Friday, February 03, 2006

It's movie time!

The answer to yesterday's mystery image was: dust.

Neil, to answer your question, I would love to put out a book. Anyone know anyone who publishes that sort of thing? I have a proposal ready to go.

Vanessa, the oatmeal is an actual type of oatmeal which is cut into pieces instead of rolled and cooked like the quaker oats type. You can get McCann's Steel-Cut Oatmeal at Trader Joe's. It takes longer to make than Quaker Oatmeal but it's worth the wait.

Now, today we are doing something a little bit unusual. The QX3+ Microscope also has a video capability and I thought I'd take some movies of some of the little critters living at the bottom of my aquarium. They usually move too fast for a still picture or don't look very interesting unless they're moving, so I decided to take some (very small) videos of them. All of the videos are under AVIs which are less than 1 megabyte to download. After researching various video hosting sites, I decided to just put them on my own webspace.

Apologies if any of these are misidentified. This is from memory and guesswork. All movies are at 200x.

(if you are having trouble viewing the video in your browser, right click on the link and save it to your computer first)


Cyclops 1

Cyclops 2

Cyclops 3


Here's the mystery pic at 60x. I have to take the weekend off. Back on monday!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Grab Bag

Guess people didn't like yesterday's multiple choice. For those interested, the answers are: 1) Sucralose (Splenda), 2) Aspartame (Nutrasweet) and 3) Saccharin (Sweet & Low)

Today's pictures:

The head of a pin at 200x. You can see the reflection of my finger in the metal.

A piece of steel cut oatmeal which apparently took a small sliver of the steel along for the ride. 60x.

Baking powder at 200x

An undeveloped grape still on the stem at 60x

What is today's 60x mystery image? Guesses in the comments.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Yesterday's mystery image was a used Gillette M3power razor cartridge at 200x. Here are two other views at 60x.

Today's mystery picture is actually going to be mystery pictures. Below are three different common sugar substitutes, ones you would find in any store or restaurant. All three are 200x. Your job is to guess which image (call them 1, 2 and 3 starting at the top) corresponds to which artificial sweetener.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006


No guesses yesterday? The answer was that it was the center underside of an AMD Athlon Microprocessor loaned to me by my friend Marc.

Here are several more 60x pictures of it.

Today's mystery image is at 200x. What is it? Guesses in the comments.

Monday, January 30, 2006


I got two packages of seeds- marigolds and dill. The marigolds were far more interesting so I'll be featuring them.

The answer to yesterday's mystery image was: The skin of a red grape.

xiojason sent me an e-mail saying that he has a few microscopy pictures of his own. Go over to his website and check them out. I especially like the white velour.

Dill seed at 60x

Marigold seed at 60x (top), seed fringe at 60x and 200x.

Marigold seed fluorescing at 200x and 60x.

What is today's 60x mystery image?

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Double Double Sawbuck

Sorry about not posting yesterday. I went out for dim sum with friends and never quite ended up making it back home for the day's posting until it was very late. Anyway, today we continue our exploration of the $20 bill, but before we go on with the photos, I'd like to welcome anyone coming from Science Chat Forum who we may be partnering up with here on the mystery picture of the day so it will be featured there as well. I highly recommend their forums for anyone interested in talking and learning about science.

Now, no one got yesterday's mystery picture right, although the suggestion of booger was on the right track. Those of you who have gone to my website and seen my headshot know that I keep my head shaved, so I couldn't provide a human hair (my wife may be willing to donate) to show you yet. However, I do have some dandruff up on the top of my dome. That is a flake of it.

And now, back to the $20 bill. Apparently, a friend with a 2003 bill tells me that they have already changed some features on it so that it does not match what I have put up on the site! The government is actually changing small designs on the bills each year to help stop counterfieting.

The $20 bill has a hologram in the lower right hand corner. The number 20 changes its color depending on the angle at which you hold it. This is what it looks like at 60x.

This is the strip that is inside the bill, another anti-copying device. You also get a very good look at the unique red and blue fibres which are in the paper. This style can only (legally) be found in American paper money.

Today's mystery image is at 200x. Guess away in the comments. Also, please keep suggestions coming!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Half a Double Sawbuck

Those of you who guessed money were absolutely right. It is the first picture in my 2-part 60x exploration of a 2001 U.S. $20 bill. See if you can find the corresponding parts of the bill based on the images below.

Part 2 will come tomorrow. Here is today's mystery picture at 200x