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Best Christmas Gift Ever

Posted Jan 15 2009 7:51pm
We had a wonderful Christmas with friends and family and the next couple of days will see more merry making, food, and company. I am looking forward to those things but I have to admit I am also ecstatic about one of my Christmas gifts.

When I was 10 I received a microscope as a gift. Whether it was for my birthday or another occassion I don't recall. But I was taking samples of everything and putting them under the lens for close-up views. A few months ago, I pulled out the scope again and the Wookie and I were contemplating a camera for it to take pictures of stuff REALLY up close. He had given me a digital camera last year because of my blog and I've gotten a lot of use out of it; the natural progression would be to a microscope camera.

So the Wookie managed to find the niftiest, coolest, most amazing thing EVER for me this year. A microscope with a camera for stills and video that connects to your computer. You hook it up and whatever you put under the lens appears on your computer monitor at 10, 60 or 200 times magnification. Oh....my....freakin'....God!!!

Last night after we came back from Mom and Dad's, the Wookie set it up and I began to look at stuff. Butterfly wings, a beetle, paper, and my still living warehouse beetle larva. I do have to experiment with light settings, but it's an absolutely thrilling experience. I feel like Sir Alexander Flemming, Marie Curie, and Einstein all rolled into one.

Pictures of Bee Wear, my warehouse beetle larva:





To put these shots into perspective, the larva itself is less than a centimetre long...maybe 8 millimetres (10 mm to a cm, 2.5 cm to an inch) so to see the actual individual hairs or specks of dust on this creature is nothing short of a miracle in my book.

The other exciting thing is that I'll be able to examine living creatures. Instead of putting them in the freezer to put them to sleep permanently, I can put them in the fridge (for about 15 minutes) to put them to sleep for a nap, look at them under the microscope and take pictures, then let them go. For this, the Wookie gets a Superhero Bug Saving Award.

Back to the lab!

S.

Coincidentally, the larva was on a piece of paper with the End MS logo on it. Even insects are getting into the campaign.
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