When you’re shopping for the perfect gift, you’re often looking for a gift that someone would love but would never purchase for themselves. If money is no object, just such a gift for the traveler in your life is the HEADPLAY Personal Cinema System, a portable headset that hooks up to any input to give the user the appearance of big screen viewing in a tiny little package. At first, it feels a little like watching a movie or playing a videogame on one of those ViewMaster 3D slideshow gadgets that we loved as kids, but you eventually realize it’s better than that the first time you swing your head around to try to look behind you. Hook a decent pair of headphones into it and you have a surprisingly immersive cinematic experience, whether for watching a movie, playing a videogame, or viewing a slideshow of pictures from your most recent trip abroad. It’s not cheap, but for a certain subset of frequent traveler, it might be just the ticket to making all of those trips just a little bit more pleasurable.
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In this vast world of cultural offerings, we would be lost without our curators that are so vital in separating the wheat from the chaf. For the generalist who finds virtually any subject matter worth reading about so long as it’s well-written about, PopMatters recommends what we believe are the best of these Best of 2008 books. Edited by Adam Gopnik, Salman Rushdie, Holly Hughes, Jerome Groopman and Anthony Bourdain, respectively, these five books represent the most delicious literary offerings from 2008’s crowded table of ‘Best of’s. The perpetually curious intellectual in your life will savor these books throughout the year.
The Best American Essays 2008 (The Best American Series)
The Best American Travel Writing 2008 (The Best American Series)
The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2008 (The Best American Series)
The Best American Science Writing 2008
The word “classic” was invented for movies like Casablanca. Here’s a film so iconic, it’s mere mention evokes a time, place and mood. Warner has re-released the Humphrey Bogart/Ingrid Bergman war-time romance in deluxe fashion on two discs with documentaries on the film and Bogart. There’s also a bonus disc, “Jack Warner: The Last Mogul”. The film buff will also score a 48-page book and 10 movie poster cards with this set. To fill out this massive package, Warner included the first episode of the Casablanca TV series as well as numerous outtakes and features for your computer. It’s the perfect gift for the fan of “classic” Hollywood cinema.
Fans of the original Fallout games, among the greatest RPGs ever made, gripped their mice tightly when word came of Bethesda’s plans to design a new Fallout game. They needn’t have fretted. Fallout 3 is one of the most creatively ambitious games ever made, and its depiction of a post-apocalyptic rubble-strewn Washington D.C. may be the most unsettling (and thrilling) environment ever presented by a video game. A potent combination of open-world exploration and story-driven quests, Fallout 3 grabs hold and won’t let go.
“Until the morning he discovered the dead man in his refrigerated display case, nothing very exciting had ever happened to Jacques Beauregard.” Ah, that’s classic. And ‘classic’ is the point, exactly, of this collection of murder mysteries by this author, James Holding, and other notables such a Ellery Queen, John Updike, C.S. Forester, and many more. A dastardly curation of stories of devious invention, fans of the short story format as well as hard-core mystery fans will be captured—and held tight like a knife in a gloved hand—by this book. Each entry is a perfect dream-inducing, disturbing read just before dropping off to sleep.