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Little Planet Factory

Keep the Whole Solar System to Yourself in This Tiny Bottle

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Little Planet Factory

Ever dream of carrying the entire solar system around in your pocket? Now you can with a little help from the 3D printing company Little Planet Factory. The online store creates and sells itty-bitty planets that you can hold in your hand. Their most adorable product might be a small bottle that contains all the planets of the solar system—which are at a scale of 1:5,000,000,000. That means Jupiter is the size of your fingernail, while Mercury is about the size of a speck of dust.

You can get your own corked bottle here, but we caution you not to open it. If you lose track of that microscopic Mercury, you'll probably never see it again. Alternatively, if that possibility scares you, you can get this bottle, which uses "relative, logarithmic-like scaling," so the planets are all about the same size.

Other fun objects sold by Little Planet Factory include terrains, moons, small celestial bodies, and custom prints. If you're looking to commission your own planet, you can scale an existing model or do a little research and create your own.

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10 Brilliant Gifts for the College Kid in Your Life
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If anyone needs a great holiday gift, it’s a broke college student. Give them something they’ll love (and use). May we suggest one of these?

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. KEURIG® K55 COFFEE MAKER; $90

College kids may not have time between classes to make—or drink—a full pot of coffee, making them perfect candidates for single-serve pod machines. This Keurig machine makes anywhere from 6 to 10 ounces. Plus, it’s compact for easy dorm storage, and comes in several different colors.

Find It: Amazon

2. BANDO "AFTER THIS WE'RE GETTING PIZZA" WORKOUT BAG; $35

Just because exercise is healthy doesn’t mean it’s always fun. Help your reluctant student get to the gym with this cheeky bag, which is sure to help him or her make like-minded friends—who might know where a student group will be giving out free pizza that night.

Find It: Amazon

3. MOLESKINE SMART WRITING SET; $199

Reviewing has never been easier with Moleskine’s smart pen set, a super portable digital tool that converts hand-written notes into digital files in real-time, allowing drafts to be emailed or uploaded to a LiveScribe account with the push of a button. The smartphone app will even convert handwriting into digital text, though it doesn’t always recognize messier script.

Find It: Moleskine

4. UBER GIFT CARD; $25 AND UP

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Joy ride: Most students can get from place to place on campus just fine, but they could probably use extra help hitting the town. Make sure they get on route safely with Uber gift cards. 

Find It: Amazon

5. BEYONCILS; $18

It’s hard not to be inspired by the wisdom of Beyoncé, and these nine handmade pencils are sure to remind the writer to be as confident as Queen Bey. They’re handmade and feature lyrics like “fresher than you,” “flawless,” and “I woke up like this.” For every set sold, LZPENCILS donates nine pencils—minus the lyrics—to a school in need.

Find It: Etsy

6. ROKU STREAMING STICK+; $70

It's rare to find a college student these days who has a cable subscription, so you might as well give them the gift of streaming. This Roku streams smoothly in high definition and supports most major services like Netflix and Hulu. 

Find It: Amazon

7. MOPHIE POWERSTATION MINI; $14

Help your favorite student keep smartphones charged during a full day of classes with Mophie’s ultra-fast portable charger. The gadget has the capacity to charge a cell phone about twice. Perhaps they’ll even use that extra battery power to call home.

Find It: Amazon

8. STATE BAGS BEDFORD BACKPACK; $59

Students can carry their books in style and feel good about it. For every backpack sold, STATE Bags gives one to a child in need. And it’s machine washable, just in case it ever ends up at a frat party.

Find It: Amazon

9. BRIK BOOKS BUILD-ON MACBOOK COVER; $60

Let your student stand out in the lecture hall—and display their 8-bit fandom—with these customizable laptop covers. They’re compatible with brick-based systems like LEGO and Mega Bloks, making them perfect to build tributes to any pixelated character. There are choices that fit a variety of Macbook Pro models, but sadly, it doesn’t come with any of the LEGOs they’ll need to customize, so you might want to throw those in the gift box, too.

