Star Wars Art: Ralph McQuarrie

The Star Wars universe’s biggest appeal is its imaginative assortment of landscapes, vehicles, and of course characters. And the hardcover deluxe edition of Star Wars Art: Ralph McQuarrie gives fans of the saga an inside look at the works of Star Wars’ most prolific and influential artist, Ralph McQuarrie, who first designed iconic characters like Darth Vader, R2-D2, and C-3PO. The two-tome set is a collection of roughly 2,000 color illustrations, all scanned and photographed again specifically for this set, across 800 pages, including costume designs, storyboards, paintings, and more, many at the conceptual stage and many more never before released. It’s also filled with unpublished interviews and commentaries from McQuarrie’s friends and coworkers that’s sure to please even the most obsessive detail-oriented Star Wars fanatics.

Grab a copy at Amazon – $170

GET IT: $170


Disintegrating Part II

Fabian Oefner’s three Disintegrating Car Prints made quite a splash for its originality back in 2013. He’s back with five more cars, exploded as with the first series, with Disintegrating Part II. And no, they’re not computer-generated: each image was instead created over a painstaking two month period by photographing individual components, piece by piece, at specific angles to imaginatively represent what the car’s insides would look like caught on camera should beautifully explode out. Automobiles in the second series include, in order in our slider, a 1982 Porsche 956, a 1936 Auto Union Type C, a Ford GT40 from 1969, a Bugatti 57 SC, and a 1957 Maserati 250F, available in limited edition prints at 55″ by 27.5″ or 90.5″ by 45.25″ starting at the price listed below. Or you can download the high res images here, which make great desktop backgrounds.

Learn more at Mad Gallery – roughly $3,850+ [via]

GET IT: ~$3,850+


EveryDayCook: This Time It’s Personal

Alton Brown’s EveryDayCook: This Time It’s Personal could practically double as the chef’s personal cookbook. And that’s because it mostly is, considering he organized his personal recipes, packed them into a book, added a few more to get it up to a total of 101 (and 256 pages), then snapped a bunch of pics for the tome using nothing other than his iPhone. Included [and interestingly-named] meals are arranged by time of day; for instance, Nitrous Pancakes in the morning, EnchiLasagna around noon, and Garam Masalmon Steaks for supper. Beside the recipes, the book includes a variety of insights on everything that goes into crafting a perfect drink or meal, from tools to methods to ingredients. Best of all the recipes and images are all genuine — no tricks and staged shots to speak of.

Grab a copy at Amazon – $21

GET IT: $21


Voyager Golden Record 40th Anniversary Edition

Nearly forty years ago NASA launched twin space probes — Voyager I and Voyager II — to study the solar system and eventually beyond. Mounted on each is a golden phonograph record titled The Sounds of Earth that may one day be played by extraterrestrials stumbling upon these probes. Sure, perhaps you’re familiar with the myriad of music and sounds on the record, which include pieces from Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chuck Berry, and many other prominent artists of the time, but now you can get your hands on your own copy across three records by way of the Voyager Golden Record 40th Anniversary Edition. The golden vinyls also include numerous other sounds from our planet such as birds, trains, greetings in over 50 languages, and a variety of analog encoded images that sadly (and evidently) won’t be viewable by your record player. Still, they do come included with a hardbound book filled with images of our neighboring planets sent back to earth by the prolific probes alongside essays (and more) all about the project.

Find it at Kickstarter – $98

GET IT: $98


The Tetris Effect

Probably everyone’s been through a phase of serious Tetris addiction, and Dan Ackerman’s The Tetris Effect: The Game that Hypnotized the World looks to explore the intriguing background of this simple game with lasting power. It recounts how Alexey Pajitnov, a teenager in the Soviet Union working on outdated computers, to put it lightly, came up with the idea for a game and then toiled for years to make his vision a reality through the mid to late eighties. The narrative — which bears a striking resemblance to modern day startup stories — continues with the efforts to get the game out of the USSR and published, which, considering the internet didn’t really exist, isn’t quite as easy as putting a home-brewed game online today. Despite these obstacles Tetris made it to Game Boys and NES’s around the world, and since then just about everything with a processor, a screen, and some buttons.

Grab a copy at Amazon – $15 (Kindle) to $20 (hardcover)

GET IT: $15+


Thug Kitchen 101: Fast as F*ck

You wouldn’t have known it by its title, but the original Thug Kitchen is a fully vegetarian cookbook trying to push you to eat a little healthier. Thug Kitchen 101: Fast as F*ck has the same general mission in mind but with a penchant on speed, which is logical: if it’ll take less time than ordering in then maybe you’ll be more likely to whip up some sh*t yourself and simultaneously spare some cash. The book is packed with 101 quick recipes that use simple ingredients and straightforward, entertainingly-written recipes to get you exploring outside of your comfort zone.

