25 March 2011

More microscope fun

I ogle down microscopes, I go underground, and I run! That's my life in a nutshell. But only if I run with Neil, who gets me to run silly distances, and who has a remarkably steady hand while running and thus can take pictures, the running leads to decorative blogposts. Caving, on the other hand, tends to yield interesting pictures every time. So if I don't sometimes blog about what I see in the mysterious depths of my microscope the blog will look like the only thing I do is dive head-first into any mine I can find. And I recently saw some nice things in my little lab-enclosed world, so I thought I'd share them. The first batch concerns things of which I don't know what they are; they look like miniature fossil maize ears. Useless to me, but pretty!

Three "maize ears". And notice two forams in the far left!

I don't only look at forams; as mentioned before, I also look for stuff to do radiocarbon dating on. And I photograph my samples with a camera mounted on another microscope. It can give a scale bar on the picture, but I thought something more imaginative would work too. With larger objects it's not unusal to insert a coin in a picture for scale, so I took a 5 pence piece (the smallest current UK coin) out of my wallet and took a picture of it, with the same magnification as I use for my 14C samples. And it turned out very arty! And that's how a crowned thistle made it to the blog...

1 comment:

Natasha Barlow said...

Damn, Antony could tell you what they are! They are the sort of seeds we have used for dating in Greenland and Alaska. I useless on my seed ID.