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Microcosmos: Discovering The World Through Microscopic Images From 20 X to Over 22 Million X Magnification Paperback – September 16, 2010
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Gorgeous! The photos are really amazing, everything from bones to chocolate ice cream to mushroom spores. It's great eye candy for any photography lover. (superfastreader.com 2010-11-10)
Microcosmos takes readers into a secret world of extreme close-ups...The book charters a voyage through a miniature world showing the unlikeliest parts of our lives in minuscule detail. (Graham Smith The Daily Mail Online 2010-10-09)
[Review of hardcover edition:] An amazing array of shapes and textures that would be the envy of Joan Miró. (Alexander Theroux The Wall Street Journal)
Here are things you may think you have seen, such as rocks or plants, as well as parts of the human body, magnified to show you things you couldn't have seen. Folic acid and mescaline are amazing--even far out-in their colours and details. (Bill Robertson Halifax Star Phoenix 2010-12-18)
[Review of hardcover edition:] Visually stunning ... Anyone who is interested in seeing how things appear when magnified will find Microcosmos fascinating.... Recommended. (Barbara McMillan, Faculty of Education, University Canadian Materials, Vol 114(7), University of Mani 2007-11-23)
[Review of hardcover edition:] Hundreds of extremely magnified images such as botanicals, minerals and insects, transport the reader into another world.... Who knew morning glory could look so interesting! (Chicago Sun-Times 2008-12-14)
[Review of hardcover edition:] [A] visually arresting collection ... Broil's informative text highlights the noteworthy features of each image. (Pacific Shipper (Long Beach, CA) 2007-11-05)
[Review of hardcover edition:] This volume is an extremely well-produced collection of colorized micrographs that are technically good and quite interesting.... The captions are informative as written and do much to enhance the value of the book. I recommend Brandon Broll's Microcosmos highly. (Richard M. Jamison, emeritus, [micrographer] Louis Science Books and Films 2008-02-01)
[Review of hardcover edition:] Visually arresting collection... provides examples of SEM images from a wide variety of sources.. informative text highlights the noteworthy feature of each image. (Science News 2007-11-03)
[Review of hardcover edition:] A journey into everydy life through spectacular microscopic images... 205 extraordinary full-color photos. (The New Hampshire Union Leader 2007-12-12)
At first glance, Brandon Broll's Microcosmos is a coffee table book; open it and lush photographs spring out at you... Enhancing each photo is a short informative paragraph packed with biological terms. You could almost put together a Coles Notes version of a Bio 101 course from the collected content.... Use this book to draw heretofore resistant high school or university students into microscience, or gift it to that hard-to-buy-for scientist. (Green Teacher 2014-07-01)
About the Author
Brandon Broll is a journalist specializing in science and medicine who has published stories on subjects as diverse as brain-mapping and crash-test dummies. His work has appeared in international publications, such as Reader's Digest and the Guardian, and he has been the editor or science consultant on many books.
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Top Customer Reviews
The photos, are of course, the main event here. They're fascinating to look at, and some are quite beautiful. But the accompanying text feels like it goes out of its way to be unhelpful. It alternates between dropping unexplained, non sequitur factoids ("In the extreme corners of the stem, the best position mechanically, small collenchyma cells are visible"), and a rote listing of textbook labels ("The xylem and phloem are surrounded by a ring of parenchyma cells.").
I suppose I was hoping for an pithy synopsis of each image, from an expert--a botanist, biologist, or a materials scientist--but one gets the impression that an intern was hired to copy random paragraphs from wikipedia for the accompanying text.
So the words are forgettable, but who cares, the pictures are pretty, right? Except the decision was made to limit every image to half the page, leaving the other half for explanatory text (which is never more than one paragraph) and thus mostly empty! Why would you do that?!
There is always a large magnification label (e.g., 1000X) but no real sense of scale is ever given. This could have been easily done with an inset image of the subject zoomed out, or with an introductory chapter giving familiar examples for scale comparison, or with measurement overlays, or any number of ways. People are really bad at conceptualizing exponential scale; just listing the magnification power isn't really sufficient.
So, this makes a great coffee table book, but if you're looking for more depth, you'll need to find it elsewhere.
On the end the book could be half on size that would make no difference.
Nice pictures though.
Some of the images (each on a separate page with minimal verbiage to detract form the wonder) include an ant holding a microchip (as seen on the cover), the surface of an erasable programmable Read Only Memory silicon microchip, Surface of an Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory silicon microchip, eyelash hairs growing from the surface of human skin (looking for all the world like reeds growing form a riverbed), the surface of a strawberry, bacteria on the surface of a human tongue, human spermatozoa, nylon hooks and loops of Velcro, household dust (this one includes long hairs of cat fur, twisted synthetic and woolen fibers, serrated insect scales, a pollen grain, and plant and insect remains!!!), the head of a mosquito, head louse clinging to a human hair (a bit terrifying), eight eyes (two groups of four) on the head of a tarantula, clutch of butterfly eggs on a raspberry plant, and many more.
One of the aspects of the photographs (aside from the fact that here are geometrical atomic forms that defy imagination) is the brilliance of color that comes as a complete surprise to the eye. This is a book for adults as well as children to explore that world secreted from the human eye. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, March 11
The vast range of different images and the creativity makes it 4 stars. It is really neat and a few images really left me feeling humbled. Especially the picture of the Pentium IV chip. Wow.
A steal at twice the price, you can't afford to pass this one up at a price of under $10.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fascinating book on random objects that surround us! High quality, glossy pictures.Published 5 months ago by Dana Epperson
Holy mackerel, these critters, micro-photographer, look worse than any dinosaur; absolutely fascinating; take a look at the mites who inhabit your eyebrows.Published 15 months ago by Stephen Esric Loomes
Phenomenal pictures. A few I have seen online that I could have downloaded, but most of these are pretty amazing and there's even bits of information included with each picture!!Published 22 months ago by Chelcy B.
A nice picture book. It lacks both how to get such pictures on your own and background information about the various subjects.Published on March 6, 2014 by Ergo
Got this one for my dad, who's now into painting in his 60s. He wanted inspiration from the natural world. Voila!Published on February 16, 2014 by Arthur the Irascible
Got this for my 14 year old grandson. Hard to tell if he was as impressed with it as I was....but he is 14. I thought the photos were fantastic.Published on February 5, 2014 by scooter