The Top: 10 Best UCR-inspired Holiday Gifts

Presents that evoke Highlander pride

This huggable mantis shrimp, created by The Oatmeal, was inspired by David Kisailus’s research at UCR.

Welcome to Inside UCR’s newest feature, The Top!

Each issue, we’re presenting a list of UCR staff and faculty favorites — from walking spots to Zen gardens to events. To celebrate the holiday season, we’re featuring the best  gifts inspired by a love for UCR. Whether it was inspired by UCR research, created by a faculty member or something that will support UCR scholarships, show your Highlander pride by giving gifts the UCR way!

If you something you’d like featured in The Top or an activity you’d like to share, email

1. The huggable mantis shrimp 

Inspired by David Kisailus’s research on the mantis shrimp, this $38 toy was brought to life by Matthew Inman, the creator of the comic strip the Oatmeal. It is for sale  on his site.

2. “Between Heaven and Here” by Susan Straight

Susan-Straight-bookThis novel by Professor Susan Straight (her eighth) is set in Rio Seco, a town loosely based on Riverside. (Read this Inside UCR story to find out more about her creative process and sources of inspiration.)

3. “Junipéro Serra: California’s Founding Father” by Steven W. Hackel

juniperoserraA must-buy for California history buffs — read more about it on

4. Bagpipe lessons

UC Riverside,It’s not Highlander pride unless you can use a bagpipe properly! For more information, go to

5. A film at the Culver Center

Art films from $5 to $10? A steal. Buy tickets at

6. The All-Sport Faculty/Staff Gold Card

For $50, UCR faculty and staff can avail themselves of the All-Sport Faculty/Staff Gold Card and go to 100 athletics events this year. Call (951) 827-4653 or visit the website for information.

7. Hockey tickets to support UCR staff scholarships

UCR Staff Assembly is fundraiser night at the Ontario Reign hockey game on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 at 6 p.m. Tickets are just $20.

UCR Staff Assembly is fundraiser night at the Ontario Reign hockey game on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 at 6 p.m. Tickets are just $20.

On Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, the UCR Staff Assembly is holding a fundraiser at the Ontario Reign Hockey game against the Colorado Eagles. Tickets are $20; you can buy them at

8. UCR merchandise

tartanscarfOne of the coolest items in the campus store? The tartan infinity scarf, available for $29.95.  Check out other ways to wear Highlander pride at, and make sure to check out the in-store sale with discounts up to 40 percent off.

9. “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth” by Reza Aslan

The cover of Reza Aslan's latest book, "Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth."

The cover of Reza Aslan’s latest book, “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.”

When was the last time a book published by a UCR professor had so much buzz on the Internet? Check out what “Zealot” is really about over winter break. (Thanks, Fox News!)

10.” The Land Before Time” DVD

landbeforetimeDid you know that this childhood classic was written by Professor Stuart Krieger, the theatre department chair? It’s just one of the many original movies he’s written for Disney.

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