My home office is increasingly turning into a home lab: circuit boards, sensors, switches, wires, wire cutters, soldering iron, even a robot. My latest acquisition is a USB digital microscope with 200x magnification. I've been tempted by the thought of a USB microscope for a while, and whilst there are more powerful microscopes out there, at £29.99 it would have been churlish not to give this one a go.
Unbeknown to the Maplin's sales assistants, their sale was made that much easier by the fact I am currently reading Lisa Jardine's The Curious Life of Robert Hook. The man who through his Micrographia (1665) showed the world at large the hidden details they had never seen before. Painstaking drawing by hand the objects he placed under his slides.
Today the man on the street can pick a USB miscroscope of the shelf, and within minutes share his close-ups of the world. It remains to be seen however, whether it will encourge a generation of entomologists, or navel gazers.