Notice: This post contains an unusually-low voltage-rating. If you're only here for the sparks, you can skip it. But it is still nerdy DIY sciency stuff, I promise.
I have a super cheap hand-held microscope that has the nifty feature of plugging into usb and being recognized by generic webcam software. Once in a while I pull it out and spend a few hours being a huge nerd and taking silly picture of tiny things.
I sat down and was going to look for tiny fractals on my artificial fulgurites like I'd seen at hackerbot labs on a microscope that didn't have a convenient save-function. I got a few snaps, but quickly got distracted because I realized I had a couple dead bugs laying around from some sort of invasion I had a few nights back. The pinnacle was when I grabbed a wasp out of the air with my leatherman, but didn't kill him (unfortunately, he tragically suffocated that night in a sealed jar). Also there was a dead spider I have for reasons I'd rather not discuss.
What I learned: Insects look way cooler under microscopes than boring ol' melted sand.
Let me show you.
Here is some boring impurity involving chemistry I don't understand. Its yellow and red up close, which is kinda neat, cuz its just an orange dot normally...
Here is the tip of a quartz-sand artificial fulgurite. Its kinda white, and kinda glassy... about like you'd expect... yep...
Then I turned the the spider.
If you're super-squeamish about spiders and wasps this is where you stop.
Know the face of your enemy:
And if they ever get large, we have analyze their joints for weakness:
But even the mighty-spider couldn't beat the photo-charisma of the wasp:
It looks sad... I think its the eyes.
But seriously... its back is filthy.
I need to get some better pictures of its wings.
Its mouth-parts are ferocious!
And its compound-eye and antenna are pristine.
The rest of my microscopic antics are in this flickr set.