Microscopical Pursuit: An evening of photomicrography-based trivia

On 19 January 2024, Microtrace Vice President Christopher Palenik, Ph.D. will present “Microscopical Pursuit: An evening of photomicrography-based trivia” to the State Microscopical Society of Illinois at their monthly meeting. Dr. Palenik will challenge the audience to characterize and identify a selection of photomicrographs using hints, context, and the stories behind the images.

Dr. Palenik’s presentation at 7:00 PM on January 19th, 2024 will occur via Zoom at the link provided on the SMSI webpage. A meet and greet will begin at 6:45 PM.


As a child, my favorite part of World Magazine was a section on the back page called, “What in the World.”  Each month, this feature challenged readers to identify a grid of macroscopic images showing a small portion of an everyday object.  For the past 31 years, our lab, Microtrace, has analyzed thousands of samples consisting of countless materials.  A look through our lab’s photo-archives showcases a wealth of sometimes beautiful, sometimes colorful, and hopefully scientifically interesting, photomicrographs of just about anything you could image…along with many things you might not want to imagine.  In the spirit of bar room trivia, and as a homage to World Magazine, I challenge the audience to characterize, classify, and maybe even identify the subjects from my collection of photomicrographs.  Hints, context, and the stories behind the images will provide clues and add some intrigue to the evening’s game.

The State Microscopical Society of Illinois

The State Microscopical Society of Illinois (SMSI) is a group of amateur and professional microscopists, with diverse backgrounds and interests in many areas of science, who are bound together by an interest in microscopy. The society provides: monthly meetings with many excellent presentations from a wide range of subjects in such areas as natural history, medicine, meteoritics, geology, chemistry, physics, etc…, workshops, and equipment auctions. The society is open to anyone interested in microscopy and its application to the arts and sciences.

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