10 handy gifts for Mother’s Day: Science, tech and beyond

29 Feb 2016

A subscription to National Geographic wouln’t be a bad bet, via JuliusKielaitis/Shutterstock

Mother’s Day is drawing ever nearer, with 6 March offering you the perfect opportunity to spoil the woman you owe so much to. Here are 10 easy ways to do just that.

The age-old problem: What can I get my mam/mum/mom/mother (delete accordingly) that she’ll appreciate, but that isn’t flowers and chocolates?

Here’s a little help.

1. Selfie stick

You know you don’t want to. But you know she’ll love it.

Try here. Try here. Try here.

2. Science Gallery (free)

There’s always something cool on in the Science Gallery at Trinity College. You’ve just missed the excellent Trauma exhibit, which was a huge success. Up next is Field Test, a look at the future of farming.

A bit of a strange present, but why not treat your mother to a trip into Dublin city centre for the day, take in the exhibit and get some lunch.

3. Magazine subscriptions (various)

Okay, I’m new to the aul’ magazine subscriptions business but, after seeing an incredible deal for National Geographic mags last year I’m an enthusiast. €30 was all it cost me for 12 issues of one of the best magazines around and, if you catch a deal at the right time, you could get something similar in price – (it’s €28 here).

Beyond National Geographic, there’s always the Astronomy Ireland magazine, €48 for the year, which is also pretty cool.

4. Audible subscription

Is your mam on the go much? Audiobooks might be ideal and, in that realm, Amazon’s Auudible is probably the pick of the bunch. Getting a book a month doesn’t cost a whole lot more than €10. And it’s terribly easy to navigate.

5. Chromecast

Chromecasts have always been popular at Siliconrepublic.com, ranking No.1 in our home entertainment devices of 2015.

Chromecast Mothers’ Day

For those unfamiliar with the Chromecast, the device is connected to a TV through its HDMI port, which is then connected to the internet via the home’s Wi-Fi, which can then stream content remotely through a person’s device.

So, for example, someone with a Netflix account isn’t forced to watch it on their laptop, smartphone or tablet, but rather they click the cast button and it will automatically stream it to the TV screen.

There’s an audio option, too.

6. Glossybox subscription

This makes a whole lot of sense to me. Glossybox is a make-up service. You pay a monthly subscription and you get sent a starter box of beauty products.

Then, every month, you get a new batch of products to try out.

Prices vary depending on your subscription length. But at the high end it costs about £14 a month, the low end more like £12.

7. Smartphone accessories

A three-in-one clip-on set of camera lenses to turn your smartphone into something really special is pretty cool. Wide angle, fish eye and macro options make it fairly useful for those photo-hungry phone owners out there.

Mothers’ Day smartphone camera

Here’s one for €7, but M&S has one – currently out of stock – that a colleague swears by.

8. Blurb book

On that theme, why not invest in a decent MicroSD card (shouldn’t break the €10 mark) and store up all the images your mother cherishes the most.

Mothers’ Day Blurb

Blurb book image via Abi Porter/Flickr

Then buy a Blurb photo book to help them tell a story. Prices vary wildly but you could get around 20 images into a book that costs close to €20.

9. Laptop cushion

Simple, makes sense, and cheap.

10. Professor Brian Cox, Live

Brian Cox, for those unaware, is the physicist and broadcaster that talks an awful lot about space. 2016 sees him touring the British Isles and, come November, Cox (along with comedian Robin Ince) hits Ireland.

The Dublin show – at the Olympia – will take audiences on a “dazzling journey” through space, “freewheeling on the edges of the known cosmos.”

Sadly, it’s sold out, thus it being 10th on our list. But, if you get lucky and a ticket becomes available (or an extra date is added), fill your boots.

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Main National Geographic image via JuliusKielaitis/Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic