(ISSN 1365 - 070x)

Exploring the miniature world

Issue 172: February 2010.
Next update Mar.13th.

Image left: A collage of foraminifera photographed by Brian Darnton. A rotatable mounted needle can be useful for manipulating these type of subjects for visual and photographic studies.

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About Micscape

Issue 172 - February 2010 : Articles this month

Micscape Contacts
Micscape Editor:
David Walker
Comments on Micscape and
contributions welcomed.

Micscape submission guidelines .

parent site coordinator:
Maurice Smith

The revival of the mounted needle - Brian Darnton (UK) describes a homemade design 'for the 360º rotation of objects such as radiolaria, foraminifera and crystals for the microscopic examination of macro objects, with a view to digital photography'.

Viewing Giardia protozoa better through 3D modelling - Mol Smith (UK) continues his multi-part series on the value of 3D modelling in microscopy education by describing and illustrating this protozoa which is a parasite of humans.

A study of the common squid Loligo vulgaris - David Christmass (USA) shares an illustrated essay on this fascinating creature's lifestyle and structure.

Searching for the best petrographic microscope: The Olympus BH2 BHSP - Greg McHone (Canada) describes and illustrates his project to build up a high performance model.

Photographs of Cristatella mucedo statoblasts - Michiel van der Waaij (Netherlands) illustrates the resting stages of this beautiful bryozoan and demonstrates the importance of studying live specimens using different lighting techniques. He finds an important feature not described in most modern textbooks.

A close-up view of the wild flower field bindweed - Brian Johnston (Canada) illustrates that a modest weed can have interesting features on the macro and microscopic scale.

DIY Wild M20 / Zeiss lamp fitments - Paul James (UK) offers 'some practical ideas concerning more economical illumination replacement sources'.

Wheeler's 'other' paper - Howard Lynk (USA) describes a 'detective story' by comparing slide papers and writing styles to determine whether unnamed slides were made by this famous microscope slide maker.

A dental problem?- Hugo Mitchell-Tapping (USA) describes and illustrates the value of studying the teeth of a dead dolphin under polarised light to learn about its life and death. (Links to article in Acrobat® pdf format.)

Topical tip: Adapting a table lamp to an LED based external microscope lamp - Les May (UK) shows how the cheap multi LED mains bulbs can make effective external microscope lamps.

Use of the Logitech Quickcam Pro 9000 for photomicrography. History of a near-failure or a semi-success - Walter Dioni (Mexico) begins a three part series on using this popular webcam. In part 1 he describes the reasons for his buying decision and methods of using on a microscope with or without the built in lens using suitable homemade or commercial adapters.

Topical tips: Image amalgamation - Walter Dioni (Mexico) describes a sometimes overlooked feature in many camera's bundled software or editing software, which allows quick and effective 'clean-up' of a microscopy subject by combining with an inverted background image.

James W. Neville, Microscopist (1840 – 1900) - Brian Stevenson (USA) and Howard Lynk (USA) share an illustrated essay on this slide maker who made very distinctive decorated mounts.

Microscopic seduction - Richard Howey (USA) presents suitable microscopic subjects to share to encourage people to take up microscopy as a hobby.

A close-up view of the Japanese toad lily - Brian Johnston (Canada) illustrates the macro and microscopic features of this attractive flowering plant.

Notes on renovating a Zeiss III RS epi-fluorescence head and adapting use of a spare port for axial epi-brightfield - David Walker (UK) describes the exploratory repair of a 'cooked' example and finds it a design suitable to work on. If only used with safe, suitable lamps, a spare port can be adapted for axial epi brightfield studies. Includes small epi photo gallery.

Note to contributors: Unfortunately our host server does not accept certain characters in image file names, and there can be over 150 images in a typical issue, so it would greatly aid the Editor if image file names only used English alphanumerics, dashes are fine, but not spaces, hashes, slashes etc. Also physically resizing the images to their final size for the web page rather than using the html coding to resize larger images would be appreciated (suggested max width ca. 800 pixels). Many thanks!

