A New Year Quiz Game

by Richard L. Howey, Wyoming, USA



I decided this year to forgo presenting a horoscope given the world-wide economic chaos, since I didnít want to discourage and depress you. Instead, I decided to try to provide something momentarily diverting and fun. Following the inspired example of Dave Walker who has done some splendid photomicrography of ordinary, household items (and one of his photos was a winner in last yearsí Nikon Small World contest) I thought I'd let you play a guessing game. I took a series of photographs of various common domestic and/or lab objects up close weíll see how many you recognize. Iíll give you some ambiguous and largely unhelpful hints just to stimulate your brain and then Iíll provide answers next month. However, if you get really frustrated and canít wait, send a check for $50 and Iíll e-mail the answers to you. Or, if you would just like more clues, send $25. (Ordinarily, Iíd charge $250 and $125, but I realize that it was primarily egregiously greedy American who cause the economic collapse, so I am radically reducing my fees.)

I selected 14 images (one for each month of the yearĖwhich may or may not be significant) and beneath each one there is a clue and maybe there are 1 or 2 images that are not common. For the first one, I have provided 3 images as it may present the most difficulty. Remember, philosophers are sneaky. Nonetheless, as an incentive, I will send this Neo-Victorian slide of my own making, of a starfish to the individual who identifies the most images correctly. You must send me your identification list by February 5, 2009 by e-mail. Be sure to include the item number with each identification and also include your e-mail address so that, if you are a winner, I can contact you for your mailing address. If more than 2 people correctly guess all 12 items, then the 2 winners will be determined by which entries are the earliest. If there is a tie, the other person will receive another of my Neo-Victorian slides, this time, one of a sand dollar.

(The slides will not necessarily be those picture but will be very similar.)

I have processed the images only to increase clarity, sharpness and contrast; I have not introduced any distortions to mislead you. If, in the process of setting up the image, I use any special techniques, such as, polarization, DIC, etc., I will tell you that in the clue section. I will also let you know whether the image was taken with a compound or a stereo-dissecting microscope.

Item #1

This is something which every microscopist has come across and which most have used. This was taken using Nomarksi Differential Interference Contrast which you may recall incorporates polarization. Taken with a compound microscope.

Item #2

This is derived from a substance which many households keep in their medicine cabinet. The image was taken using polarized light with a compound microscope. I hope it doesnít leave you cold.

Item #3

This is something which some people carry with them at all times. Their use can become compulsive and theyíre noted for being oddly robust. Stereo-dissecting microscope.

Item #4

This handy little item was invented by the scientific techno-wizard in the James Bond movies. Stereo-dissecting microscope.

Item #5

My wife is always teasing me, but fortunately she doesnít use one of these. Stereo-dissecting microscope.

Item #6

You need this if you want to be on the cutting edge. Stereo-dissecting microscope.

Item #7

Itís always good to put a little spice in your life. Stereo-dissecting microscope.

Item #8

While youíre out basking in the sun beside your favorite pond, you can indulge in some of these. Stereo-dissecting microscope.

Item #9

Highly utilitarian, but if you just use your computer to communicate, then you may not invest in one of these. Stereo-dissecting microscope.

Item #10

Under certain conditions, this could make you sneeze and ruin your companionsí dining pleasure.

Item #11

Itís a good idea to have 2 or 3 or even 4 of these around, especially in the lab.

Item #12

These are very handy for sorting and organizing things and even for identifying slides.

Good luck and have fun. The answers will magically appear next month.

All comments to the author Richard Howey are welcomed.

Editor's note: Visit Richard Howey's new website at http://rhowey.googlepages.com/home where he plans to share aspects of his wide interests.


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Published in the January 2009 edition of Micscape Magazine.

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