10 Science-y Valentine's Day Gifts

Grand Central Publishing/ZUNON/Amazon
Grand Central Publishing/ZUNON/Amazon

This Valentine's Day, show your loved one how much you appreciate them with the help of science. From beaker-shaped wine glasses to heart cufflinks, you’re sure to find the perfect gift for the science lover in your life.

1. Microbe Box of Chocolates; $20

Giant microbes
Giant Microbes/Amazon

Assorted boxes of chocolate can be something of a letdown as there tends to only be a few worth eating. So skip the sweets this year and give them a box of plush microbes instead. Packaged inside a heart-shaped box, you’ll find an adorable plush kissing disease, a sperm cell, an egg cell, a penicillin, and a pink amoeba.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Periodic Table Beaker Wine Glass; $19

Wine glass beaker sold on Amazon.
Periodic Tableware/Amazon

If you’re going to enjoy a glass of wine on Valentine’s Day, do so with scientific precision. These glasses not only look like real beakers, but they can be thrown in the dishwasher when you’re done using them for an easy wash.

Buy it: Amazon


Scientific minds like to break things down and examine them from every angle—including kissing. In this book, author Sheril Kirshenbaum looks into the history and science of smooching, from when humans first started puckering up to why men and women kiss differently.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Heart Coasters; $20

Coasters that look like a heart
Generix Geek/Amazon

Hearts are the universal symbol of Valentine’s Day, but this gift is for anyone who just can’t stand to look at the very anatomically incorrect pink and red ones that adorn most cards. These glass coasters all feature an illustration of a different part of the human heart, and when they're stacked together, they form the whole thing. And since the coasters are coated with a sealant, you can rest a sweaty drink right on top and the images won't come off.

Buy it: Amazon

5. ‘I Love you’ Bean Plant; $8

Magic Bean Plant from Walmart.

If you’re looking for a unique way to tell someone you love them this Valentine’s Day, why not do it with a bean plant? The company guarantees the plant will grow within 10 days; all you need to do is add water and watch your lovely message sprout.

Buy it: Walmart

6. Heart Cufflinks; $12

Cufflinks with hearts on them

Now your gift recipient can quite literally wear their heart on their sleeve. These handmade silver and gold cufflinks show the heart in its true form and make a great addition to just about any outfit.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Mini Science Valentine’s Day Cards; $16

Funny Valentine's Day cards
Nerdy Words/Amazon

If you’re looking to express your love in ways like, “Unlike this DNA fragment you cannot be replicated,” or “Unlike Dolly the sheep...Ewe are one of a kind,” then these are the cards for you. This 24-pack of wallet-sized cards includes four different adorable designs that are perfect for handing out on Valentine’s Day.

Buy it: Amazon


The chemical dopamine is often associated with love, desire, happiness, and excitement. Hopefully you and your partner feel these things when you're together, so celebrate the wonderful chemical with this necklace plated in a 24-karat rose gold.

Buy it: Etsy

9. Chemistry Glass Terrarium; $40

A terrarium in a beaker

Grow some plants in a beaker that looks like it was taken right out of a high school chemistry class. Perfect for the botanist in your life, you'll find soil, sand, activated charcoal, and pebbles in the kit. All you need to do is add a few plants.

Buy it: Wayfair


Skip the cliché box of chocolates and go for something a little ... brainier. These pink chocolate brains are perfect for studious individuals and zombie lovers alike. Each box comes with 12 individually wrapped brains.

Buy it: Etsy

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University of California and McMaster University Are Offering Their Learning How to Learn Course Online for Free

Deagreez/iStock via Getty Images Plus
Deagreez/iStock via Getty Images Plus

If you've ever stayed up late cramming information the night before an exam, it probably didn't go well. Or maybe you tried doing the right thing by spending days or even months studying a subject, only to realize you weren't retaining the information. These failed attempts may have you believe you're just not cut out for the subject matter, but that's not always true. In the course Learning How to Learn from Coursera, you can understand what it takes to truly understand new information, as well as the key strategies and habits you can employ to make it all stick.

