ThinkGeek
ThinkGeek

11 Awesome Pieces of Movie-Inspired Merch You Can Buy

ThinkGeek
ThinkGeek

Movies don't have to end when the credits roll. Help bring their magic to your world with these 11 awesome pieces of merchandise you can own. Just be sure to wash those Hobbit socks—the floors of Mordor are filthy.

1. Hogwarts Alumni Sweater 

Muggles love to show off by wearing hoodies or sweatshirts bearing the names of their alma mater, but the wizards of Slytherin, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and everybody’s favorite, Gryffindor, can show theirs off with pride in this Hogwarts Alumni sweatshirt from Etsy. Other wizards can commemorate their magical time at Hogwarts with this retro set of six posters featuring exotic locales like Hagrid’s Hut and Platform 9¾.

2. "BEACH CLOSED" Sign from Jaws

Warn people to stay out of the water, by order of Chief Brody and the Amity Island Police Department, by hanging up this near-perfect replica of the hand-drawn sign from Steven Spielberg’s Jaws. You won’t need a bigger boat, just £25 to get your hands on one.

3. Jules Winnfield’s BMF Wallet from Pulp Fiction

Buy yourself a Royale with Cheese with the money you put in this wallet, which is based on the one carried by Samuel L. Jackson’s character Jules in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction.

4. Alien Chestburster/Facehugger plush

Snuggle up to two of the most disgusting creations in cinema history—this time in plush doll form! Take your pick between the very cuddly Chestburster or the equally huggable Facehugger from Alien. If stuffed creatures aren’t your thing, you can get this highly detailed bottle opener in the shape of a Xenomorph’s head for just $15.

5. The Mondo 237 Collection

The folks over at Alamo Drafthouse’s collectibles brand Mondo Tees always think up the best geeky stuff for cinephiles, and their Room 237 Collection takes it to another level. Inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, they make sweaters, scarves, ski masks, and rugs in the same distinctive pattern as the carpets in the movie’s spooky Overlook Hotel. If you weren’t lucky enough to snag one of those, try to get a non-Mondo Room 237 gift set, which includes a map of the film’s climactic hedge maze and a photo of the July 4th Ball to remind you that you’ve always been there.

6. Steven Soderbergh’s Iconic Cinema-Inspired Shirts

Filmmaker Steven Soderbergh, himself an obvious movie nerd, started his own online shop that features unspecified and incredibly geeky t-shirt homages to some of cinema’s best. If you can’t recognize any on your own, we’ll give you some hints for a few of the best ones, like Sam Loomis’ hardware store from Psycho, Charles Foster Kane’s New York Daily Inquirer newspaper from Citizen Kane, the 18 LU 13 license plate on the car used to smuggle drugs in The French Connection, and the El Macondo apartment complex that Jack Nicholson’s character spies on in Chinatown.

7. Hobbit Socks

Ever want to lead the Fellowship of the Ring on an ill-fated journey to Mordor, or to guide a group of dwarves to retrieve a treasure guarded by an evil dragon, but don’t have the hairy Hobbit feet to pull it off? These Hobbit feet socks that feature faux-furry tops have got you covered. To make it all the more official, get yourself a replica of your precious Ring for the low, low price of $99.

8. Sankara Stones

Outfit yourself with the iconic fedora and go on an adventure for fortune and glory with this replica of one of the Sankara Stones from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, made with real gold flakes floating inside.

9. Flux Capacitor Charger

If you equip your car with this mini Flux Capacitor and get your engine up to 88 mph, it unfortunately won’t let you travel back in time (we think). Instead, it’ll charge two smartphones or tablets at once—and you won’t even need 1.21 gigawatts of power to do it!

10. Tauntaun Sleeping Bag

There are literally thousands of examples of Star Wars-inspired merch out there, but for our buck, none is more fun than getting caught outside on Hoth like Han and Luke and staying warm in this Tauntaun sleeping bag. It even features a plush lightsaber zipper pull to open the bag up. For the more diehard fans out there—not to mention ones with a lot of cash—try a life-size replica of Han Solo frozen in carbonite that costs a cool $7000.

11. Batman Cowl

Chances are, you probably couldn't afford the 100 percent street legal replica of the “Tumbler” Batmobile from Chrisotpher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy that went on sale early this year for $1 million. Never fear: You can still partake in excellent Dark Knight cosplay by getting this cowl, which was moulded from the one Michael Keaton wore in the 1989 Batman movie, for a mere $268.

