Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Cool Gifts for Kids of ALL Ages

I went shopping last night for Christmas gifts. I'd already made the mistake of getting something for SaurKid but couldn't resist giving it to him early (does anyone else have this lack of self control???)

This is AntWorks Illuminated. SaurKid's getting this for Christmas. Shhh! Look at how awesome this is! It's a completely self-sustained environment for the ants, and they can chew their way through the gel which provides nourishment and water. They can be seen from all angles, and at night you can light it up and use it as a nightlite!

And check this out! Discovery Channel is carrying the only version of RoboReptile with this paint scheme. Ever seen one in action? Go here to their site to view a video of it (it's on the left of the screen).

Finally, check out the Micro Mosquito Helicopter:


Anonymous said...

I can't help but feel a little sorry for those ants. A light up environment? How awful must that be? I wonder how they're affected psychologically? And how does the gel work? Do you need to change it? In which case they have to burrow all over again? Where do they keep the Queen?
But I'm a nerdy biologist and have worked with too many ants in my day...

Saur♥Kraut said...

Victoria, I'm rather over-sensitive when it comes to such things, too. But at least in OUR case, the light will be off most of the time (it wouldn't be on all night). I wondered about that as well! I also wondered if they'd feel like there was nowhere to "hide", but in the grand scheme of things, if they can sleep securely in the dark at night...

The Lazy Iguana said...

All cool things! I want to get a RoboReptile, just to mess with the cats. It would be amusing for a few minutes at a time. The indoor helicopter? Way cool. I could use that to mess with the cats too.

And now for the ant farm. I had one of those. I seem to remember getting one of those cheap plastic ones that comes with a mail in thing to order ants. Shipping of queen ants is restricted, so all you get are workers.

Anyway, somehow my dad (who works for the power company, not a research lab or whatever) managed to get hold of some insect scientist at Nova University. He built a thing out of wood and plexiglass, following the bug lady's general specifications.

Then one day drove me to Nova where we met the bug lady. She took us out to a field and found a red ant hill that was NOT a fire ant colony. She dug the next out and captured the queen and a bunch of workers. I took them home and put em in the ant farm thing.

It lasted a long time.

Edge said...

We bought an ant farm for my step-son. I thought it was so cool. They died. I didn't know you could buy bugs in the mail through teaching supply stores.


Ellen said...

I've been fighting off ants in my walls for years.... those buggers have probably grown immune to the amount of poison the bug control people have sprayed in there. Never mind about the mounds of fire ants that like to attack the yard... or living in Georgia: the termite capitol of the world.
So, for the most part, I already have my own ant farm, sadly.

Fred said...

I so want one of those helicopters. How cool is that?

QUASAR9 said...

Hi Saur Kraut,
natural habitats?
which is man's natural habitat
at the discos and nightclubs we spen our teenage and later years
in the office block or shops under arificial light (and treated air).

Which is man's natural habitat looking at plasma tv or computer screens or playing computer games

Which is man's natural habitat driving several hours a day every dat in a tin box with wheels?

The thing that must be really strange to these versatile creatures, is that there is no Queen ant, no colony to defend or feed - basically they are not much different than the girls at the Playboy mansion or cocoon - just wonder around aimlessly, no need to think, eat, drink and be stared at.
But of course the ants can't dream that some prince charming will come and whisk them away and make their dreams come true.

So, cute present it be - like miniature living dynosaurs they be.
Perhaps you could get Saur Kraut a magnifying glass to see the ants large and up close, and teach him to resist the temptation to use the Sun to turn them to toast.

PS - Does the box say how long you can expect the plants to live and play, or to feed from the foodtray

Senor Caiman said...


I will be posting my Christmas list soon. I might add that mosquito to it.

Excellent post.

Anonymous said...

Haha, iguana. This summer, my friend went out with a Dust Devil and sucked up all of the flying queens he could find (he studies ant behavior). He ended up getting over 200! His experiment is going quite well, as I recall...
In our lab, we used to keep the queens in test tubes packed with cotton. They feel secure that way, appearantly...

Badoozie said...

oh my goodness....your like a kid in a candy store LOL

Jenn said...

I want that mosquito thing. But it must cost like a thousand dollars or something.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Jenn, it's only about $50!

Susie, haven't bought all of them yet, though. Just the ant farm. I don't think SaurKid will really go nuts over the others. They'd last for a few minutes of play, then he'd be bored. The dino would be great for chasing the dogs around, though!

Victoria, secure in cotton batting? Interesting. I guess that explains why they like nesting in the insulation in my old hot water heater.

Senor, it's at Radio Shack.

Quasar, you mean...our natural habitat is NOT at a nightclub? You might have had a hard time convincing me of that when I was younger. ;o)

Fred, only $50 at Radio Shack!

Ellen, I've got some weird ones in MY house. They can't figure out what they are or what they might do to it. They look like a cross between and ant and wasp, but I'm assured they're NOT termites.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Edge, yeah, they're cool, too! Better than the old version of ant farms.

LI, your ant farm sounds incredible! Did you take pics? You should post them someday. I'd be interested in seeing them. Yup, mosquito and raptor would be purchased with the primary intent of tormenting... I mean amusing... my dogs.

R2K said...

That looks fun, I used to have ants growing in a tank. Not a farm but a terrarium that let them range free. They did ok, but eventually died.