah-based Etsy shop’s custom-made cufflinks! You can choose from the Superman logo, Star Wars droid heads, Transformers Decepticon heads and other ‘links inspired by Batman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Ghostbusters and more. Nothing says “I love you” like tiny Darth Vader heads to hold your cutie pie’s shirt together, right?! At about $12 CAD a pop, these little guys are definitely affordable. And supporting small businesses and at-home artisans is always in style, wethinks!

darth

Source: CustomSwagger on Etsy

3. Out of Print’s literary-themed neck candy

If your beloved’s always got their nose in a book, then Out of Print’s products (based on iconic and classic novels) will totally be their thing. I’m really digging the cursive “Doubleplusgood” necklace referencing George Orwell’s 1984, and this To Kill a Mockingbird inspired charm necklace. The special recipient of this gift can fondly recall The Bell Jar, The Catcher in the Rye, Alice in Wonderland and other legendary works of literature every time they look down. All of their pieces are approximately $30 USD, and if you throw in their Library Stamp tee, Out of Print will send a book to a community in need. Pretty fab!

so-it-goes-necklace-slaughterhouse-five-48068-p

What are you doing to celebrate with your sweetie pie or dear friends come February 14? (By the way, a solo Netflix and mint-chocolate-chip ice cream marathon counts as celebrating, too.)

BlackBerries are still a thing, apparently

Up until a few years ago, I was a staunch anti-Apple consumer. I chuckled pompously at the sheep-like masses with small white buds buried in their ears as I listened to music on my phone. I rolled my eyes at the advent of the iPad, thinking it ridiculous that any person would need a computer and a weird handheld screen thingy. I dutifully plugged away on my six-year-old, virus-ridden and hopelessly slow HP laptop, thinking I was one of the valiant few doing humanity a favor. And then, with my tail between my legs, I became a convert to the Church of Apple. Once I made the switch to an iPhone, I never looked back. Now, you’ll almost always catch me with those little white plastic earbuds plugged into my head while I’m cruising Tumblr on my MacBook Air.

hm

The thing is, once I crossed over, I forgot about everything else. Namely, that people are still actually buying technology that, to Millennials, could be already considered obsolete, much like 2008 Miley Cyrus.

Pre-tongue, post-Nick Jonas bb Milez toting a BlackBerry Bold 9000. Lest we forget. Source: pinterest.com

Pre-tongue, post-Nick Jonas bb Milez toting a BlackBerry Bold 9000. Lest we forget. Source: pinterest.com

BlackBerries (BlackBerrys?) are. Still. A thing. At least this seems to be the case, seeing that a limited, black and gold edition of the new BlackBerry Passport (which sported a redundant and kind of lame side engraving that read “limited edition”) released today sold out within hours. Cute, I guess, but kind of a yawn, because this proves that BlackBerry, like every other smartphone with the exception of maybe the Samsung Galaxy, is just trying to keep up with Apple. I mean, just take a look at the “highlights” of November’s BlackBerry Classic, among which were “a good touch-screen”, “very fast Internet” and “a keyboard”. Really, BlackBerry? I’m pretty sure any human exiting the womb after 2000 comes implanted with those same features. You’re essentially bragging about being a functional cellular phone.

Source: crackberry.com

Source: crackberry.com

All questionable marketing language aside, Samsung recently offered to buy BlackBerry for up to $7.5 million, to which BlackBerry laughed, flipped its hair and said “We’re totally fine. Really, we’re fine.” Well, I guess we can sort of believe that when certain celebrities still swear by their BBs. Despite striking a deal with Samsung to sell his last album and the fact that he’s been seen using an iPhone, Jay-Z still mostly relies on an old-school BlackBerry to carry out the day-to-day duties necessary to his role of Mr. Beyoncé. He even lent some props to the ol’ dinosaur celly in last year’s collab track with Daft Punk “Computerized”: “Start macking on my BlackBerry / She got jealous / I was tapping on my BlackBerry.” All that this shows us is that the best thing that rhymes with “BlackBerry” is “BlackBerry”. And also that none of this ever actually happened because we all know that he isn’t macking on anyone, except maybe Bey, who is obviously incapable of mortal, bacchanal emotions like jealousy.

Essentially. Source: baconwrappedmedia.com

Essentially. Source: baconwrappedmedia.com

So BlackBerry, what are you even doing? Okay, I get it. Why should you listen to me, lowly ’90s baby with capricious tastes in technology and an irreverent, entitled, know-it-all attitude? You’re going to valiantly keep trying to remain competitive in the market as long as it’s profitable for you to do so. That’s great. That’s the beauty of Western capitalism. But it won’t last forever, BB. And when it ends, I’ll be here for you with a big tub of mint-chocolate-chip ice cream. And an iPhone 6.

Source: giphy.com

Source: giphy.com

(Psst! Tech geeks should check out our take on gaming with the iPhone 6 plus.)

Super Smashup Bros. and Donkey Business: VG Mashups!

Today, video game music is much like a movie score, featuring real orchestration, hours of tracks and sometimes composed by the very same men and women writing for film. Gone are the days of midis or 100% computer-generated, simple tunes, which some would say is a very good thing.

Some, but not all. There are those like myself who miss a lot of the video game music we grew up with and enjoy the sounds of all the games we used to love. I remember Donkey Kong Country and its beats, unique at the time and a blast to listen to as you explored the jungles. Then there was Super Mario RPG, which brought the drama and triumph of Squaresoft’s usual tracks to Mario’s usual sound. And, of course, one can never forget Sephiroth’s theme from the epic Final Fantasy VII.

Now, thanks to a few DJs and mashup geniuses, though, the songs you know and love are back with a modern pop or hip-hop twist. Here are two awesome mashup albums you can download for free that bring the VG past into the music of today!

First up, here’s Valley of Walls’ Super Smashup Bros, a compilation of various hits from video games like Sonic the Hedgehog and FF7 mashed up with songs from the likes of Lady Gaga and Beyonce.

The track-listing includes songs like “Crank Dat One Winged Angel”, “I Know You Want Wario Stadium”, “Smithy Puts a Ring on it” and “99 Problems Zone”. It’s definitely worth a listen, so you can click the pic above or just click here to check out Valley of Walls’ site.

And for something more specific, check out Norweigan Recycling’s DONKEY BUSINESS!

Featuring music from the Donkey Kong Country trilogy, this album boasts some pretty impressive tracks from the likes of Michael Jackson, Timbaland and Usher. Songs like “The Way Blast Barrels Are”, “I Wish I had Life Balloons” or “Billie Jean Kong” aren’t just cute mashups, they’re quality on their own. If you were a fan of the game or if you’re just seeking a neat addition to your iPod, look no further! You can download it right here. Plus, check out some of his other musical works on the main page.