Friday, March 2, 2012

Pretty Things

Nikon Small World winners!

Operating under the premise that everything looks better blown up and in color, Nikon has sponsored a Small World contest annually since 1997.

Working scientists and armchair scientists alike submit their best images to this competition.

And the good news is that, even though it's March, it's not too late to snag a calendar with images like this beauty:

It's a blade of grass like I've never seen before. That's because it's taken at 200x magnification through a microscope.

The blade of grass was the 2nd place winner in 2011. The first place winner was this magnificent, but sort of creepy, view of a green lacewing larva at 20x magnification (below). Now we know where those science fiction movie directors get their ideas.

I'm liking this wreath-y view of mammalian cells stained for various proteins and organelles. 

current image

What a fun way to look at cells, bugs, and bacteria. Don't worry physicists, there is something for you, too: images of elements, materials, and surfaces. Check out this image of sand:

No wonder my feet get sore at the beach.

You can see the 2011 winners here, but if you've got a lot of time, you can see all of the winners since 1997 here.

I love the way the images on the web site are framed in slide casings. Remember when slides were the best medium for high-quality photos? Me, too.


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