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I finally set up my AmScope to a laptop to take proper pictures of my specimens!
Images taken with my AmScope B120C-E1 compound microscope using an ocular camera. Images are at 250X magnification (unless otherwise stated).
»All insects and other creatures used in my microscopy experiments are humanly obtained by finding them already dead in the environment I find them in.«
Three Dimensional photography for the insects was achieved by using a flashlight on a glass slide. Others were sliced, dyed and wet/dry mounted onto a glass slide by myself. I’m still learning how to make these slides and take pictures, so bare with me if they’re blurry or poorly lit.
I found a Bee in my gutters while cleaning them out the other week. I gently took him into my lab room and placed him in a dish for later investigation:
My lab :)
More bee fir.
I also found a dead boxelder bug:
A better image of other slides I created using wet/dry mounting:
My cheek cell, dyed in methylene blue.
Sweet onion cells dyed with iodine.
Velella dyed with methylene blue. I found this guy on the beach of the Oregon Coast one weekend, already dead. There were many of them.
My cats hair (Madison).
my hair for comparison.
Oregon Coast sand!
More Oregon Coast sand :)
Hope you all enjoyed. I can’t wait to make more!
What's your view on death. Do you believe in any after life or your soul leaving your body/spirituality or do you just think we rot into the ground and cease to exist
As of now, there is no evidence to support the notion of a separation between the body and the mind/soul. If the mind is an emergent property of physical processes in the brain, as it most certainly seems to be, then it would indeed appear to be the case that ‘we’ die right along with our bodies. However, looking at our personality as a manifestation of physical processes also means that our mind is completely capable of ‘dying’ before the rest of our body ceases to be. Severe dementia and Alzheimer’s, for instance, seem to be cases where ‘we’ die well before the rest of our body does. Thus, many of us die before we even begin to rot.
Despite this, I don’t think we ‘just’ rot in the ground and cease to exist. While it’s true that the delicately balanced brain processes that create our inner-lives will most certainly cease to exist, the fundamental particles that make up our bodies, as the first law of thermodynamics shows us, will never cease to be. The energy for every particle that has ever been part of you existed shortly after the beginning of the universe, much of which proceeded to forge together in the hearts of stars, explode out into the vacuum of space, and eventually provide the seed for life on this planet. You are constantly emitting particles, particles that are and were temporarily necessary for your existence, much of which will then go on to be necessary for the existence of other entities in the cosmos.
You make your permanent stamp on the universe simply by existing.
On the face of it, this may not seem to be as consoling of a view as an infinite Elysium to house your consciousness, but I nevertheless think it’s romantic and beautiful and, most importantly, founded in reality. I, for one, feel very privileged that I live in a time and place that has allowed me know such poetry of existence.
Since they put it much more eloquently than I can, I’ll leave you with two of my favorite pieces about the beauty of the scientific worldview:
“You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.
And at one point you’d hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those photons created within her constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.
And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.
And you’ll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they’ll be comforted to know your energy’s still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you’re just less orderly. Amen.”
“Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.”
–Mary Elizabeth Frye (1932)
Finally set up my personal lab :3
Started with my own cheek cells. Swabbed, heat set and stained using methylene blue chloride:
Excuse the black box lol I gotta set up the scope camera to get better shots.
About a month ago I visited the beach with my friend, we discovered Velella washed up all over the beach! I pockited some and let them dry in my lab. (don’t worry, they were already dead when I obtained them).
I then proceeded to rehydrate them, wet set them to a slide and dyed them with various stains.
Here is a piece of Velella stained with methylene blue chloride. These pictures do no justice on how beautiful they look under the microscope!
And finally janus green stain:
I can’t wait to make more slides. I have about 10 stains and I made my own microtome. Next time I’ll set up the camera scope and take some better photos instead of using my cellphone lol
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