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ToyMatrix’s eBay

11 Great Geeky Umbrellas

ToyMatrix’s eBay
ToyMatrix’s eBay

If April showers bring May flowers, then let’s all hope it rains plenty this month. Grab one of these great geek umbrellas to shelter yourself from the storms.

1. Umbrella Corp.

Aside from the awesome Resident Evil reference, this umbrella is doubly geeky because it also is an Umbrella umbrella. Oh ThinkGeek, you’re so punny.

2. Middle Earth

Unfortunately, toymatrix’s eBay listing for an umbrella featuring a map of Middle Earth is now over and I can’t seem to find any other place you can buy it, but the design is too beautiful and geeky to leave off of this list.

3. TARDIS

It seems that any normal household object has been turned into a TARDIS version by someone somewhere, and as a Doctor Who fan, I think that’s fantastic. Craftster user MissSadieMae converted her umbrella into a TARDIS and the result is something most Whovians would be proud to carry around—even in sunny weather.

4. Blade Runner

You might not ever get a functional replica of Deckard's LAPD pistol, but you can walk through the rain in style, like so many of the inhabitants of his city, with this great LED umbrella available at ThinkGeek.

5. Broadsword

Wish you could have the style of those in Westeros, but don’t want to have to carry around a real sword everywhere you go? Well then, try this great broadsword umbrella from ThinkGeek. It might not cut down your enemies, but it also won’t land you in prison.

6. Vader’s Lightsaber

Alternatively, if you enjoy your weapons to be a little more futuristic, you can always join the dark side with the Neatoshop’s umbrella that features Darth Vader’s lightsaber for a handle and the logo of the Galactic Empire on the canopy. For those who prefer the light, Obi-Wan’s lightsaber is also available in umbrella form.

7. Marvel

Any comic book fan, or at least any Marvel fan, would be happy to bring home this great umbrella from Geek Lounge that features an array of classic Marvel titles.

8. Ms. Pac-Man

Just imagine how great an overhead shot of umbrellas on a rainy day would look with this one by etsy seller CreativeCommunity hanging out in the middle. In fact, since it’s a little larger than average, it just might look like your umbrella is running around eating all of the other umbrellas on the streets as if they were pellets.

9. Kaylee’s Parasol

Don’t use this one in the rain as it’s for sun protection only, but any Firefly fan will instantly recognize that Etsy seller Karen McBrowncoat’s design is based on Kaylee’s hypnotic parasol used to help mesmerize potential travelers in the first episode of the show.

10. X-Ray

Anastacia Spada’s x-ray umbrella is as unique as it is striking. It’s also perfect for any doctors or biologists who wish to stay dry while showing off their interests. If you want to make your own, Spada has instructions for doing so at the link.

11. Mood-Changing

While you might be in the mood for your umbrella to look a certain way on a particular day, you might not want to carry that same design when you’re in a different mood. That’s why the My Day Umbrella by Hsiao Yong-li is so brilliant. It offers six different design options that each come with their own ambient tune that is played from speakers in the umbrella. Don’t like the design you chose yesterday anymore? Simply turn the handle and pick a new one, and if you get tired of the six pre-programmed designs, you can always download more online.

Do any of you have any particularly geeky parasols or umbrellas? If not, do you have any designs you wish were available as rain protection? I personally would love to see an umbrella with Totoro holding his umbrella painted on it.

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King Features Syndicate
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Comics
10 Things You Might Not Know About Hägar the Horrible
King Features Syndicate
King Features Syndicate

For 45 years, the anachronistic adventures of a Scandinavian Viking named Hägar have populated the funny papers. Created by cartoonist Dik Browne, Hagar the Horrible is less about raiding and pillaging and more about Hägar’s domestic squabbles with wife Helga. If you’re a fan of this red-bearded savage with a surprisingly gentle demeanor, check out some facts about the strip’s history, Hägar’s status as a soda pitchman, and his stint as a college football mascot.

1. HÄGAR IS NAMED AFTER HIS CREATOR.

Richard Arthur “Dik” Browne got his start drawing courtroom sketches for New York newspapers; he debuted a military strip, Ginny Jeep, for servicemen after entering the Army in 1942. Following an advertising stint where he created the Chiquita Banana logo, he was asked to tackle art duties on the 1954 Beetle Bailey spinoff strip Hi and Lois. When he felt an urge to create his own strip in 1973, Browne thought back to how his children called him “Hägar the Horrible” when he would playfully chase them around the house. “Immediately, I thought Viking,” he told People in 1978. Hägar was soon the fastest-growing strip in history, appearing over 1000 papers.

2. HE COULD HAVE BEEN BULBAR THE BARBARIAN.

A Hägar the Horrible comic strip
King Features Syndicate

Working on Hi and Lois with cartoonist Mort Walker (Beetle Bailey) gave Browne an opportunity to solicit advice on Hägar from his more experienced colleague. As Walker recalled, he thought “Hägar” would be too hard for people to pronounce or spell and suggested Browne go with “Bulbar the Barbarian” instead. Browne brushed off the suggestion, preferring his own alliterative title.

