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Spirulina powder

8:14 AM 2/28/2016
Spirulina powder
A lot of people are into spirulina powder these days, so I decided to put some under the microcope to see what it really looks like. You might be surprised! Spirulina powder under a microscope

Map of the flat Earth

11:34 AM 1/2/2016
The Flat Earth revisited Do planes prove the plane?
A few weeks ago I posted a rant about the flat Earth in which I investigated the idea based on beam headings. While this is a perfectly valid approach and based on actual experience, it goes into an area most people aren't familiar with. So, since flat Earthers have taken this approach, I decided to look at it based on airliner flights. I call it the flat earth revisited, do planes prove the plane?, and I use a common sense approach based on flight times and use both the map of the flat Earth and Great Circle Maps to illustrate the point.

Map of the flat earth

7:18 AM 12/6/2015
The Flat Earth
I posted a new rant about the flat earth. This is not a joke or a parody, and some people are quite serious about this! In my rant I give my own viewpoint on this topic and address the subject based on actual practical experience and explain what's going on in laymen's terms so that just about anyone can gain a basic understanding on the issues and I also hint at areas for further research for those who want a more complete understanding of the principles involved.

I added several dozen new entries to the Telnet BBS list, replacing some long dead ones, marking apparently dead ones and reviving some marked as dead which turned out to still be active. It is hard to tell if a BBS is gone or just down at the moment.

7:27 AM 2/1/2015
Amoeba videos
I expanded the page on Amoeba videos. These are done using my current microscopy setup @250X using oblique lighting. This Amoeba is of above average size, which is why I took so many pictures and videos of it.

Measurements of Big Amoeba
Big Amoeba  stretched out

5:42 PM 1/31/2015
I'm a billionaire!
True it is in Zimbabwe dollars rather than U.S. dollars but It is real and I own it so I am a billionaire and You can be one too!

Dog olfactory memberane magnified 1000 times

8:20 AM 1/11/2015
Huamn hair follicle mangified 250 times

Microscopic Gallery
I created the previously mentioned page about my current microscopy setup in which I describe both the microscope itself and the digital microscope camera used for taking images. It gives some background information as well and also summarizes the differences between the old and new setups.

I also added three new enries to the microscopic gallery , specifically to the animal gallery:
Dog olfactory membrane and another specimen of both Human hair follicle and Mouse kidney all imaged using the AO setup.

Dog olfactory membrane magnified 1000 times

4:58 AM 1/1/2015
Rabbit Ganglia
I added a new page to the Microscopic Gallery with pictures of Rabbit Ganglia.

This the first of what will likely be many pages of images taken using my new equipment. I'm currently working on a page that descibes the new setup. I replaced the old microscope with an American Optical series 10. This instrument has better optics and the controls work much better also. The series 10 microscopes were premium microscopes in their day and sold for $950 to $1500 in the late 60s and early 70s. The fact that so many are still in use today at vet offices, etc. is a testament to their over all durability.
The optical quality is much better than what is delivered by cheap chinese scopes that sell for $250 - $400. To get a new microscope with similar optical quality you'd have to shell out at least $1000. Even though these instruments are 40+ years old, they are likely to outlast the brand new chinese scopes too.

I upgraded the microscope camera as well. The new camera is 5.1 Mp and is much faster than the old one. It can do 1272x952 at 15 fps with a maxiumum resolution of 2584x1936. This camera works so well that I almost never look through the eye piece any more!

With the old set up I usually listed the power according to what was delivered by a 10x eyepiece, even though the camera's optics without the reduction lens give a magnification of about 25X, and I usually didn't use the reduction lens. When the new setup is used the magnification listed will reflect the actual effective power, so with the reduction lens the image through the 10X objective will be listed as 100x (10*10) and the image delivered without the reduction lens will be listed as 250X (10*25). This better reflects reality and will give more consistent descriptions of the the settings used. Note that, as in the past, measurements shown in the images will be based on using calbration dots imaged using the same settings that the subject was imaged with, so measurements will be accurate, regardless of the settings used. The new camera, attached to a series 10 microscope represents an interesting combination of contemporary and old "tried and true" technology!

