Since I officially started my two year journey for writing on January 1st (2021), I had been looking out for writing contests to enter so as to have some goals, get some feedback, and see how my writing compared to the winning entries. I feel good about my writing skills, but not disillusioned to think I would win starting out. I am not well read for literary writing to know what qualifies high calibre writing outside of the classics. To use an analogy, I have no idea what times are good for a recreational 10 km race or a marathon, say, only what are good for national, world, or Olympic races. I’m sure the time gap isn’t huge, if any, for recreational races that are big enough, but what about the local or regional ones, or ones that didn’t include participants who have had acclaim and/or won big prize money. What’s “good” then? A question even harder to answer with something artistic as writing rather than something quite directly measurable as race time.
Recently, I got an offer to buy one of the Instagram handles I have. I have a handful because they are themed on my different hobbies, with my obsession to keep my world organized, rather than having one Instagram with “everything” in it and no way to sort it. I don’t know if the offer was serious or not, but it led me to think about an interesting question. How much would I want for this Ode To Toy Instagram handle, given the history and attachment I have with it? Go through the consequences with me and think about your Instagram account, or if you had one, and see what answer you come up with for your situation!
It’s also a zinsta. If you didn’t know what that is, like WordPress’ spellcheck didn’t, and everybody else didn’t, it’s an Instagram account with zero followers, and is following nobody. Zilch. And still zilch after 100 posts as of today.
I have a new Instagram account, Ant-Man’s World! It’s about microscopic photography. Everything from flowers to bugs, spices, teas, and anything else I can think of to look at microscopically. There’s no end to the possibilities, though practicality and time will be my limitations. I already have collected over 100 things to look at, of which I will photograph, and maybe even arrange to paint as still lifes! The world doesn’t need more fruit bowls and such for still lifes! Or at least I won’t contribute to the monotony if I will have to do still lifes for learning painting, which I am doing.
For this Instagram, I will be using two handheld, photo and video taking, microscopes – an Andonstar A1 and a Skybasic (one of many similar brand names) microscope. I have both because both have their advantages and disadvantages. Unfortunately, a stand that doesn’t lock in place easily (a little movement locking things in place), is a disadvantage both share. When looking at tiny things less than a millimetre in size at high magnification, the tiniest movement can throw that hard fought focus out of whack all too easily. I’ll have to find a better stand.
They microscopes are actually like endoscopes in their mobility and versatility compared to a static downward looking microscope, which is why this is exciting. Microscope is ancient news to me. With this, you can combine artistic photography with angles, lighting, backgrounds, etc. in addition to keeping your eyes out for all kinds of interesting stuff! You’re not just sliding something on a plate or background and looking at it from above straight down, which is also rather limiting for what you can capture, like the bug shit just about to come out of a Chiasognathus genus beetle from Peru, monguilloni species, I think. My friend Alex had one from decades ago to give me. Thanks, Alex!
In taking photos of this beetle, I went for the usual places first: head, eyes, mouth, mandibles, legs, etc. But then when I went around and explored it, I realized I forgot it had a butt like all creatures do (at least vast majority if not all). As I looked there, I saw there was some shit stuck in it, and voila! My favourite microscopic photo I’ve ever taken!
Here’s to many more fun and interesting photos! Please do give it a follow if you think you’d like it, or tell others about it! Thanks!
Oh, the Instagram is called Ant-Man’s World because, well, it’d be like if you were someone Ant-man’s size going around and seeing the world from that perspective!
Word on(the)line is that Instagram is considering hiding the number of Likes posts get!
I don’t know about you, but I see that as an ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT way to reduce social media addiction.
Lots of people posts to get those micro-dopamine shots from the Likes others give them on Instagram. Part of it is the notifications and numbers, but a big part of it is also knowing others can see that number, too! If it were not for the latter, the former would have limited meaning. You’d have to make an effort to tell one person at a time how many Likes something got, and update it. And if you were to make a post, lots of people might see it but would only call you out for vanity on it.
Now, think about if Instagram also hid the number of Followers! If Likes were micro-dopamine shots to the brain, Followers are milli-dopamine shots! If you’re not yet metricized, that’s 1000 times more potent for Followers to Likes. Imagine what hiding the number of followers will do! All kinds of people’s egos and image will be shattered. All those fake followers they paid for to make others believe they’re popular will no longer be seen! Some will lose their entire identity! No, seriously. Some will lose their entire identity! That was not sarcasm by exaggeration!
Now, think about if Twitter and other social media services did the same? Let people do all those Likes and Follows, just don’t show the totals!
Wow! What will the social media cartel do? Oh, wait. Those social media platforms are the cartels! Well, all the better on them, then!