28 March 2003

A look in the lab

Here's the infamous microscope that took an inordinately long time to purchase (partly due to delays in getting start-ups funds, partly due to my misunderstandings of the purchasing process, partly due to... oh, you get the idea.)

Isn't it pretty? I've joked more than once that I don't actually plan to look at anything through it, I just need a scope for show to impress the visitors.

You'll notice a camera attachment on the left; it's a nice digital camera. A camera lucida (a.k. drawing tube) is on the right. It's a device for looking at the material under the scope through one eye, and looking at a piece of paper through the other so that you can trace what you see. It's excellent for making records of material that isn't flat, which can't be easily photographed because of depth of field problems.

That's about $8K worth of microscope you're looking at there. It's probably the single most expensive thing in the lab.

Here's the runner-up in expense (would tie if you included the software asscoiated with it).

That little "bruise-coloured" box (i.e., black and blue!) on top of the silver one cost over $6K. It's an analog-digital board: it converts continuously variable electric signals into digital signals that my computer can understand.

But enough tech for now. Let's turn to a more green and pleasant thoughts...

The view out my lab window. There used to be a baseball field (right picture), which was ripped down last year. I've heard various things about what is going in there. It might be a new building. Or it might be a parking lot (I'm kind of hoping not). But at least I have some green plants and blue sky to view when I look up from my scope.

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