Holiday spirit with a twist

As finals approach, the Fall semester isn’t the only thing College students are thinking about wrapping up. It’s time to start thinking about gifts for the holidays. Guys, are you having trouble thinking of a gift for that special someone in your life? Girls, do you need ideas for your wish list? Well, don’t fret. The girls from the hit iTunes podcast, “Girls Gone Geek,” have brainstormed a list of chic tech ideas for college girls this holiday season.

The show begins with funny skits, some of which are more “geeky” than others. Each girl contributes to the discussion by creating her own segment relating to her interests. For the holiday season, the girls have created a list of the 10 best tech holiday gifts for college girls. Each girl chose both a “Penny Pincher” gift (under $250) and a more expensive “Taj Mahal” gift for the list.

Staci DeGagne, the podcast’s producer, chose two practical gifts for the list: the highly portable, easy to clean Aerobie Aeropress Expresso Maker for $20 and the Dahon Glide P8 foldable bicycle for compact dorm storage for $849.95.

Heather Maclean, who has with a degree in art history from University of California, Berkeley, focused on recycling old technologies with an artistic eye. She enjoys everything from vintage gadgets and games to pixelized photographs and the Pixel Cam. The gifts she added to the list involve creativity and patience.

At $250, the Lego Mindstorm NXT Robot Kit offers the opportunity to creatively build and program a robot, and is great for engineering majors. Or for a girl with a more sensitive side, there’s Pleo, an adorable programmable dinosaur robot by Ugobe for $349.99.

With her dream of becoming a journalist, Asiana Ponciano loves to bring fashion, design and culture into the mix. Her topics include fashionable gadget accessories and reviews of obscure, tech-related movies. She added to the list an $87 Mickey Mouse-shaped 1 gigabyte iRiver MP3 player and cube-shaped Griffin Evolve Wireless iPod speakers for $300.

The show’s sci-fi geek, Maria Bernal-Silva, a lover of comics and video games, is always updated on spy-fi and sci-fi TV shows, movies and comics. She has discussed the new “Star Trek” movie and has compared the movie “30 Days of Night” to the comic book on which it was based. Bernal-Silva included an Eton FR300 Emergency Crank Radio with a built-in flashlight and cell phone charger for $50 and the iWear Series VUZIX, glasses with a personal virtual display screen starting at $199.

Last but not least, Liana Lehua is highly knowledgeable in programming and Web development and very involved in social networking on the Web. She provided tips on backing up a computer hard drive. She chose practical accessories for a college girl. For working out in the gym, there’s the Nike Amp for $79, a digital stopwatch bracelet that keeps track of time, distance, calories burned and pace. Perfect for a business student, the Asus eee PC is a $399 laptop that fits easily in a girl’s purse.

According to the five hilarious, geeky girls on “Girls Gone Geek,” with today’s technology, “Geek is Chic.” DeGagne said via e-mail, “Whether it’s fashion, art, computers, gadgets, movies, comics, etc., we believe that putting your heart and soul into something is chic.”

DeGagne jumped at the opportunity to start a podcast hosted by women all about gadgets when her boss threw around the idea in September of this year. She and her boss, Scott Bourne of Podango Productions in San Fransico, Ca., agreed that technology shows today are primarily from the male perspective, and decided it was time for a show geared toward the female audience.

“While our goal is to inform and hopefully inspire, we also want to entertain our audience and really show people that you can be geeky and smart and also have a good time,” DeGagne said.

DeGagne, who has discussed “proper gadget etiquette,” considers herself the wild card of the group. As an aspiring film editor, her forte includes technology in the entertainment and storytelling fields.

“I suppose my interest in technology is more in the practical sense . How can it help in my career, how can it help save the world . how can it help protect me?” DeGagne said. Not only is she one of the five hosts, but she also shoots and edits most of their video podcasts, as well as edits all of their audio podcasts.

DeGagne is inspired daily by the other girls who all embrace technology in their own way. She concluded, “Our goal is to show fellow women that there is no reason to be intimidated by technology.”