Learning How to Learn is taught by Dr. Barbara Oakley, a Ramón y Cajal Distinguished Scholar of Global Digital Learning at McMaster University, along with Dr. Terrence Sejnowski, who holds the Francis Crick Chair at the Salk Institute and is a professor at the University of California, San Diego. Throughout the weeks, they’ll teach you how to combat procrastination, how our brains process information, and the importance of breaking up new material into bite-sized chunks. You’ll also cover how taking breaks, getting sleep, and exercising are just as important as studying when it comes to learning something new.

According to Coursera, to finish the class in the typical four-week time, most students devote about three hours a week to the online videos, readings, quizzes, and coursework. There’s also no need to cram—which you’ll learn is not an effective learning tool—as this course is self-paced.

The course itself is free, but if you want a certificate of completion to share on your LinkedIn and resume, it will cost $49. Signing up for the certificate also gives you access to graded assignments, whereas the free version only allows you to read the course material.

You can also check out more free classes offered by Ivy League colleges by heading here.

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

9 of Amazon’s Best Kitchen Knives


Whether you’re a seasoned chef or just starting to build up your home kitchen, a dependable knife set is absolutely essential. But there are a lot of choices out there when it comes to kitchen knives and chef knives. So, to make things easier for you, we looked at some of the top-selling knives on Amazon with the highest user ratings (at least 900 reviews each) and came up with a list of the best options available. You can check them out below.

1. 15-Piece Cuisinart Knife Set (4.6 Stars); $45

A Cuisinart knife set.

Cuisinart has been making quality kitchen products for decades, and this knife set offers 12 stainless-steel blades that are perfect for slicing and chopping the ingredients of any dish you happen to be cooking up. In this package, you'll also get sharpening steel, kitchen shears, and a holding block.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Home Hero Set of Seven (4.6 Stars); $27

A Home Hero knife set.
Home Hero/Amazon

Inside this versatile set, you'll find a chef knife, carving knife, bread knife, utility knife, and a paring knife. Along with the five stainless-steel blades, there's also a finger guard and sharpener, so you can keep your utensils ready to go at all times.

Buy it: Amazon

3. McCook 14-Piece Set (4.7 Stars); $53

McCook Knife set.

Made with high-carbon stainless steel, this knife set is built to last. The knives have an easy-to-grip handle that’s comfortable to hold, while the blades are built to cut through just about anything. And when they do get dull, there’s a sharpener built into the wooden stand.

Buy it: Amazon

4. AmazonBasics Eight-Piece Steak Knife Set (4.4 Stars); $22

A set of steak knives from Amazon.

This set of simple yet dependable knives is what you'll want to have on hand to get you through barbecue season. Each one is made from a single piece of stain-resistant steel, and according to Amazon, you won’t need to worry about sharpening the micro-serrated part of the blade.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Set of Four Dalstrong Knives (4.7 Stars); $90

A set of steak knives.

After you cook your perfect steak, make sure you have the proper tools to enjoy it with. Dalstrong’s knives are made from high-carbon German steel and will stay sharp long after their first use.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Mercer Culinary Genesis Steak Knife, Serrated Edge (4.8 Stars); $14

A knife from Mercer Culinary.
Mercer Culinary/Amazon

Mercer Culinary makes knives for professional chefs and home cooks alike. Its santoprene handle allows for a comfortable grip, while its carbon-forged steel blade is rust-resistant.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Wüsthof Eight-Inch Chef’s Knife (4.8 Stars); $165

A knife from Wüsthof.

Wüsthof has been making knives for over 200 years, and this sturdy chef's knife can be put through the wringer without worrying about quick wear and tear.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Utopia Kitchen 8-Inch Chef Knife (4.4 Stars); $9

A chef's knife from Utopia Kitchen.
Utopia Kitchen/Amazon

This rust-resistant stainless-steel knife is one you’ll want to have on hand. It's built to cut through large food items but you can also use it to mince or finely chop smaller ones. And with such a low price point, it's great to pick up if you're just looking to practice the basics before moving on to something more advanced.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Victorinox 10-Inch Swiss Classic Chef’s Knife (4.8 Stars); $40

A Victorinox knife.

Victorinox has been around for over 130 years, and their versatile chef’s knife lets you put your slicing and dicing skills to the test. It has a tapered edge which allows you to get the perfect angle, while its razor-sharp blade can cut through pretty much anything a recipe might throw your way.

Buy it: Amazon

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.