Answers To Last Monthís Quiz

by Richard L. Howey, Wyoming, USA



In the January issue, I present some images of 12 different items with the challenge to identify them. As an incentive, I offered two of my own Neo-Victorian slides which I make completely from scratch. The two prize winners are me and my wifeĖjust kidding. The prize winners are Aaron van Pelt and David Jewsbury. (Please send me your mailing address, so that I can send you each a slide.)

No one identified all of the images correctly, but the two above got the most right. So here are the answers.

Item #1

I warned that this would be a tough one. It is the corner of a cover class where some of the mounting medium has leaked out beyond the edge of the cover glass and under the cover glass itself it has crackled. This is a synthetic resinous mounting medium which was photographed using Nomarski DIC, thus the color since polarization is used in achieving Nomarski illumination.

[image A1]

Item #2

I told you that this substance is often kept in a medicine cabinet. Actually, thatís not a good place to keep it, since the medicine cabinet is usually above the wash basin and whatís in it can readily absorb both moisture and heat. This is a crystal made from grinding up a tablet of Vitamin C and is a rather typical form for ascorbic acid.

Item #3

Iím sure that those of you who are peppermint fans got this one right off. Itís a miniature Altoid and I gave you a broad hint when I said that they are known for ďbeing oddly robustĒ. As you will notice, it says on the tin ďCuriously Strong MintsĒ.

Item #4

This is pretty obvious and with the clue about the James Bond techno-wizard, it should be hard to miss, since he was simply known as ďQĒ and what you are looking at is one end of a Q-Tip cotton swab.

Item #5

This one is a bit tricky, but I was generous and accepted the answer of needle, although strictly speaking, itís a sewing machine needle. Put one in the end of a small dowel and they make great little dissecting needles.

Item #6

This one should have been pretty easy. It is, of course, part of the blade of a disposable scalpel.

Item #7

In powdered form, it is often used in cookies, cakes, and nutbreads. My wife chews on a whole clove such as this to freshen her breath and also claims that it helps her from catching colds. She rarely does get one, so who knows. Donít argue with success (or wives).

Item #8

Clearly a seed of some kind. I told you that you might indulge in some while basking in the sunĖso obviously, itís a sunflower seed.

Item #9

Not much of a challenge hereĖa postage stamp. However, some of you may use only e-mail and have forgotten what postage stamps are.

Item #10

This one is a bit hard. It looks like a tiny rock, but rocks donít ordinarily make you sneeze. If you grind this up, you can put it on salad or your breakfast eggs; itís a peppercorn.

Item #11

Looks rather like the head of some metallic bird, doesnít it?

Itís the tip of a pair of forceps. Remember, I told you itís nice to have 2 or 3 or even 4 of these in the labĖthus four-ceps.

Item #12

This one is definitely tricky. It was rather hard to photograph since itís white on white. It is the intersection of 4 labels on a sheet of small labels of the kind that I use for labeling test tube, small jars, and even slides.

I hope that you had some fun with this and that it distracted you a bit from the stock market.

Ah, yes, I should mention that I had some help with all of this: my computer and lab companion, Vladimir, known as Vladi for short. Heís half Norwegian Forest cat.

He did all the hard work.

All comments to the author Richard Howey are welcomed.

Editor's note: Visit Richard Howey's new website at where he plans to share aspects of his wide interests.


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