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ToyMatrix’s eBay

11 Great Geeky Umbrellas

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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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Ape Meets Girl
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Pop Culture
Epic Gremlins Poster Contains More Than 80 References to Classic Movies
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Ape Meets Girl

It’s easy to see why Gremlins (1984) appeals to movie nerds. Executive produced by Steven Spielberg and written by Chris Columbus, the film has horror, humor, and awesome 1980s special effects that strike a balance between campy and creepy. Perhaps it’s the movie’s status as a pop culture treasure that inspired artist Kevin Wilson to make it the center of his epic hidden-image puzzle of movie references.

According to io9, Wilson, who works under the pseudonym Ape Meets Girl, has hidden 84 nods to different movies in this Gremlins poster. The scene is taken from the movie’s opening, when Randall enters a shop in Chinatown looking for a gift for his son and leaves with a mysterious creature. Like in the film, Mr. Wing’s shop in the poster is filled with mysterious artifacts, but look closely and you’ll find some objects that look familiar. Tucked onto the bottom shelf is a Chucky doll from Child’s Play (1988); above Randall’s head is a plank of wood from the Orca ship made famous by Jaws (1975); behind Mr. Wing’s counter, which is draped with a rug from The Shining’s (1980) Overlook Hotel, is the painting of Vigo the Carpathian from Ghostbusters II (1989). The poster was released by the Hero Complex Gallery at New York Comic Con earlier this month.

“Early on, myself and HCG had talked about having a few '80s Easter Eggs, but as we started making a list it got longer and longer,” Wilson told Mental Floss. “It soon expanded from '80s to any prop or McGuffin that would fit the curio shop setting. I had to stop somewhere so I stopped at 84, the year Gremlins was released. Since then I’ve thought of dozens more I wish I’d included.”

The ambitious artwork has already sold out, but fortunately cinema buffs can take as much time as they like scouring the poster from their computers. Once you think you’ve found all the references you can possibly find, you can check out Wilson’s key below to see what you missed (and yes, he already knows No. 1 should be Clash of the Titans [1981], not Jason and the Argonauts [1963]). For more pop culture-inspired art, follow Ape Meets Girl on Facebook and Instagram.

Key for hidden image puzzle.
Ape Meets Girl

[h/t io9]

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Kehinde Wiley Studio, Inc., Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0
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presidents
Barack Obama Taps Kehinde Wiley to Paint His Official Presidential Portrait
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Kehinde Wiley
Kehinde Wiley Studio, Inc., Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Kehinde Wiley, an American artist known for his grand portraits of African-American subjects, has painted Michael Jackson, Ice-T, and The Notorious B.I.G. in his work. Now the artist will have the honor of adding Barack Obama to that list. According to the Smithsonian, the former president has selected Wiley to paint his official presidential portrait, which will hang in the National Portrait Gallery.

Wiley’s portraits typically depict black people in powerful poses. Sometimes he models his work after classic paintings, as was the case with "Napoleon Leading the Army Over the Alps.” The subjects are often dressed in hip-hop-style clothing and placed against decorative backdrops.

Portrait by Kehinde Wiley
"Le Roi a la Chasse"
Kehinde Wiley, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 3.0

Smithsonian also announced that Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald has been chosen by former first lady Michelle Obama to paint her portrait for the gallery. Like Wiley, Sherald uses her work to challenge stereotypes of African-Americans in art.

“The Portrait Gallery is absolutely delighted that Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald have agreed to create the official portraits of our former president and first lady,” Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery, said in a press release. “Both have achieved enormous success as artists, but even more, they make art that reflects the power and potential of portraiture in the 21st century.”

The tradition of the president and first lady posing for portraits for the National Portrait Gallery dates back to George H.W. Bush. Both Wiley’s and Sherald’s pieces will be revealed in early 2018 as permanent additions to the gallery in Washington, D.C.

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