Bonus: Stay Puft Marshmallows

Though they’re no longer available, we wish we had gotten our hands on actual limited edition Stay Puft Caffeinated Gourmet Marshmallows a few years back. If they ever go on sale again—and if Gozer corners us on the top of Dana Barrett’s building—we definitely won’t think of Mr. Stay Puft, but we will think of getting some of these awesome marshmallows.

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Health
20 States With the Highest Rates of Skin Cancer
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They don’t call it the Sunshine State for nothing. Floridians get to soak up the sun year-round, but that exposure to harmful UV rays also comes with consequences. Prevention magazine reported that Florida has the highest rate of skin cancer in the U.S., according to a survey by Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS).

BCBS surveyed 9 million of its insured members who had been diagnosed with skin cancer between 2014 and 2016 and found that Florida had the highest rate of skin cancer at 7.1 percent. People living in eastern states tend to be more prone to skin cancer, and diagnoses are more common among women.

Here are the 20 states with the highest rates of skin cancer:

1. Florida: 7.1 percent
2. Washington, D.C.: 5.8 percent
3. Connecticut: 5.6 percent
4. Maryland: 5.3 percent
5. Rhode Island: 5.3 percent
6. Vermont: 5.3 percent
7. North Carolina: 5.2 percent
8. New York: 5 percent
9. Massachusetts: 5 percent
10. Colorado: 5 percent
11. Arizona: 5 percent
12. Virginia: 5 percent
13. Delaware: 4.8 percent
14. Kentucky: 4.7 percent
15. Alabama: 4.7 percent
16. New Jersey: 4.7 percent
17. Georgia: 4.7 percent
18. West Virginia: 4.5 percent
19. Tennessee: 4.5 percent
20. South Carolina: 4.4 percent

It may come as a surprise that sunny California doesn’t make the top 20, and Hawaii is the state with the lowest rate of skin cancer at 1.8 percent. Prevention magazine explains that this could be due to the large population of senior citizens in Florida and the fact that the risk of melanoma, a rare but deadly type of skin cancer, increases with age. People living in regions with higher altitudes also face a greater risk of skin cancer due to the thinner atmosphere and greater exposure to UV radiation, which explains why Colorado is in the top 10.

The good news is that the technology used to detect skin cancer is improving, and researchers hope that AI can soon be incorporated into more skin cancer screenings. To reduce your risk, be sure to wear SPF 30+ sunscreen when you know you’ll be spending time outside, and don’t forget to reapply it every two hours. 

[h/t Prevention]

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Food
9 Healthy Frozen Meals to Keep in Your Freezer

Frozen dinners don’t exactly have the best reputation when it comes to nutrition. Many of the pre-made meals you’ll find at your local supermarket are loaded with sodium, fat, and calories. But there are still a few nutritious (and tasty) options, as long as you know where to look. Here are a few frozen food brands to keep in your freezer for those times when you need something quick, painless, and yes, healthy.

1. LOVE THE WILD

Pescatarians rejoice: This Colorado-based company specializes in meals made from sustainable, farm-raised seafood. They have your traditional microwaveable meals—like the Baja-style fish taco bowl and the sweet and spicy Korean BBQ bowl—but they also offer oven-ready fish kits. Cooking is easy: Simply place the provided (heart-shaped!) parchment on a baking sheet with the filet on one side; put the frozen sauce cubes on top; wrap it up; and pop it in the oven to bake for 20 to 25 minutes. You can also throw in any veggies you might have in your freezer, and Love the Wild provides some tasty recipe ideas on its website. Even Leonardo DiCaprio is a fan: “LoveTheWild’s approach to sustainable, responsible aquaculture is promoting the development of a secure and environmentally-conscious solution to feeding our planet’s growing population," he said last year after investing in the company.

2. CAPPELLO'S

Who says pizza has to be bad for you? With Cappello’s naked pizza crusts, you can build your own healthy pie just the way you like it. The crusts are made from arrowroot and coconut flours and are gluten-free, grain-free, and paleo-friendly. The brand also makes pre-made pizzas, vegan cookie dough, and a few varieties of pasta, including lasagna sheets, fettuccine, and gnocchi. Cappello's recommends recipes on its website, and the summer pesto pizza with chicken breast, goat cheese, and arugula is a great, light dish to serve at outdoor parties this season.