I plan to reimage many of the old subjects with the new setup, posting higher quality images and correcting the magnification figures, but for now I will give priority to new subjects from the many prepared slides I have not yet examined.

If you examine the page about Rabbit Ganglia you'll notice that I am experimenting with a new format for the microsopic image pages with just a couple of mid resolution images and thumbnails of all the images instead of just links.

BTW, happy new year!

rabbitganglia magnified 1000 times

10:17 AM 12/14/2014
More Rants
I added some more rants to the Rants page, these include: Conflicting coins? , I'm still alive! , Mysterious note left on my car , Phone Phishing and Recently solved mystery.

These are based on blog entries but some of them have been updated/corrected.

I've also done some general cleanup here and there.


5:36 PM 12/9/2014
I restructured the main page at 3dham.com. The new layout is much better organized and I think it is a lot "cuter" too. See what you think: 3dham.com

I also added a new set of pages called "Rantswhere I sound off on various topics. This will include seperate blog entries as well as brand new pages. Though they are called "rants", they are not necessarily argumentative or controversial, in some cases I will just be discussing topics that I think don't get enough attention.

In case you're wondering, that is not me in the picture, it's my dad and he took that picure himself over 30 years ago.

I added improved images and new images to the Blood comparison page. I now have better quality images of human, fish and frog blood and have images of avian (bird) blood (specifically pigeon blood) as well. I hope to have some images of reptile blood eventually.

I also did some minor cleanup here and there on various pages throughout the website.

Legend of the Red dragon L.O.R.D. FAQ and Telnet BBS list

Microscopic gallery

8:32 AM 11/16/2014
How to make high quality images of coins

Scanning coins and other small objects
I made a page about using a flatbed scanner to image coins and other small objects.

10:17 AM 11/8/2014

Achtung! Dies ist die Währung des Dritten Reiches!
Achtung! Dies ist die Währung des Dritten Reiches!
Attention! This is the currency of Israel!
Attention! This is the currency of Israel!
Conflicting coins?
If coins can represent conflicting ideologies, which they often seem to do, then it is difficult to think of a greater conflict than that represented by Nazi coins and Israeli coins! I almost expect sparks to fly when I put these two coins together. That doesn't actually happen, of course, but it seems like it should.

I should point out that I am not an adherant of either philosphy, I am not Jewish, nor an Israeli citizen, and I'm certainly not a Nazi! Never-the-less, I do find both interesting, especially from a historical perspective. Collecting world coins is, of course, just a hobby, not a philosophy, and doesn't usually involve politics. It is a very interesting hobby and is often less expensive than collecting U.S. coins. Certainly world coins are, in many ways, more interesting than U.S. coins, coming in a much broader variety of shapes, sizes, colors and themes. You also don't have to worry about a dishonest sibling stealing and spending them and most are worth very little to nothing even at a foreign exchange office!
Translations courtesy of Google Translate

Things to do when you are bored
I expanded the page about Things to do on the interent when you're bored.

6:14 AM 11/2/2014
Telnet list
Added the following entries to the Telnet list:
Toxic BBS
upated link to Backwood Realm

6:11 AM 4/7/2013
L.O.R.D. Telnet list
Added to the Legend Of the Red Dragon Telnet BBS list:
Crazy Mud Skulls & Crossbones

7:25 AM 4/6/2013
Another New Telnet BBS
Today I added another BBS to the L.O.R.D. Telnet list: Sacre Base BBS

5:40 PM 4/5/2013
L.O.R.D. Telnet BBS list, cleanup and additions
Several apparently offline BBSs were marked as dead, Valley Of Death was resurrected and several new BBS were added:
After Hours Cosmo's Castle Deep Space 69 Fireball Express FlupH bbs Flutterbyes Mysteria Majicka

36 packs:

8:37 AM 3/3/2013
Reese's Pieces

Reese's Pieces
A surprising number of people, when asked if there is chocolate in Reese's Pieces will say that there is. Some act indignant as if it was a stupid question. "Of course there's chocolate in Reese's Pieces!"

