Holiday gift ideas for thinkers

November 29, 2007

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By Terry Lavender

What do you get that hard-to-shop-for brainiac on your holiday list? How about a cow duck? A ticket to ride? Zillions of games? Toby Donaldson, a computing scientist and one of Santa’s helpers at SFU Surrey, offers his 2007 list of sure-fire gifts for thinkers:

Stonehenge: Billed as an anthology board game, it comes with instructions for five games—all using the same high-quality pieces in the box. Don’t like any of them? Invent your own and post it on the Stonehenge website,

The Create Robot: Based on the popular Roomba and Scuba household cleaning robots, this inexpensive but durable robot is a great toy for anyone who wants to learn more about practical robotics.

Ticket to Ride: A popular family board game that combines card-play and train-track building in a surprisingly fun way.

Portal: If you’ve ever wanted your own portable hole, then Portal is the video game for you. Your only tool is the portal device that you use to solve a series of clever puzzles.

Wits and Wagers: A party trivia game where it doesn’t help to know a lot of trivia. The answers are all numbers. Make your best guess then you bet on whose answer is closest to being correct.

Ingenious: A clever variation of dominoes where you must collect points in various colors.

Zillions of Games: Why buy one game when you can get zillions? This software comes pre-packed with thousands of computerized board and puzzle games, plus the ability to program your own.

The Cow Duck: It’s a cow. It’s a duck. It’s the cow duck. The perfect bath companion when a rubber ducky just won’t do.

Cow Duck

Picross: A Nintendo DS version of “Paint By Numbers.” If you like Sudoku, you’ll love this.
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