Image is wiki commons licence.
In eighteen years, the world of the Internet has become very commercialised with billions of dollars flying around as gigantic corporate entities vie to win visitor attention, their personal information, and their hard-earned cash. I am pleased to say both David and I resisted the magnet of big money, fame, and fortune in favour of maintaining a cosy place more-or-less free of marketing ploys, cookies, and browser sniffing.
When we started out, YouTube would be a phrase more apt for describing a London Underground network, or possibly the disappearing valves in early radios. Mobile phones were first appearing as commonly seen objects - again in large companies - who wanted to reach their workers and managers wherever they were.
The world wide web was still in its infancy with only a one or two browsers available and connection to it was via an analogue phone line, a modem, through a telephone-based packet switching network. It was as slow and prone to sluggish delivery of content. But in many ways, it might be judged by many, (I'm one) as a friendlier and more social environment than the Internet we connect to today. Images and movies had to be tiny in file size to deliver at all to the visitor's computer unless they wanted to cook
dinner during the transfer period. I wonder how many of you reading this remember those days?
There it is over on the right, our first issue, courtesy of David Walker who has faithfully maintained Editorial Leadership over all the years, and all the hard work by us and others. Well done Dave.
I think it would be easy for the casual visitor to think we were some old fashioned business which doesn't have a clue about marketing and flogging all kinds of stuff including dating, services suspicious in nature, cold calling with unwanted emails, and harvesting visitor details to sell to the highest bidder. Eh... just so its clear - there isn't anything technically difficult to do to accomplish that, but we want a better world - so we refuse.
Surprisingly, in a modern age, many other people seem to share our view. About 4 million people popped in and looked at one or more of our pages this year. No mean number that for a niche subject.
A real graph extracted from our logs.
Micscape Magazine Issue 1 1995
Blood and Blood
diseases Part 1 of mini-series
Sting A light account of the wasp stinging mechanism.
the Baker Series IV BQ
on Mic Street Part 1 of mini-series (Root Fillings)
walk on the wildside
David kept the stats for our first few months. In our month of starting, we receive just 1805 hits.
And here's an extract from our stats today for just a few of our pages. Don't worry too much about numbers just the scale of them :) And we have several thousand pages. These are just hits and visits to a tiny number of them!
How to Improve Life
Well, improving your life, or your family's life, depends on what everyone else is doing out there right now. In a highly competitive world, where it appears we move ever deeper into motivation of a society into global slavery of working harder, faster, for less and less, you can either enter that and most of us have to in some way as that's the way it is, or you can not get so fully immersed, that only makes the years go past until you realise it doesn't lead to a richer life in
While kids think the way to a successful life is becoming the next celebrity, or the next singer, actor, we live in a world where all our children are going to be very disappointed.
I can't change the world and nor can you, but you can adjust your own local piece of it to enjoy the journey more, and to relax a bit with something quite different and engage your children, or grand-children, pupils and friends or yourself in a unique way.
The study of anything under a microscope is not about biology lessons at school. It's about stepping away from the electronic mist, the Internet, Nintendos, iPads, Xboxes, TV, DVDs and YouTube and finding out there's a real interesting world out there. There are things going on all around us which most people are no longer looking at and when they, our kids, move through life, their memories of the smell of cut grass, the excitement of exploring a world and what else lives alongside us, just won't
be there. You can do something about that.
Pippa comes over every weekend and she is like my adopted Grand Daughter. I wished I had done our adventures together with my daughter too, but I was too busy... too busy trying to make money to look after my family. But to be honest, I could have found more time.
What about you?
Now And The Future
2014 What's in store?
Continued Microscopy Magazine
Development of 2D Online Microscope to bring in cross fertilisation of Biology and Botany on a Macro and Micro level.
Expansion of 3D microscope and cross fertilisation of 3d Computer modeling perspectives.
Pippa's Progress. An online monthly video series with downloads of tutorials to teach study and slide-making for 6 to 15 year olds.
Better integration between serious enthusiasts who visit here to build a microscopists society who are willing to engage and help new people young and old to have some joy with this 'hobby'.
Your Ideas? We wish to know how we can help. Let us know. We don't bite and your emails are private between you and us.
Well, that's what we plan if we get the time, the money and the support. And we do have support and I have the time - just.
So new year, new things, good things.
It begins right now.
So, here we are Christmas 2013, two guys and a handful of intelligent and loyal people trying to keep a passion alive to fire the imagination of others, some of us (not me, of course) getting a bit older :) Where do we go from here? Should we give it up? Have we not now done enough?
DON'T BE DAFT!
We're gonna do more! When we started, we had to compete against one or two very established presences to get a look in - Internet-wise. It's no different today. The Internet world mimics the real world: a lot of noise and destructive activity when you hear the noise, but within it - if you listen - there are places of extraordinary, valued effort which strive to keep alive the idea of gracious learning and positive philosophies.
With imagination, skill, and energetic intent, so much more can be done by exploiting the Internet technologies and digital devices to bump the study of life and our world (other worlds) through Microscopic research and early interest in it up a ramp to engage more interest.
We need a Hubble for small worlds. We need to connect with people more inclined to reach for their Nintendos and we need to support people who have purchased a microscope and want to do more with it. And that I what I aim to do of behalf of us all here.
And I am reaching out across the net to gather people who have fantastic skills and asking them, nay - encouraging them to become involved here too. Of course, we can't pay them, but we can help promote the fact that they rely on their passions for their weekly wage. We can promote them a little bit. We have already launched first representations of 2 online Microscopes and I'm exploring those facilities more to turn them into more powerful tools.
2D Online Microscope - click on the image. Give it a whirl!
And through the extraordinary work of Dennis Kunkel, a 3D online Microscope.
3D Online Microscope. Click on the image. Give it a spin.
So, This Is Christmas, What Have We Done...
...another year over. A new one begun.
I'm sure you know the words too. And I'm also sure if you are wise, you did your best to live a good constructive year against an ever-increasingly confusing world where the idea of a society seems to be taking a back seat against the overwhelming zest to 'corporate-tise' every nation and the people in it. We are a bit like a society here. Remote people, or should that be - people who are distant in miles from each other, but not so distant in the truths of the world.
So, this is Christmas. A time where in the west we get off the tread mill and get back to families or sit alone when we are older or without our loved ones still with us. A sad time and a happy time. A difficult time also. A time to remember the people we met on our journey through life, to contemplate new people we may meet or just encounter.
I leave you with one thought: 18 years ago, in the tread mill of corporate life - I woke up. I think you did too David, didn't you? (David: "madness, all that one dimensional thinking and no time to think"). My life has been so much more interesting since. A richer experience. I looked down a microscope and I didn't just see what was on the slide, I realised I just saw my own life too.
What else would inspire people to work hard for little reward to be here and doing this for 18 years?
Have a warm Christmas and if you are on your own, drop me a line using the form below and let's talk eggs or swap life stories.