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The Microscope - Volume 66, Third Quarter 2018


On the cover
Two vintage holiday postcards from McCrone Research Institute. Top: In this double exposure, John G. Delly combined a crossed-polars photomicrograph of a fuchsin-stained, radial longitudinal thin section from a Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga taxifolia) with a photograph of a bough from the same tree. Bottom: Walter C. McCrone proves a crystal, at least monosodium glutamate, can also express a Christmas sentiment. Clearly, the accent is on “Happy Holidays.” See Ghosts of Christmas Past: The Unique Photomicrography on McCrone Holiday Cards, page 113.

Editorial | Toujours Gai … and Happy Holidays

Gary J. Laughlin
The Microscope 66 (3), p ii
Excerpt: Ready or not, ‘tis the season. It must have been only a short time, maybe a few months, after Walter C. McCrone became an independent consultant on April 1, 1956 (no foolin’) and married Lucy Beman in 1957, that he and Lucy created their first McCrone Xmas Card, viz. Xtals (crystals). The earliest known (in my recollection), which may have served as the newlyweds’ first all-purpose folded greeting card, was printed on high-quality red cardstock imbedded with microscopic metallic flecks (what other?) to give it a festive shimmer in the light. On the front of the card (reproduced here) is their heraldic, personally designed “coat of arms” topped off by their slogan/battle cry “Toujours Gai” (always cheerful) and their motto below, “Lucy and Walter McCrone.”

On Symmetry

John C. Russ
The Microscope 66 (3), pp 99 – 112
Abstract: Symmetry, in the sense of repetitive spatial arrangements, takes many specific forms that we encounter routinely, usually recognize visually, and have some difficulty in quantifying. As there are many types of symmetry, some of them partial or imperfect, so there are many measurement approaches. Some of these consider only the outline or boundary of an object, others include the interior structure, some apply to an entire image, while others operate on individual objects. Examples of the various classes of symmetry and several methods for analysis are presented.

Ghosts of Christmas Past: The Unique Photomicrography on McCrone Holiday Cards

Sebastian B. Sparenga
The Microscope 66 (3), pp 113 – 115
Excerpt: What captures the holiday spirit better than microscopy? For more than 60 years, postcards featuring holiday and winter themes have been an annual tradition at McCrone Research Institute. Our microscopists have used various microscopical methods (e.g. Rheinberg illumination, fusion, fluorescence, and Abbe diffraction) and sampling techniques on different substances and materials to create unique festive motifs that you won’t find on the store greeting card rack. [See McCrone Holiday Card Photo Gallery

Critical Focus | The Life Force That Breaks All the Rules

Brian J. Ford
The Microscope 66 (3), pp 117 – 127
Water is the strangest substance known to science. It defies many conventions and is the only compound that co-exists as a solid, liquid, and gas — yet nothing can live without it.

Inter/Micro 2018 — International Microscopy Conference

Gary J. Laughlin
The Microscope 66 (3), pp 129 – 143
Excerpt: The 70th annual Inter/Micro international microscopy conference, held at McCrone Research Institute in Chicago on June 11 – 15, hosted leading microscopists and researchers from around the world, including the Canada, Germany, Israel, Taiwan, U.K., and U.S. The first three days featured research presentations by professional and amateur microscopists, who covered advancements in instrumentation, new techniques and practical applications in various fields of microscopy and microanalysis. Talks by speakers focused on PLM, SEM, TEM, EDS, Raman microspectroscopy, infrared microspectroscopy, microchemistry, forensic trace evidence, materials analysis, environmental health, food analysis, and air quality. Presentations covered diverse topics including titles such as “Solving Problems with Chemical Microscopy,” “The ‘Sinkhole’ Conundrum: Legal Challenges to XRD-SEM Evidence for Liability for Substructure Soil Collapse,” “Microscopy and Poetry: A Union of Art and Artifice,” “Screenshot: Analysis of Bullet Hole Impact Dynamics,” “Eight Is Enough: Fabric Physical Matches in an International Drug Smuggling Case,” “The Technician: A Short-Lived 1940s Forensic Science Journal,” “Problems in Raman and FTIR Spectral Library Searches,” “Image Acquisition and Analysis of Soybean Stem Sections,” “Hacking a Dinosaur: Upgrading a Vintage Microscope Using the Raspberry Pi,” “Evaluation of the Criteria for the Discrimination of Inkjet Printer Inks Using Micro Raman Spectroscopy,” and more.

Afterimage | Super Fly

Martin Kocanda
The Microscope 66 (3), pp 144
A photomacrograph of a house fly; darkfield illumination. Winner of the Inter/Micro 2018 Photomicrography Competition.

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