3. A HEART ATTACK COULD HAVE CHANGED HÄGAR’S FATE.

When Browne came up with Hägar, he sent it along to a syndicate editor he knew from his work on Hi and Lois. According to Chris Browne, Dik’s son and the eventual artist for Hägar after his father passed away in 1989, the man originally promised to look at it after he got back from his vacation. He changed his mind at the last minute, reviewing and accepting the strip before leaving. Just days later, while on his ski vacation, the editor had a heart attack and died. If he hadn’t approved the strip prior to his passing, Browne said, Hägar may never have seen print.

4. THE STRIP HELPED BROWNE AVOID VANDALS.

A Hägar the Horrible comic strip
King Features Syndicate

Chris Browne recalled that Halloween in his Connecticut neighborhood was a time for kids to show their appreciation for his father’s work. While trick-or-treaters were busy covering nearby houses in toilet paper or spray paint, they spared the Browne residence. The only evidence of their vandalism was a spray-painted sign that read, “Mr. Browne, We Love Hägar.”

5. BROWNE’S DAUGHTER TALKED HIM OUT OF KIDNAPPING PLOTS.

Vikings were not known for being advocates for human rights. Hägar, despite his relatively genteel persona, still exhibited some barbaric traits, such as running off with “maidens” after a plundering session. Speaking with the Associated Press in 1983, Browne admitted he toned down the more lecherous side of Hägar after getting complaints from his daughter. “Running off with a maiden isn’t funny,” she told him. “It’s a crime.”

6. HÄGAR ENDORSED SODA.

A soda can featuring Hägar the Horrible
Amazon

Despite his preference for alcohol, Hägar apparently had a bit of a sweet tooth as well. In the 1970s, King Features licensed out a line of soda cans featuring some of their most popular comic strip characters, including Popeye, Blondie, and Hägar. The Viking also shilled for Mug Root Beer in the 1990s.

7. HE WAS A COLLEGE MASCOT.

In 1965, Cleveland State University students voted in the name “Vikings” for their collegiate basketball team. After using a mascot dubbed Viktorious Vike, the school adopted Hägar in the 1980s. Both Hägar and wife Helga appeared at several of the school’s sporting events before being replaced by an original character named Vike.

8. HE EVENTUALLY SOBERED UP.

A Hägar the Horrible comic strip
King Features Syndicate

When Dik Browne was working on Hägar, the Viking was prone to bouts of excessive drinking. When Chris Browne took over the strip, he made a deliberate decision to minimize Hägar’s imbibing. "When my father was doing the strip, he did an awful lot of gags about Hägar falling down drunk and coming home in a wheelbarrow, and as times go on that doesn't strike me as that funny anymore,” Brown told the Chicago Tribune in 1993. “Just about everybody I know has had somebody hurt by alcoholism or substance abuse.”

9. HE HAD HIS OWN HANNA-BARBERA CARTOON.

It took some time, but Hägar was finally honored with the animated special treatment in 1989. Cartoon powerhouse Hanna-Barbera created the 30-minute special, Hägar the Horrible: Hägar Knows Best, and cast the Viking as being out of his element after returning home for the first time in years. The voice of Optimus Prime, Peter Cullen, performed the title character. It was later released on DVD as part of a comic strip cartoon collection.

10. HE SAILED INTO THE WIZARD OF ID.

A Wizard of Id comic strip
King Features Syndicate

In 2014, Hägar made an appearance in the late Johnny Hart’s Wizard of Id comic strip, with the two characters looking confused at the idea they’ve run into one another at sea. Hägar also made a cameo in Blondie to celebrate that character’s 75th birthday in 2005.

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Pop Chart Lab
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infographics
Every Emoji Ever, Arranged by Color
Pop Chart Lab
Pop Chart Lab

What lies at the end of the emoji rainbow? It's not a pot of gold, but rather an exclamation point—a fitting way to round out the Every Emoji Ever print created by the design experts over at Pop Chart Lab.

As the name suggests, every emoji that's currently used in version 10.0.0 of Unicode is represented, which, if you're keeping track, is nearly 2400.

Each emoji was painstakingly hand-illustrated and arranged chromatically, starting with yellow and ending in white. Unicode was most recently updated last summer, with 56 emojis added to the family. Some of the newest members of the emoji clan include a mermaid, a couple of dinosaurs, a UFO, and a Chinese takeout box. However, the most popular emoji last year was the "despairing crying face." Make of that what you will.

Past posters from Pop Chart Lab have depicted the instruments played in every Beatles song, every bird species in North America, and magical objects of the wizarding world. The price of the Every Emoji Ever poster starts at $29, and if you're interested, the piece can be purchased here.

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