looking through the magnifying glass


Communication problems – the basis

Hey guys, don’t worry about me if I shouldn’t put up too many posts in the upcoming few days, maybe weeks. But there are two things that somehow take all my attention right now.

Number one, I have a big experimetn upcoming, that will consume basically all my time since I want to get some results out of it before christmas And the other thing, doing literature searches; have you ever come across those words: This article is available in russian only?

Well I sure did, and it annoys me.
And that brings me to my next point, communication. The very starting point for any kind of communciation is a common language. And I’m pretty sure that those guys in russia do good research, but they don’t publish it in englisch, and since I can’t change that easily I decided to take the other way around, and I’m trying to learn some russian these days.

So to sum that up: I’m deep into experimeting and if I have time left, I’m trying to learn one of the more difficult languages this planet has to offfer.

lets see now;

Introduction: check

Materials and Methods: check

Results: well that’s to come

Discussion: That’s up to you now, let me know what you think about that

Hang in there and let me know if you are planning on similar projects these days!


Seth Raphaels shot on the Randi Foundation 1 Million dollar

Seth Raphaels shot on the Randi Foundation 1 Million dollar

Seth Raphael claims to be a computer psychic, or that his computer is psychic, or a psychic. I got confused half way trough. But watch this and prepare to get blown of your chair!


Feeling Stupid?

Feeling Stupid?

Interesting Paper on one of the interesting aspects of being a Scientist!

The Valley of Shit

The Thesis Whisperer

I have a friend, let’s call him Dave, who is doing his PhD at the moment.

I admire Dave for several reasons. Although he is a full time academic with a young family, Dave talks about his PhD as just one job among many. Rather than moan about not having enough time, Dave looks for creative time management solutions. Despite the numerous demands on him, Dave is a generous colleague. He willingly listens to my work problems over coffee and always has an interesting suggestion or two. His resolute cheerfulness and ‘can do’ attitude is an antidote to the culture of complaint which seems, at times, to pervade academia.

I was therefore surprised when, for no apparent reason, Dave started talking negatively about his PhD and his ability to finish on time. All of a sudden he seemed to lose confidencein himself, his topic and the quality of…

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A pacifier, a ribbon, and a supermarket counter

English: pink ribbon

English: pink ribbon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just had the coolest thing happening to me for a while. And it was one of those little things. Usually I don’t post my everyday life here, but this one is really worth sharing.

So I was standing at the supermarket check out, trying to buy some lunch and it is my turn to step up. Yet there is something in the way. A little boy, merely a toddler, maybe 3 or 4 years old. Standing right there at the check out, with his little blue and white woolen cap on and his  pacifier in his mouth. And he’s trying to hand something to me, with his eyes having that asking for help expression that kids can do so well and everyone just seems to instinctively understand. First I didn’t realize what it was, took it anyways and had a bit of a closer look.

It was a little card board stand, for those pink breast cancer awareness ribbons, that apparently had fallen of the counter. And he goes on, picking up the ribbons that had fallen to the ground, handing them over to me one by one, and we built this little chain of help. The toddler picking up the ribbons, me taking them from his height reaching for a height that people are more prone to look at, and the cashier herself, arranging them neatlly on the board.

So lets not forget about breast cancer, and be proud that people help each other at times without wanting anything in return, and the pure altruism that kids sometimes show.

Awesome kids are awesome!!!!!


Tim Minchins Dark Side

Tim Minchins Dark Side

Just in case you’re still not inspired by all the stuff I post the last couple of days, or world itself for that matter, or if you’re having a bad day: let Tim Minchin inspire and entertain your peritoneum a bit. Cheers for giggles and good music


John Cleese on Creativity

John Cleese on Creativity

John Cleese as a civil servant in the halls of...

John Cleese as a civil servant in the halls of the Ministry. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A great talk by John Cleese on creativity and what it takes to be creative send to me by my supervisor.

Thanks for that to my awesome supervisor who forwarded it to me. And, to spoil a bit, he is right about time!


Zombie Nouns

Zombie Nouns

here’s another one (TED), picking up on the scientific scribblings thing I wrote month ago. Have fun


Wampug Strikes bag

Wilbur the pug

Wilbur the pug (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wampug Strikes bag

Okay, since I know the last post was quite a lot to chew on, probably. maybe? Here’s something to regain some mental fitness by working your body. particular the abs – from laughter.

all credit goes to http://www.youtube.com/user/StarWarsChick01

Microscopy four – Focal length

Last time we ended scratching the topic of focal length, and I told you that this is going to be complicated. Don’t worry it will be. Yet, focal length in itself is rather easy and straightforward to determine and also to explain, if you’re not going into details. It is a characteristic of the lense you’re using. So just imagine having a magnifying glass and you use it to focus sunlight, as if you would try to use it for starting a fire. If you take all the light the lense is capturing and focus it on a single spot on the other side, the distance between the lense and the point that lightspot is most concentrated, that is the focal length or focal distance. It is a physical property of the lense, based on the lenses curvature.

On a berfectly biconvex lens the focal distance would be equal on both sides of the lense. In the context of microscopy we will assume it is that way to make things easier.

Theoretically spoken, and inlcuding some equations, one could express that as following

1/S1 + 1/S2 =1/f

 with f being the focal distance and S1 being the distance between object and lens and S2 being the distance between lens and eye/image.

Assuming we are producing a real image here, and with both distances being the same, the image produced would be exactly the same size as the object observed.

The magnification comes into play as following.

M= – (S2 / S1) = f / (f – S1)

That sounds complicated, but what it really tells is,if M is bigger than 1, the image will be magniefied, if it is smaller, than it will be shrinked down. Which is exactly what is happening within a binocular, basically.

What happens in a microscope is turning the image upside down for a real image, which you would not see though as it would be same size as your microscopically small object.  But, of course light rays don’t just stop there, so on the far side of the focal distance, on our side of the lens, the image is crossed again and the lightrays spread out, creating a virtual image that is upright again, and magnified, using another lens in the eyepiece to sharpen and focus it again back onto our eyes. and to the image we see.

See the image below to get a better idea of that, if your brain works as visual as mine.

rhiannon mondav

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