(ISSN 1365 - 070x)

Exploring the miniature world

Issue 173: March 2010.
Next update Apr.13th.

Image left: A montage of some key workers in the development of photomicrography. Image by Gregor and Normand Overney.

Microscopy-UK welcomes you to Micscape Magazine

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About Micscape

Issue 173 - March 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 history of photomicrography - Gregor and Normand Overney (USA) share an illustrated summary of some key developments and personnel in the fascinating history of this type of photography.

Guangzhou Liss Optical Instrument Microscopes: L-201 - David Christmass (UK) describes this stand's origins, features, accessories and offers his own English manual on this popular student model sold under a variety of brand names.

A close-up view of 'Kangaroo paws' - Brian Johnston (Canada) illustrates this plant's interesting features on the macro and microscopic scale.

Care of low voltage incandescent lamps. Helping to ensure your lamphouse's bulb reaches old age - Paul James (UK) offers some practical advice to extend bulb life which is increasingly important for bulbs for older stands that are becoming hard to source.

A Victorian illustration meets its 21st century counterpart - Chuck Peters (USA) finds his live hydra image suspended from duckweed closely resembles a classic illustration.

An overview of viruses for light microscopists - Mol Smith (UK) continues his multi-part series on the value of 3D modelling in microscopy education by describing and illustrating a selection of viruses.

Review of a Watson & Sons brass student microscope of the late 19th century - Jerome Wenger (France) describes and illustrates an example of this stand and has some queries on some of aspects of its history.

Use of the Logitech Quickcam Pro 9000 for photomicrography. History of a near-failure or a semi-success - Walter Dioni (Mexico) continues his three part series on using this popular webcam. In part 2 he assesses various aspects of its still image quality. 

James Morrison Barbour (ca. 1851-1929) and the Barbour Brothers Microscope Slide Business (ca. 1893) - Brian Stevenson (USA) presents an illustrated essay on this slide maker.

Micro star gazing - Wim van Egmond (Netherlands) shares striking imagery of some species of desmids that resemble stars.

Get the LED out - Richard Howey (USA) illustrates how a cheap consumer blue LED lamp can offer attractive imagery for certain subjects.

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

A "palette of palates". Exploring a selection of prepared slides of snail radulas—a classic type of Victorian microscope slide - David Walker (UK) finds prepared slides of the radulas of snails a challenging but rewarding subject for visual studies and for photomicroscopy using different lighting techniques.


In focus:

Note on Micscape / Microscopy-UK archiving: As a digital resource and with the potential uncertainties that have been associated with reliable long term archiving of digital data, we are very aware that we're the custodians of a now large amount of freely given resources by contributors. From the outset of the venture in 1995 we set in place multi-threaded methods of ensuring this resource remains stable and freely available. We have recently arranged a further tier of independent archiving so it may be worthwhile summarising them all. Needless to say the methods below are supplemented by both site administrators having multiple personal backups of the entire site.
On-line site stability
 - As far as possible we don't change a resources web page address (URL), the earliest article web addresses are the same as they were in 1995. The site is hosted on a high bandwidth account on a Yahoo server in the US to best serve our main readership in the US. To date Yahoo has proved to be a very reliable host and good value. (Current monthly page accesses are ca. 750 000.)
Continuity of administrator access - Maurice Smith, the site owner, has carefully put in place access details for potential future administrators to continue the venture.
British Library 'Voluntary deposit of non print publications' scheme - Micscape since it started has been registered with the British Library as a serial publication. (Online version: ISSN 1365-070x. CD-ROM archive: ISSN 1478-2693). CD-ROMs, now DVD-ROMs, of the Micscape archives containing the first 75, 100 and 130 monthly issues have been sent to them for archiving under their 'Voluntary Deposit' scheme and updated archives are deposited with the British Library regularly (the next is planned at issue 200). 
The site structure was designed from the outset so that internal site navigation used intra URL addresses (i.e. not http:// links which only work online) so that the entire site can work independently off-line on a DVD, therefore submitting DVD archives is a very easy task. Special off line indexes access the DVD resource.
British Library 'UK Web Archive': We have applied for and have been accepted into the British Library's scheme for them to archive complete websites with a UK domain name they regard as of value. Their archive is updated regularly and is completely independent of us, so an additional method of ensuring long term access to the site's resources. Every six months is a likely site archive update for this site.

Micscape is also reaching a potential huge new microscopy enthusiast readership - China, in their own language. A major Chinese professional microscopy website issues their own quarterly Chinese version, articles are selected by them for translation after contributor's permission sought via the Micscape Editor.

David Walker and Maurice Smith.

UK meeting notice: With thanks to Mike Smith who writes:

The annual meeting of the Leeds Microscopical Society.
This will be at Morley near Leeds as usual.Sat 5th June 2010, 9.30am-4.30pm. Cost by advance booking £5. On the day £7. Theme - Zeiss microscopes. Refreshments and sandwiches available. Raffle - 1st prize a signed photomicrograph by Spike Walker.

Interested parties to contact me. Email:  mikesmith_ls176h AT yahoo DOT co DOT uk

    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.

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.

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.

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.

Microscopy-UK and Micscape - established 1995
Micscape is a free magazine for enthusiasts funded by Microscopy-UK and dedicated to non-commercial microscopy.
© Onview.net Ltd, Microscopy-UK, and all contributors 1995 onwards. All rights reserved. Main site is at www.microscopy-uk.org.uk