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Wim van Egmond, one of our regular contributors has suggested the following and writes on Facebook:
"This is the idea, it is still a couple of weeks to go but: September 7th is Van Leeuwenhoek Day. Then we'll celebrate the discovery of the micro world. On September 7th, 1674 Antoni van Leeuwenhoek wrote the letter to the Royal Society that contained the first description of microbes. It's the discovery of the micro world, the birth of microbiology. In this letter he described how he set out to investigate why the water of the Berkelse Meer, a lake near Delft, turned whitish during summer. He filled a little bottle and examining the water with his self-made microscope he found green tendrils, spirally wound serpent wise, made out of interconnected little balls. And between these he found many little animals, some as small as a thousandth the size of the smallest animals he had seen on the crust of cheese.
The 'whitish water with green tendrils' we can now identify as a cyanobacteria bloom with the helical colonies of Dolichospermum. The little animals are impossible to identify from the description but were probably a mix of single cellular organisms like Euglenas, ciliates, green algae and microscopic animals like rotifers.
We celebrate Van Leeuwenhoek Day by taking out our microscope to a local pond or lake, fill a bottle, make a slide and show everyone who is passing by the wonders of the micro world. With a microscope anyone can make discoveries. In case you don't have a microscope, just use your imagination and celebrate the day microbes were discovered in a way you feel is appropriate. And don't forget to share it."
Update August 26th. Wim has prepared an illustrated pdf article summarising the historical background to this event. Click here.
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| News - special
notices - misc.
| External links.
Updated June 2016. Below are some of
our favourites, which includes sites with
extensive links and/or resources for the
optical microscopy enthusiast.
Diatom Forum P
Amateur Microscopy (>1000 members, very active)
Algae-L 'Forum for marine, freshwater and terrestrial algae'. Access to Archives possible for non-subscribers.
Diatom-L 'Research on the diatom algae.' Access to Archives for subscribers only. Link was current March 2016. Many online diatom resources point to an outdated Indiana Univ. listserver. (With thanks to Rob Kimmich for the current link.)
sites (also see Societies and Clubs page.)
Journal, 'infocus' and other resources for members and the community.
Microscopical Club Journal, Bulletin and meetings for members.
collated by Steve Gill formerly on
CD and now free on Micscape.
Ireland - resource site by
hunter microscopy enthusiast website, forum and magazine
edited by Oliver Kim
optics in English and Italian.
Independent Generation of Research (IGoR) - Wiki style resource for citizen scientists to share their work.
Lens On Leeuwenhoek - extensive resource online by Douglas Anderson
Collected Letters of Antoni van Leeuwenhoek ('Alle de Brieven ..') transcribed and free online at DBNL.
slides by Howard Lynk
Klaus Kemp's 'Diatoms' website - offers regional strews and arranged prepared slides of diatoms, an 8 form test slide, radiolaria, insect scales etc and prepares arranged slides on commission.
Ireland' resource by Leszek Wolnik
makers of microscopes and microscope
Stevenson's extensive resource
Victorian slide makers
rocking microtome resources including
www.willemsmicroscope.com Dutch enthusiast Willem Cramer's website
David Jackson's Better Microscopy blog.
Regularly updated free resources extending from his 'Better Microscopy' series of books.
Stefano Barone's Diatom Shop sale of his own prepared and arranged slides of diatoms, radiolaria and forams.
Stefano Barone's 'Microworlds' blog regularly updated blog and diary where Stefano showcases and discusses the typical examples of the slides he has prepared.