Saturday, August 8, 2009

It’s a Tiny World

Inscription on the Penny  - Sheva ApelbaumTwo years ago, I signed a contract with my dad (with my mom and grandfather as witnesses). The contract stated that as I work through and finish each book in the Key to Algebra series, I can earn a useful gift.

The only fine print in the contract says that the gift has to be something educational. Ok, I can live with that (happily, in fact).
This year I completed book 3 in the series (Equations) and as promised in this case, I got a Microscope with a digital camera.
The camera has a built-in USB interface so I can easily plug it into my laptop and see the things I put under the Stereo Microscope right on my computer monitor.
So this summer, I first started using my microscope to observe insects. An interesting thing I have noticed, is that their body is completely covered with armor and that their eyes are made out of thousands of little connected spheres that are called compound eyes.

I examined a
spider and saw his 8 eyes. That was neat to see up close. I also saw an ant and a wasp, and I even got a great photo of a glass splinter that my dad found in his finger. From what I have seen so far, the world looks like a different place up close. One detective mystery I just solved with my new microscope had to do with mysterious markings on the penny. If you examine the one I photographed (just click on the image), you will see that on the bottom of President Lincoln's sleeve, there are strange marks made up of the letters“vdb”. Well, after doing some research, I discovered (and published in Wikipedia!) that these are the initials of the original Wheat cent designer: Victor David Brenner.

You see? There’s more than meets the eye!


  1. You have pointed out some interesting things here--I would have never known that about the penny designer--clever!

    Thank you for broadening my world! :-D

  2. I learn something new everytime I read your blog Sheva! Can't wait to be amazed again!!

  3. Wow---what a cool gift! You're such a smartie! How fun to investigate the world up close like that!