Yet, when we look at the front of the package it simply says "Peanut Butter candy in a crunchy shell", no mention of chocolate, and if we look at the back of the package:

Back of Reese's pieces

There is no mention of chocolate there either! Doesn't it seem odd that one of the two main ingredients is not mentioned anywhere on the package? Well there is actually a good reason for that:
There is no chocolate in Reese's Pieces!
Let's take a closer look at the ingredients list:

Reese's Pieces ingredients

You'll note that there is no mention of chocolate, cocoa, cocoa power, etc. I should point out that I am referring to the orignal Reese's Pieces which came out in 1978, not more recent candies such as York Peppermint Pattie Pieces, Hershey's Special Dark Pieces, and Almond Joy Pieces. So why would people ASSume that there is chocolate in Reese's Pieces?

Well, there are any number of possible answers to this, it may be because of their resemblance to M&Ms, which do have chocolate. In fact, when they were featured prominently in the movie ET many people thought they were M&Ms. Despite this, that product placement did wonders for the popularity of Reeses Pieces and they still use slogans about them being enjoyed across the universe.

Probably the main reason is the association of Reese's with Peanut Butter Cups, a candy famous for its combination of peanut butter and chocolate. Indeed, members of my generation, and some a bit younger, have vivid memories of commercials where someone with chocolate collided with someone carrying a jar of peanut butter and then one saying "Hey, you got chocolate in my peanut butter!" and the other responding "you got peanut butter on my chocolate!" So they just ASSume that Reeses Pieces also have both peanut butter and chocolate, but never bothered to check see if they actually do.

Some, out of desperation, seeing that the inside looks like pale peanut butter, claim there is a thin layer of chocolate inside the candy shell. That's actually kind of odd when you think about it for a while and anyone who has taken a close look will see that that is clearly *not* the case:

Reese's Pieces anatomy

As you can clearly see, there is no chocolate lining inside the candy shell. In fact, the only thing inside the shell other than the peanut butter filling is a thin layer of wax, the purpose of which is to keep oils from the filling from soaking through and softening the crunchy candy shell.

Does it matter?
I consider that a fair question, and I think any reasonable person would agree this isn't a mater of Earth shaking importance, but does it really seem like a good idea to go around making claims that can be quickly and completely disproven by anyone with a bag of Reeses Pieces and decent vision?

On the other hand, if you're in the business of selling a product, which many are, then it might be a good idea to make sure that a product you list as containing chocolate really does! Such false advertisement can be found on eBay and even in at least one listing on Amazon. One listing actually goes so far as to call them "Reeses Chocolate Pieces" yet displays the ingredients list clearly showing there is no chocolate!

I must say that this peanut butter flavored filling is actually pretty good, but all this talk about chocolate has me wishing it really was in there, maybe I should mix these with M&Ms ...

partial cross section of Reese's Pieces

4:04 PM 2/10/2013
Though I haven't mentioned it here, I've done quite a bit of editing lately on the L.O.R.D. FAQ. This includes new features as well cleaning up some typos and adding to the index entries.

8:39 PM 12/30/2012
I have added BBSs to the L.O.R.D. Telnet list: River Styx   Sea Breeze Gaming Network   Shack BBS   Shadowscope BBS  
Stan's Hut   StarDoc 134   Starship Junkyard   Stepping Stone BBS   Sursum Corda! BBS   TAF   Techware   Tiny's BBS   Valley BBS  
Valley Of Death   Wildcat's Castle   Witch's Den   Xaragmata  

10:02 PM 12/29/2012
I have added BBSs to the L.O.R.D. Telnet list: Never Never Land   Nite Eyes BBS   No Carrier BBS   OFN Message Gateway  
Old Time BBS   Onix BBS   Operation DataStorm   Outpost BBS   Paladium   PartnersForever BBS   Penalty Box   Pharcyde  
Physics BBS   Prison Board   Prophecy BBS   Pruts of #GGTM   Realms of Blue BBS   Renegade Media BBS   RetroGrade BBS                 

7:09 PM 12/27/2012
I have added BBSs to the L.O.R.D. Telnet list: Misery BBS   Mortal BBS   Mozy's Swamp

