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Monday, April 30, 2007

Everybody Should Have One of These

One of the most popular exhibits was the Leica booth. They set up a number of their most popular microscopes including the one shown in the photo. People gathered around drooling.

I wondered whether I could buy one so I asked the price, "three-fifty" was the answer. That's not bad. For only $350 dollars (US funds?) I'm thinking of getting one to put in my basement. Since I'm driving I don't have to worry about carrying it on a plane.


  1. I want a multi-photon confocal microscope but I think it falls in the "if you have to ask, you probably can't afford it" category

  2. "three-fifty" was the answer. That's not bad. For only $350 dollars

    Um... are you sure of your assumptions here? Upon hearing numbers for a price of any piece of scientific equipment, I always assume they're using code for bigger numbers. Perhaps "three-fifty" really means $3500, or $350000?

    I don't think you can get a stereomicroscope for less than about $700, even for a cheap, basic model intended for teaching use in introductory courses.

  3. I think Larry might have been joking about $350.

    Anyway, I have a Leica microscope in my lab and it's a bit of a stunner. I need it for palynological purposes and it really does the job very well.

  4. I think Larry might have been joking about $350.

    You mean people actually might have thought he wasn't?

  5. "You mean people actually might have thought he wasn't?"

    See above

  6. As a Canadian visiting the U.S., you might have more to worry about than you think, even if you are in a car.

    "Andrew Feldmar, a well-known Vancouver psychotherapist, rolled up to the Blaine border crossing last summer as he had hundreds of times in his career. At 66, his gray hair, neat beard, and rimless glasses give him the look of a seasoned intellectual. He handed his passport to the U.S. border guard and relaxed, thinking he would soon be with an old friend in Seattle. The border guard turned to his computer and googled "Andrew Feldmar."

    The psychotherapist's world was about to turn upside down.

    Born in Hungary to Jewish parents as the Nazis were rising to power, Feldmar was hidden from the Nazis during the Holocaust when he was three years old, after his parents were condemned to Auschwitz. Miraculously, his parents both returned alive and in 1945 Hungary was liberated by the Russian army. Feldmar escaped from communist Hungary in 1956 when he was 16 and immigrated to Canada. He has been married to Meredith Feldmar, an artist, for 37 years, and they live in Vancouver's Kitsilano neighbourhood. They have two children, Soma, 33, who lives in Denver, and Marcel, 36, a resident of L.A. Highly respected in his field, Feldmar has been travelling to the U.S. for work and to see his family five or six times a year. He has worked for the UN, in Sarajevo and in Minsk with Chernobyl victims.

    The Blaine border guard explained that Feldmar had been pulled out of the line as part of a random search. He seemed friendly, even as he took away Feldmar's passport and car keys. While the contents of his car were being searched, Feldmar and the officer talked. He asked Feldmar what profession he was in.

    When Feldmar said he was psychologist, the official typed his name into his Internet search engine. Before long the customs guard was engrossed in an article Feldmar had published in the spring 2001 issue of the journal Janus Head. The article concerned an acid trip Feldmar had taken in London, Ontario, and another in London, England, almost forty years ago. It also alluded to the fact that he had used hallucinogenics as a "path" to understanding self and that in certain cases, he reflected, it could "be preferable to psychiatry." Everything seemed to collapse around him, as a quiet day crossing the border began to turn into a nightmare."

    The lesson is that you should never give "questionable" personal information or experiences over internet.