Find It: Think Geek

10. KODAK PRINTOMATIC INSTANT PRINT CAMERA; $70

Help them make college memories that won't just sit in a forgotten album on a smartphone. The Kodak Printomatic automatically creates high-resolution photos as soon as you capture them. The printed photos make for perfect dorm room decoration.

Find It: Amazon

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11 Brilliant Gifts for the Hostess
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Sure, you could just buy another bottle of vino. But if you really want to impress that friend known for their Pinterest-worthy fetes, scan this list for a unique gift they’ll want to put on display.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. NEIGHBORWOODS MAP COASTER; $36

Help your pal raise a glass to their beloved hometown or adopted ‘hood! Representing 14 major cities across the U.S. (plus a few in Europe), each cedar coaster in the set of four is etched with a different section of town and serves as a great conversation starter.

Find It: Uncommon Goods

2. BARREL AGED VERMONT MAPLE SYRUP; $20

Consider it a head start on the morning after breakfast. The organic syrup is aged in barrels normally used for rum or bourbon. And while it likely won’t work in a hair-of-the-dog situation, it does make for a delicious pancake topper.

Find It: Uncommon Goods 

3. SUGARFINA 3-PIECE BENTO BOX; $25

Fill the three slots of this decorative box with a mix of your BFF’s preferred candies—anything from champagne-infused gummy bears to chocolate bacon toffee.

Find It: Sugarfina

4. POETRY MATCH STRIKER; $25

They’ll need a way to fire up all the gingerbread- and Christmas tree-scented candles they’re sure to receive. Help them find the light with this glass, apothecary-style jar filled with 120 four-inch matches (there’s a piece of flint on the side for striking) and printed with an inspiring phrase.

Find it: Uncommon Goods

5. ALTER ECO SEA SALT TRUFFLES; $6

Give ‘em a treat they won’t feel compelled to share with their guests. Made with Ecuadorian dark chocolate and a sprinkle of sea salt, these truffles are the perfect salty-sweet combo.

Find It: Thrive Market

6. JANE BAKES COOKIE JARS; $10

Slaving over homemade Christmas cookies not your thing? Save yourself some time and snag a mason jar of these whole grain, high fiber confections. (Read: They’re slightly healthier.) Choose from flavors such as vanilla bean or coconut and caramel.

Find It: Jane Bakes

7. EVERY PERSON IN NEW YORK; $14

Your bestie will make room for this one on the coffee table. The 408-page tome is packed with thousands of artworks Jason Polan sketched during his mission to draw every person in New York. Former Saturday Night Live cast member Kristen Wiig provides the foreword.

Find It: Amazon

8. HOMESICK CANDLES; $30

Provide a scent-sational reminder of their hometown. These soy wax candles (burn time: 60-80 hours) are packed with fragrances reminiscent of each state. New York’s candle has hints of the Adirondack forest, apple orchards, and pumpkin, while Michigan’s has notes of cherries and chocolate.

Find It: Homesick Candles

9. VEGA COFFEE HOLIDAY GIFT BOX; $30

A great buzz: This java is roasted, packaged and shipped from Nicaragua, where climate conditions are ideal for coffee growing. The direct-from-the-farm-to-your-cup setup keeps costs down and helps farmers earn more.

Find It: Vega Coffee

10. STATE SLATE CHEESE BOARDS; $20

Let them serve up that triple crème brie with a side of state pride. You can buy these slate boards—naturally cool to keep the fromage fresh—in the shape of any state or Washington D.C. Or take a stab at unity and buy one shaped like the whole U.S.

Find It: Uncommon Goods

11. VINTAGE BOOKSHELF SCRABBLE; $35

Perfect for your book club host—or just your most verbose pal—this vintage Scrabble game board folds to be stored inside a linen-wrapped book.

Find It: Amazon

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