Grab a copy at Amazon – $12 (kindle) to $18.55 (hardcover)

GET IT: $12+


Forged Carbon Fiber Wedding Band

It’s light, ridiculously strong, and strikingly unique. Carbon6’s Forged Carbon Fiber Wedding Band is also a far thriftier option compared to most wedding bands. Created by an engineer/designer displeased with off-the-shelf models when looking to replace his own lost wedding band, each 100% carbon ring is crafted using a unique forging method — originally developed by Lamborghini — before undergoing hand polishing for a brilliant finish, resulting in a marbled look that catches the light in a decidedly masculine way. They’re more comfortable than most metal rings, in no small part due to their light weight and comfort-fit shaped interior that also makes them easier to slip on or off.

Learn more at Carbon6 Rings – $125 [via]


Atlas Obscura

With the advent of massive amounts of information at our fingertips and sites like TripAdvisor, exploring our planet has never been easier. But their angle isn’t always quite right. Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders packs over 600 of the most interesting places, structures, and things to see in the world between its two covers, made not for the shopping-obsessed, snap-happy tourist but for the deeply curious explorer. Put together by the folks behind the website, the tome’s 480 odd pages tell of a baobab tree so large it hosts a pub inside, the Gates of Hell in Turmekistan (a gas field that’s been alight for 45 years), Spain’s Baby Jumping Festival, and many more oddities that’ll make you want to get up and get out more.

Preorder a copy at Amazon – $21


Klos Carbon Fiber Guitar

Travel guitars need to be tough. Or at least tougher than standard wood designs can manage. You needn’t worry much if you’re packing a Klos Carbon Fiber Guitar, though. While it does boast a neck made of mahogany and rosewood, the Klos features a carbon fiber body that won’t crack or dent if it’s roughed up. Moisture can’t touch it either. It’s available in classic black as well as blue, red, and yellow, and the two halves come apart to further facilitate packing into a backpack or travel bag.

Find it at Kickstarter or learn more at Klos Guitars – $550+


The 420 Gourmet

Eating cannabis instead of smoking it doesn’t need to limit you to brownies. JeffThe420Chef’s The 420 Gourmet: The Elevated Art of Cannabis Cuisine takes the author’s extensive experience in cooking cannabis edibles — initially started to help a close friend’s mother with side effects from her cancer treatment — and wraps it up in a 320 page hardcover. On top of helping you select principal strains and dosages to use for desired medical or recreational effect, the tome details step-by-step processes to make his signature canna-butter and canna-oils, and then in which larger meals to incorporate these, from salads to multi-course dinners. It’s even got gluten-free, kosher, vegetarian, and vegan options to accommodate all.

Find it at Amazon – $20


Calm the F*ck Down

Coloring books are back with a vengeance, but this time not only to pacify kids — to help adults de-stress after a bad day at work. In fact, it’s better you keep this one away from the children altogether. Sasha O’Hara’s Calm the F*ck Down: An Irreverent Adult Coloring Book helps you do just what its title promises. Twenty-one single sided (to avoid bleed-through), moderately complex coloring pages let you lose yourself in extravagant hues or whatever else floats your boat. Each page has plenty to fill in and usually includes a moderately offensive quote alongside the image. Have a look at some page photos down in the Amazon listing’s review section.

Grab a copy at Amazon – $7 [via]


Marshmallow Crossbow

The Marshmallow Crossbow sits somewhere on the spectrum in between toy and whimsical weapon (legally, of the slingshot variety). Its body — including the marshmallow chute “barrel” — is shaped from lightweight solid Douglas Fir and is fitted with a bow assembly that includes a rubber shock cord and aluminum sheet stock. Load in a marshmallow and it locks in place, not budging until you pull the trigger. And when you do, expect the white fluffy sugar puff to travel up to 60 feet — so try not to aim for the eyes.

Grab one at Litchfield or Marshmallow Crossbow – $80


Rare Whisky Presenter Set

Drinking fine whisky out of a solo cup just feels wrong. Not from the Rare Whisky Presenter Set, though. Crafted by Gentner Design, this set is inspired by fine whisky itself and holds its four Rare Whisky Glasses on a solid brass stand with a unique one-handed handle for transport. The glasses themselves are designed by Fferrone and feature a tapered top that prevents spillage — and that concentrates the aroma — plus a bottom that makes them stackable for storage.

Find it at Fferrone – $460