Friday, March 31, 2006

Speaker Cone

Sample: The woven paper (fabric?) cone from an old speaker.
Source: A dumpster.

Speaker Cone, 10x.

Speaker Cone, 60x.

Speaker Cone, 200x.

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Well, I'm back. After a long and pretty crappy week, I'm back with the 'scope.

So I dearly apologize to my readers. All three of you.

Sample: A cross-section of an aloe plant.
Source: Where does aloe come from? Arizona? Yeah, there. Arizona.

Aloe, 10x.

Aloe, 60x.

Aloe, 200x.

Aloe, 200x.

Aloe, 200x, Polarized Light.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Ring Stone

Sample: A stone from a ring.
Source: Vague memories of searching for this under my desk surface. Sho, perhaps?

Ring stone, 10x. It's in the shape of a heart. Awww.

Ring stone, 60x.

Ring stone, 200x. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Dandelion Seed

Sample: A seed on the wind.
Source: Nature.

Another of my personal favorites. Check out the last image.

Dandelion seed, 10x.

Seed, 60x.

Seed, 200x.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The naughty bits of a flower.

Sample: The pornography of spring.
Source: Nature, the dirtiest slumlord of all.

Warning! Adult content! HOT HOT HOT! Photosynthesis inside! Exposed stamens! Pistils engorged with pollen! 18+ only!

Public indecency is striking everywhere these days. You can see everything but the ovaries. 10x.

Hoo-whee. That a stamen in your pocket, or are you just happy to pollinate me? 60x.

Check out the pistils on that one! Hoo-doggie. Those things go all the way up? 200x.

At ease, soldier. 200x.

Sweet Ghandi's ghost. Pollen like that CAN'T be real. She must have one a hell of a plastic botanist. 200x.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Sample: Green "Safety" Firework Fuse.
Source: Black Cat "Water Dynamite".

Ever taken a close look at a fuse? When you take a closer look, it's easy to see how it is made. A flammable core (like a string permeated with black powder) is wrapped in a dental floss thin sheath to keep it flexible. Do not aim at face. Light on ground and get away.

Firework Fuse, 10x.

Firework Fuse, 60x.

Firework Fuse, 200x. You can tell that this fuse has been lacquered to make it waterproof. Mosquito larvae, watch out. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Sample: A plant leaf.
Source: Some plant. I'm no botanist.

Spring is in the air! Well, spring is in the air in this part of the country, anyhow. To commemorate this momentous occastion, I present for your viewing pleasure the humble plant leaf. At first, it shows us the true glory of spring, with deep green cells refracting and reflecting applied light into little shimmering facets of white. Then, by careful application of science, we can boil it in harsh solvents (ethanol) and stain it with poisonous chemicals (iodine) to strip away the aesthetic obfuscations and reveal the nuclear secrets of the cell. (Hint - the secret is DNA)

Leaf, unstained. 10x.

Leaf, unstained. 60x.

Leaf, unstained. 200x.

Leaf, unstained. These are the "veins" of the leaf, that carry nutrients to the cells. 60x.

Leaf veins, unstained. 200x.

Leaf veins, unstained. Taken through cross-polarized filters to add contrast and a sense of mystery. 60x.

Leaf veins, unstained. 200x, polarized light.

Leaf, bleached and stained. 10x.

Leaf, stained. 60x.

Leaf, stained, 60x.

Leaf, stained. 200x. The little black spots are the cellular nuclei.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Medical Tape

Back in the saddle again!

Sample: A piece of gauze tape, the kind they give you at the hospital after you gouge your hand with a bagel knife.
Source: The Hospital, Beloit WI.

Medical Tape, 10x.

Medical Tape, 60x.

Medical Tape, 200x.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Flask of Science

Yeah, this darn thing will only let me send one picture at a time. Until I can finesse it back into functionality, here's a picture of a flask full of science.

Friday, March 10, 2006


Blast! Rats! Darn! Heck hell crap!

No matter how hard I try, I can't get Hello to upload any pictures.Sincere aplogies to those of you directed here by Tiffany, but my life is at the mercy of software.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Belated Postage

Apologies for the lack of posts so far today and yesterday. I've been traveling, and I can't find a wireless connection reliable enough to put any pictures up. Expect two posts later tonight!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Hairy Pod

Sample: Some sort of hair-covered plant seed pod.
Source: Somewhere in the wide wilderness of Wisconsin.

Hmmm... Let's see if I can't diversify my search terms a bit.

Hairy Pod, 10x.

Hairy Pod, 60x.

Hairy Pod, 200x.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Tylenol Capsule

Sample: Tylenol "Rapid Release" Capsule.
Source: CVS Pharmacy, Columbia SC.

I'm sure you've seen the ads for these. Laser-Drilled Holes! Quick Release!

Well, the holes are pretty cool to look at. Unfortunately, they do nothing.

I thought to myself "how cool would it be if I could dissolve the Tylenol from the inside and leave the capsule untouched?"

It would be pretty cool.

So I got some absolute alcohol from the lab, hoping that I could selectively dissolve the drug interior without affecting the gelatin capsule. Imagine my surprise when, upon adding the capsule to the solution, the entire grey band immediately disintegrated off the pill. It's been in the alcohol for about a week now. The red and blue are still untouched. The pill? Untouched.

The holes are for show. The real material miracle is in the grey band.

Tylenol Rapid Release Capsule, 10x.

Tylenol Rapid Release Capsule, 60x.

Tylenol Quick Dissolve Capsule, 200x.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Peacock Feather

Sample: A peacock feather.
Source: Thanks to Anne, who I think is in the Galapagos right now.

Peacock feathers are colored because of optical interference arising from thousands of tiny platelike layers inside each tiny feather. This is the same phenomenon that gives the scarab beetle and many other insects their iridescent qualities.

Hopefully Intel will be listening to my letters and begin development of the QX-2000 Digital Blue Scanning Electron Micoscope soon. I'd really like to see those plates up close.

Back of a Peacock Feather, 10x.

Back of a Peacock Feather, 60x.

Back of a Peacock Feather, 200x.

Peacock Feather, 10x.

Peacock Feather, 60x.

Peacock Feather, 200x.