In focus:

1) 'Water flea' key in diagrammatic form to freely download: 'Crustacés cladocères' by Claude Amoros is a splendid diagrammatic key to the cladocera published in Société Linnéenne de Lyon Tome 53 (1984) n°3-4. The author notes in the Abstract that it was written for 'non-specialists' to 'identify the species of freshwater cladocerans of France and the neighbouring countries of western Europe'. The cladocera are a popular group to study by naturalists and microscopy enthusiasts. Only a few terms used in the key need to be translated to the reader's own language to be used for non-French speakers. The Society and the author Claude Amoros has kindly given Micscape permission for us to scan and share a copy for readers' personal / educational use.
The key (with the author's accompanying introduction, species descriptions, refs.) can be downloaded here in Acrobat® pdf format (63 pages, size 30Mbytes); hi-res scan to be printed out rather than for screen use.
The website
of the Société Linnéenne de Lyon is here. The learned society has published a range of other keys.
Micscape sincerely thanks the Society for liaison and for seeking the author's Claude Amoros permission.

2) Royal Microscopical Society International Micrograph Competition 2010 - please see the Press Release from the RMS for details. With thanks to Rob Flavin of Cooper Repco Ltd., for the information.

3) Exhibition: '300 Years of History Under the Microscope' - Press Release from the Royal College of Surgeons, London

"Curious: The Craft of Microscopy is the new exhibition at the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons. The exhibition, which runs from Tuesday 16 February to Saturday 3 July, 2010 will showcase the photography of innovative artist, Susanna Edwards."

Using nine different microscopes dating back to the 18th century, Ms Edwards has photographed a collection of Victorian slides to create a stunning series of natural images. Each photograph, taken as the eye would see through a microscope, documents how developments in microscopy have changed the way we see the world.

The exhibition will include large-scale photographic prints alongside the historic instruments used to capture them, the oldest of which is a 1730s Culpeper microscope. The slides contain a range of natural materials gathered for their aesthetic, scientific and educational qualities. The exhibition provides an opportunity to view objects that are rarely or never seen by the public.".......

........."The exhibition will be supported by a programme of lectures, tours and hands-on workshops that explore the role of microscopes in medicine over the last three centuries. " ......

......"The Hunterian Museum’s accompanying events programme, The Lens of Life has been supported by the Royal Society as part of their 350th anniversary celebrations in 2010. "


Part press release, click here for full copy with more details of the 'Exhibition themes' and 'Key exhibits' list.
With thanks to Heather Casey of the RCS for the information.

4) The Reading Convention, UK, March 13th - for details of this annual and popular event, please see the meeting flyer.
With thanks to Kit Brownlee for providing the information.

    We are delighted to receive contributions small or large from microscopyenthusiasts 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 .

Micscape Archive
Look for that elusive article on our site:
Micscape Magazine past issues online
(read articles online using the original illustrated index for each month).
Micscape magazine downloadable issues - download a zip file of past issues for an offline resource. Valid Jan. 2004 to Oct. 2008, discontinued after, see link for details.
Article Library (browse articles by category)
Automated Search
Contributor index (a list of all Micscape contributors to date)
News - special notices - misc.
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 on macroscopy and photomicrography.


Yahoo groups: a ' P' denotes current and archived messages are public i.e. not limited to members.
'Amateur Microscopy ' P (started November2008)
' Microscope 'P (>1500 members, very active)
' Microscopes '
'Microscopehobby' P (started Apr 2005)
'RealMicroscopy' P
(started Sep 2005)
Óptica Roma foro Microscopía' for Spanish speakers
' Wild M20 microscope '
' Nikon Coolpix photomicro and macrophoto '
' microcosmo ' ( for Italian speaking enthusiasts)
' CombineZ ' P stacking software forum created by the software's author

Mikroskopie-Treff.de (Extensive German microscopy forum; some English categories.)
Mikrobiologische Vereinigung München e. V. W ide range of articles and resources in German.
Le Naturaliste French based forum and image gallery for micro / macro but open to non French speaking international contributors.

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

Molecular Expressions awesome optical microscopy resources
Dennis Kunkel's SEM images stunning images
Leitz museum an illustrated resource compiled by Robert Allen

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
A Cabinet of Curiosities attractive and valuable resource on Victorian microscope slides
www.viewsfromscience.com projects e.g. chilled stage for crystal growth studies and LED fluorescence

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

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Micscape is a free magazine for enthusiasts funded by Microscopy-UK and dedicated to non-commercial microscopy.
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