Spring is here at last; cherry tree
in blossom
by Brian Johnston.

(ISSN 1365 - 070x)

Exploring the miniature world

Issue 126: April 2006.
Next update May. 13th. 


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Issue 126 - April 2006 : Articles this month

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Critter farming (or ensuring a supply of protozoa during the fallow season!) - Mike Andre (USA) shows how a large outdoors water-filled container with trickle heat can form a useful source of critters for microscopical study when ponds and lakes are frozen.

The Microscope Historical Society and its journal - Manuel del Cerro (Canada) provides a background to this society and its membership benefits.

Eosin as a nuclear stain in botany and as an economical substitute in zoology - Walter Dioni (Mexico) provides a comprehensive discussion with examples of eosin in use; its potential as a nuclear stain is not widely reported. (Editor's note: I'm sure regular readers will join me in welcoming Walter and offering our best wishes after the difficulties that last year's hurricane continues to have on his home town, Cancún, and on his family.)

A close-up view of wild cherry blossoms - with spring in the air, Brian Johnston (Canada) illustrates the macro and photomicrography potential of this spring flowering tree.

The wounded tree - Paul James (UK) presents a fascinating illustrated 'peep at sapwood's attempts to cover a tree's injuries'.

A variable compensator for polarising microscopes - Ian Walker (UK) shows how a cleaved mica square in a homemade rotating mount below the condenser can be used to make an elegant and competent compensator with no special skills.

The stereo microscope MBC-10 by LOMO - Rudolf Baumueller (USA) describes the features of this versatile and cost effective Russian stereo, illustrated with example images.

Resinous history: Insects in amber - Richard Howey (USA) shares an illustrated essay on this topic with notes on imaging methods.

Image processing and microscope images - Robert Pavlis (USA) presents an overview of some image software and techniques for editing digital photomicrographs, with examples.

One of 'nature's little secrets' - (an unknown to me) - Richard Howey (USA) seeks readers help in identifying a marine organism attached to a preserved tunicate sample.

A close up view of the fox-tail lily - Brian Johnston (Canada) explores this attractive plant on both the macro and micro level.

    'Polar exploration' on a budget -  David Walker (UK) shows how simple modifications to the budget LOMO Biolam with rotating stage can make it a competent student polarising microscope.


In focus:
Nikon Small World Competition 2006
: The closing date for entries is much earlier this year on April 28th. The entry details, prizes and galleries of previous competition winners can be seen at www.nikonsmallworld.com.

We are delighted to receive contributions small or large from microscopy enthusiasts whether a novice or expert. If you have an image, tip or article, why not share it, this magazine is what you make it! Have a chat with us, to see how we can help share your interests. Submission guidelines.

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External links. Below are some of our favourites, which includes sites with extensive links and/or resources for the optical microscopy enthusiast.

External Microscopy forums:
Places to discuss the hobby or to raise queries.

www.amateurmicrography.net forums, galleries, articles 
www.photomacrography.net forums, galleries, articles


Yahoo groups: a 'P' denotes current and archived messages are public i.e. not limited to members.
'Microscope' P (>1500 members, very active)
'Microscopehobby'  P (started Apr 2005)
'RealMicroscopy'  P
(started Sep 2005)
Microscopio' for Spanish speakers

'Wild M20 microscope'
'Nikon Coolpix photomicro and macrophoto'
'microcosmo'  (for Italian speaking enthusiasts)

(Extensive German microscopy forum; some English categories.)

Mikrobiologische Vereinigung München e. V. wide range of articles and resources in German.

Other sites
Clubs / Socs (Pro/Am) Mic-UK links page
Light Microscopy Forum links and articles
Little Imp Publications public domain books on CD, 'The Amateur Diatomist' paper magazine
Mikroskop Museum German website with resources on microscopes / makers.

Molecular Expressions awesome optical microscopy resources
Dennis Kunkel's SEM images stunning images
Microscopies online magazine and Forum  for French speakers
Micrographia articles, projects for the enthusiast
Microscopy Today
paper journal with online archive
Modern Microscopy
online journal by McCrone Group
Fun Science Gallery projects, articles on optics
G. Couger's microscopy links extensive links
Society for Amateur Scientists resources and support
www.viewsfromscience.com projects e.g. chilled stage for crystal growth studies and LED fluorescence
www.amateurmicrography.net  articles and other resources

Web rings
Lightscapes polarised light macroscopy/microscopy, both artistic and scientific.

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