3. BEYOND MEAT

Vegetarian burgers on the grill
Beyond Meat

The Beyond Meat team set out to create a vegan burger that looks, tastes, and even "bleeds" like a real beef patty (due to the beet juice used to make the patties red). Ethan Brown, the company's founder, insists that the patties aren't much different from meat burgers. "Our company observation has always been that you don’t need an animal to produce a piece of meat," he tells Forbes. "You can obtain all of the core parts of meat—the amino acids, the lipids, the trace minerals and of course water from non-animal sources. And you can assemble those in the same architecture as animal meat." Some of their products are sold in the meat section of grocery stores, but a few items are available frozen, including The Beast Burger 2.0. Bill Gates and DiCaprio are both investors, and the company just announced it will start selling its products on six continents this summer.

4. GOOD FOOD MADE SIMPLE

As the name suggests, you’ll find simple, wholesome ingredients here. Since it was founded in 2011, the brand has been on a mission to offer minimally processed meals that "add nothing unnecessary" by way of ingredients. The company abides by a long list of "unacceptable ingredients" [PDF], including a variety of hydrogenated oils as well as artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, and sweeteners. Although they originally dealt only in breakfast dishes for busy workers on the go—burritos, scrambled egg bowls, pancakes, steel cut oatmeal, and more—they later branched out and started offering ready-made entrées. Their egg white patties are perfect for making your own customizable breakfast sandwiches.

5. DAILY HARVEST

This subscription food service proudly wears the frozen food label. "For decades, the space has been dominated by unhealthy or pseudo-healthy products that are hyper-refined and preserved," Daily Harvest founder Rachel Drori told the Huffington Post. "We are working hard to tell a new story, about the potential in freezing unadulterated to solve the modern eating dilemma of wanting convenience without compromise." Daily Harvest points out that after three days, some frozen fruits and vegetables contain more antioxidants and vitamins than their fresh counterparts. Their produce is frozen on the farm within 24 hours of harvesting, and they offer everything from cauliflower rice and kimchi harvest bowls to chocolate protein and almond chia parfaits. The pre-portioned meals, which are delivered to customers’ homes, are backed by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Serena Williams, and chef Bobby Flay.

6. EVOL

A burrito
Evol

Evol urges its customers to “think outside the microwave.” The brand’s burritos and quesadillas can be heated up in a panini press, on the stove top, or on the grill, allowing a level of customization that most frozen food brands don’t offer. A range of Asian, Italian, and Mexican dishes are available, all of which are free of antibiotics and preservatives. When asked by Dining Out why Evol has become so popular, the company's founder, Philip Anson, replied, "We built a brand rooted in love and farm-to-table values, but with some hipness to it in a category known as a cold and lonely place—legacy brands, uninspiring, mystery meat, sodium and fat." He said Evol's bowls—like truffle parmesan mac and cheese and butternut squash-sage ravioli—are their most popular dishes.

7. LUVO

Luvo’s meals are based on what they call the 3-2-None policy. This involves balancing protein, whole grains, and veggies; limiting sodium and added sugar; and avoiding all artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, and antibiotics. In addition to steam-in-pouch meals and pasta bowls, Luvo offers “power bowls” that are packed with at least two servings of vegetables. The company's emphasis on nutrition goes beyond its products, though: Luvo also partners with WhyHunger, an organization that's addressing the issue of hunger in America by tackling the root cause of the issue while recognizing "nutritious food as a human right." Luvo also partners with A Sense of Home, which helps foster children who have "aged out" of the system transition into a new home.

8. BEETNIK

Organic frozen meals with simple ingredients are the name of the game for Beetnik. Their meals are free of preservatives, gluten, MSG, high fructose corn syrup, hormones, artificial colors and flavorings, and antibiotics. One of their most popular dishes is their Peruvian seasoned chicken stew, made with tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and spices. The company's founder, David Perkins, is a chef; when asked by Paleo Foundation what his favorite Beetnik dish is, Perkins replied, "I love our flat iron steaks, our Peruvian chicken stew, and our sablefish, but tomorrow I might give you three different items. I eat our products regularly, which is how I got into the business. Start with great ingredients."

9. EATOLOGY

Like Daily Harvest, this subscription food service delivers frozen meals right to your door via UPS. Eatology meals combine aspects of both the paleo and zone (low-carb) diets, while also incorporating lots of lean proteins and healthy fats. In addition to being paleo-friendly, there are plenty of low-carb, Whole30, and vegetarian options available. Bad news for carb lovers, though: You won't find bread, potatoes, or pasta on the menu. Their dishes change daily, but past meals have included white chicken chili on a bed of yellow squash, ratatouille, cilantro jalapeno burgers, and chili cheese fries (using sweet potatoes and carrots).

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