10:13 PM 12/24/2012
I have added BBSs to the L.O.R.D. Telnet list: HomeWard Bound   Hooray 4 Hollywood   Horizon BBS   House of Lunduke  
Hysteria BBS   Keep BBS   Lightning BBS    Lightning 2    LingNet.ca    Local Yocal   Lost Crypt BBS   Lost Realm BBS   MemphisTW

8:19 PM 12/23/2012
I have added BBSs to the L.O.R.D. Telnet list: Diamond Mine Online   Digital Distortion   Diskshop BBS   Doc's Place Online  
Dragon's Nest   Ecstacy BBS   Electronic Warfare BBS   Empire of the Dragon   Esoteric Edits   Fat Yoda    Fatcats BBS  
Final Approach BBS   First (1st) Choice Core    Flaming Star BBS    GameMaster's Realm    Gargoyle's Landing    GatorNet HQ BBS   
Hideaway Door Game Server   Haxor's Palace   Heavens Portal

10:01 PM 12/22/2012
I have added BBSs to the L.O.R.D. Telnet list: Adept    Backwood Realm    Batboard BBS    Battlestar BBS   Blue Lobster  
Cave BBS   Chaotic Bliss   Clutch BBS   Colossus   Convolution BBS   Curmudgeon's Place    Dark Realms   DarkSide BBS

12:14 PM 12/5/2012
I have added 3 BBSs to the L.O.R.D. Telnet list: Looney Bin, Stabs and Wildcat's castle.

Writing on staples is a sign of a sick mind.  So is reading them!

Nov 9, 2012

Amoeba splits

click to
see larger

April 17, 2012
Adventures in fish eating
Let me preface this by saying that I have never been particularly fond of fish. I wouldn't go to a restaurant and order a fish sandwich, and I certainly wouldn't want anchovies on my pizza! I can't stand the smell of most fish, especially sardines, and the idea of salmon jerky (as opposed to beef jerky) seems revolting.

It has come to my attention recently that I need more omega 3 in my diet. Modern farming methods have greatly reduced the amount of Omega 3 in eggs, butter, chicken and beef, (all good sources in a traditional diet, where cattle were fed grass and chickens had a varied diet instead of eating corn) so, the best way to get Omega 3 is, you guessed it, eating fish. Fish get omega 3 by either eating algae or by eating other fish who eat algae, much as humans got it in the past by eating animals who ate grass.

click to see
The one kind of fish that I have eaten sporadically is tuna. As it turns out, while it isn't a "prime" source of Omega 3, tuna is a decent source. It is also fairly inexpensive and conveniently packed in cans. In the past I got tired of tuna quickly, mostly because of the rather bland taste of mayonaise and the sogginess of bread that I prepared it with. So I decided to try something different.

I have hamburgers on Saturday and Sunday and thus I always have hamburger buns on hand. So I decided to try using hamburger buns for tuna instead of bread, this solves the problem of hamburger buns going stale, since they come 8 to a package and I only used 4 a week. I also, instead of ketchup and mayonaise, used barbecue sauce and tartar sauce so I decided to try tartar sauce with tuna instead of mayonnaise (that seems quite logical since it is, after all, fish). Another item I used with hamburgers was thin sliced white onions. It occurred to me that if I chopped the onions they would make a good addition to tuna.

So there I had it, tuna with tartar sauce and chopped onions, served on hamburger buns. It was good, but still a little on the bland side, so I added fresh ground pepper and salt (later replaced with "no salt" but that's a story for another time!). I don't remember tuna ever tasting so good, and I was getting about 250 mg of Omega 3 per serving!

click to see
After doing further research, I found that tartar sauce may not be the best stuff be eating. That's because not only do you need to add omega 3 to your diet, you need to reduce the ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3. It turns out that, like mayonnaise, tartar sauce is made with soybean oil. Soybean oil has a ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 of 7:1. That's actually better than most vegetable oils, corn oil is 46:1, for example, and peanut oil has essentially no omega 3. Still, if you're trying to improve your omega 6 to omega 3 ratio then using a product made with oil with a 7:1 ratio is not a really good idea. My research did , however, suggest an alternative, canola oil.

