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Tarik's (aka The Architect) Oracular Spectacular Gift Guide

Only five days left before Santa make his deliveries.  Are you one of those trying to find that unique gift for that certain someone?  Is that person possess geeky tendancies similar to me? Or are you looking for gift for me? Well I have your solution.  Check out my Oracular Spectacular Gift Guide.  I feature some fantastic and unique gifts for that special person.  Let's get crackin':

1. Wine tasting packs from Brixr ( The older I get, the more I enjoy wine. But I hate spending $15 or more on bottle and it turns out that I didn't really  like it. That is where Brixr wine tasting packs come in to play.  Brixr is a creation of the web/wine company Crushpad. Crushpad is place where you make your own wine without the mess. Brixr tasting packs comes with 4 (50ml) bottles of various wines and a coupon for a free bottle of wine, which costs aroun $65. You can also purchase the tasting packs only for under $30.  It is great way to sample various wines without breaking the bank.

2. The Zumi Digital Camera ( A digital camera you say. That's not very unique. Well this one is. What make this camera special is what kind of pictures and videos it takes. It shoots lo-fi pictures similar to old polaroids, and the video it takes reminds me of the classic 8mm film from when I was a kid.  The camera can also take black & white video and record sound. View some of the pictures taken with this camera hereand you can check out some of the videos here. You can get the camera and 2gb card for less than $200. The camera is manufactured by the Japanese comapny SuperHeadz. Here is a little sample:

3. The Bug Bundle from Bug Labs ( Now this is the ulitmate gift for the ultimate geek!  Have you ever wanted to make a  gadget like and mp3 player, camera, or anything you can come up with. Bug Labs have created various modules that can interface with each other via open source software.  Some of the modules include a wifi module, audio module, touch sesnitive lcd module, and a motion detector module with more modules being devloped.  You can get all the modules in one bundle for $749. They have a helpful community to help you get started in creating the next hot gadget.  This would be great in schools to help get kids interesed in science and engineering.

4. Optoma PIco PK-101 Pocket Projector for iPhone/iPod ( The iPhone is a pretty powerful little gadget with apps for almost everything.  What if you want to watch a movie with a friend or share some photos with the family, but there is no computer nearby.  How about project the movie or photos on the wall from your iPhone or iPod?  That's crazy you say? Not anymore thanks to the Optoma Pick PK-101 pocket projector. The Pico Projector is small and light enough to fit in your pocket, purse or backpack, yet strong enough to display pictures, videos or presentations on most surfaces varying in size from 6 to 60 inches.  It is not HD, but it gets the job done. You can get from the Apple store for about $230.00.

5. Book: Soul on Bikes by Tobie Levingston. The book tells the story of African-American motorcycle culture specifically The East Bay Dragons Motorcycle club. I really didn't know that there was a culture of black motorcycle gangs in the country.  The gang was out of Oakland California and they rode Harley's. The gang has been around since the 1950's. The book recounts stories, adventures that this gang has had throughout the decade. Cost: $19.00 via Amazon -


6. Behance's Action Method pads & books ( This is perfect gift for that creative person in your life.  Behance have created an amazing series of pads and notebooks design just for the creative professional. The Action Book was designed by the Behance team and is based on the Action Method. The four distinct zones on each page provide a flexible template to get the most out of meetings and everyday brainstorm sessions. The Action Method was designed to help us push projects forward by organizing our ideas and focusing on action steps. An accordion-style pamphlet on how to practice the Action Method accompanies every product. Prices range from $5-$15.

7. Tuthilltown Speciality liquors ( They are a small company out of New York that makes small batches of liquor including whiskey, rum,  and vodka. I hear the Rye Whiskey is real good. From Cool Hunting: Hudson Manhattan Rye Whiskey, by Tuthilltown Spirits, is the first rye whiskey legally made in New York since prohibition and is fast becoming the connoisseur's drink of choice. At 92 proof, the spirit has a slightly spicy, fruity taste, concocted to compliment sweet vermouth in the classic New York–born cocktail, The Manhattan. You can't get any of the Manhattan Rye Whiskey in Milwaukee, but you can order online or go to New York and pick some up. A bottle costs around $55

8. 2010 Habana Outpost pinup calendar (  How about a lovely and sexy pin-up calendar that has a "green" conscious.  Brooklyn's Habana Outpost, one of the world's only sustainable restaurant and market,  just released their annual Chicas Habana calendar. The calendar is printed with soy ink and on recycled paper.  The restaurant uses sustainable and green technology in a very innovative way. Check more here. Each month features one of the waitresses from the restaurants posing seductively—while doing a sultry eco-friendly deed like collecting harvested rainwater or lasciviously tending a wildlife habitat.

The Momofuku cookbook by David Chang ( One of the most exciting chef right now is NYC David Chang. He is the owner and executive chef of Momofuku. He was featured on an episode of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservation.  The fact that this cookbook is sold out at Amazon is sign that there are some really special recipes to try.  One of his most famous dishes, ginger scallion noodles, is in the book and it is very simple and amazingly cheap to make. One of the ingredients is the ubiquitous ramen noodle.  Click here to get the recipe (you will have to scroll down to see it). Check out this video of David Chang talking about Momofuku to get a better understanding of his concept. You can read a review of the book here. The book is about $40.


10. Logitech Squeezebox Boom ( Internet radio is gaining in popularity. So many choices, you destined to find something you like, but one of the biggest problems with internet radio is you were constrained to your computer or phone to listen to it, until now. The Logitech Squeezebox Boom is a tabletop internet radio. Not only you can access thousands of internet stations like 88Nine, you can access your personal music library on your computer, connect to Pandora and Rhapsody services as well. The Boom is also easy to expand with modules throughout your house. If you are an audiophile you can get the Logitech Transporter, which allows you to connect your current audio setup. The Logitech Squeezbox Boom retails for $299.


11. The Roku Player ( Are you sick of dealing with Netflix DVDs, want to stream Netflix, Amazon, Pandora and other internet based video channels on your TV screen?  The Roku player might be the answer for you. There are three models of this innovative player including a HD version. The player connects via wi-fi/broadband connection. What make this device great is the price point, which starts at a mere $79. I bet DVDs will be the thing of the past in next 5 years. - 12.