What’s on Dad’s wish list

It’s Father’s Day and you’re probably searching for a great gift. Not sure what to get him? Well, here are some ideas for the gadget-loving dad in your life.

A Wi-Fi Blu-ray player, $200: Upgrade his DVD player, especially if it’s attached to an HDTV. A Wi-Fi-enabled Blu-ray player turns a TV into a multimedia powerhouse, with access to download movies from Netflix and music from Pandora, among other content. And don’t forget the fantastic picture and improved sound that will come from watching a Blu-ray movie. 

The Amazon Kindle, $259: Call me old-fashioned, but the Kindle is still my favorite e-reader. Sure, the iPad is fancy, but it’s made for multitasking, Web browsing and watching baseball games—and costs twice as much. The Kindle takes a no-nonsense approach to reading. I like its simplicity and black-and-white display, and it’s light, easy to operate and entire books download within 30 seconds.

The Sonos S5, $399: This wireless iPod dock connects to your computer’s music collection, no cables required. It also streams Internet radio, from Pandora and Last.fm to obscure stations, such the all-Flamenco station I found in Spain. Oh, and it has an old-school AM/FM tuner, too—but also gets HD radio, and can be controlled from an iPhone.

Powerstick 8GB, $99: For a pocket-size charging device, the Powerstick universal charger can’t be beat. Although it’s probably overpriced at $99 (it’s $20 less on Amazon), it doubles as a thumb drive and stores up to 8 GB of data. It comes with nine charging tips, which handle most iPhones, Blackberrys and MP3 players—so if Dad buys himself an iPhone4 for Father’s Day, this charger will have it covered.

Old-school stuff: Dads love stuff, and sometimes its better to buy physical products. The digital era makes for less stuff to collect, but sometimes we just want to read the liner notes or turn a printed page. Remember, this is stuff is for Dad:

The Marx Brothers collection: A Night at the Opera, A Day at the Races and five other silly films.

Road Warrior: I could watch this movie once a week—get him a copy on Blu-ray DVD.

Sean Connery James Bond flicks: Buy these individually because the Bond movie packaging people throw Roger Moores and George Lazanbys into box sets to frustrate Connery fans.

Sci-Fi reads: John Scalzi may be may the sci-fi writer de jour, but modern classics like Dan Simmons’ Hyperion (Spectra, 1990) or Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon (Avon, 2002) make for great summer reads—and Cryptonomicon is available for the Kindle, too.

New music for the old-but-still-hip dad: LCD Soundsystem, New Pornographers, Broken Bells and a fabulous new Ella Fitzgerald collection, 12 Nights in Hollywood. That last one is pure old-school cool.

The Last Resort: What Dad wouldn’t like a gift card and an hour of free time to pick up something you both know he wants and will actually use?

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A Nation’s Strength


A Nation’s Strength

Rain Nightclub at the Palms underwent a transformation June 2 as Taste of the Nation took over. The foodie-pleasing party featured food from more than 30 of the city’s top kitchens, and benefited Share Our Strength, which strives to eliminate child hunger in America. Local beneficiaries included Three Square Food Bank, Catholic Charities of Las Vegas and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Chefs for Kids program.