Canola oil has a 2:1 ratio, which is the best you'll find in a commonly available vegetable oil, so I added it to the tuna instead of tartar sauce. This didn't give me quite the right consistency so I sprinkled a teaspoon of flour (white at first, then later whole wheat) on top and mixed it in to thicken it. This gave a consistency very similar to what I got with gobs of tartar sauce, but something was missing. Looking at the ingredients in tartar sauce, I found sweet pickle relish. So I added a heaping teaspoon of pickle relish to the tuna. This was even more delicious than it had been with tartar sauce, and was healthier too.

It was so good, in fact, that I began eating it more often. Before I knew it, I was eating two cans of tuna fish a day. I was also losing weight, which, if you weigh 230 pounds is definitely a good thing! It occurred to me, however, that eating two cans of tuna fish a day might have a downside.

click to see
Turns out, it does, mercury! Tuna doesn't have as much mercury as some other fish, which also have more omega 3, but it has enough to be a problem. According to the FDA, most people should not eat more than 2 cans of tuna a week. That advice was based on pollution levels as they were 25 years ago and things have improved. Also, tuna caught off the west coast of North America have much lower levels than tuna from caught off the coast of Asia, but you usually don't know where your supermarket tuna is coming from and recent tests by consumer groups suggest that current mercury levels are still a problem in most tuna samples tested. They say that fish is brain food and omega 3 does help to maintain and improve brain function but too much mercury can have the opposite effect! So while two cans a week may be a bit on the conservative side, two cans a day is definitely too much.

So now what? I was looking for a way to add omega 3 to my diet but not at the cost of mercury poisoning. While researching the topic of mercury levels I read about an alternative, canned Salmon. It was said that many people of have substituted salmon for tuna, so I decided to look into it. According to the FDA, canned Alaskan salmon has no detectable mercury, and is extremely low in other pollutants.

There are several reasons for this, First, most obvious, Alaskan salmon comes from Alaska, where the water is much cleaner. Second, they are lower in the food chain and so don't accumulate as many pollutants. Third, they have a shorter life cycle. This all leads to a much cleaner fish that is healthier to eat. Alaskan pink salmon come from well established stocks harvested in a sustainable fashion. The fact that a 2.1 oz serving of salmon has 4 times the omega 3 as a five ounce can of tuna is just icing on the cake.

Ok, so salmon has essentially no mercury and has several times the omega 3, but what good does that do if I can't stand the stuff? Will I be unable to stomach the taste, smell and appearance, or will it be something only mildly revolting that I'll get used to and eventually learn to like? There was only one way to find out!

I bought a can, at $2.48 it was certainly cheap enough, and if I got 5 servings out of the can it would cost about the same as tuna. When I opened the can, I must say, it looked rather disgusting! In fact, it's appearance when you first see it was the hardest thing to overcome. However, once it was broken up and mixed together with a fork/spoon it looked quite similar to tuna, except with dark spots and a pinkish color. The smell was very similar to tuna.

click to see
But what about the taste? It has a bit more character than tuna, but it's not that bad, especially when mixed with the other ingredients and taken in small doses, starting with a 2 oz eventually working up to a 3 oz serving. That brings up another point. Since there is almost 15 oz in a can, what do I do with the rest after I have taken out a 2-3 oz serving? An open can of fish in the refrigerator is not the most appealing thing in the world but then a solution occurred to me, I washed out one of my empty pickle relish jars and used it, and it's lid, to store the rest of the can.

Speaking of taste, I Added one more ingredient, crushed garlic. A clove of garlic is crushed in a garlic press then what remains is scraped out and added to what comes out the bottom. This is easier and more effective than trying to chop it! This recipe is not the best thing for my breath, but it tastes wonderful and both the onions and garlic have a lot of antioxidants.

I know this won't sit well with hard core philosophical vegetarians, who will try to tell you that all fish is loaded with mercury, but some of those same people would rather believe that early humans were coprophages (you don't want to know!) than to admit that humans are not naturally vegetarian.

Canola oil

Canola oil

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