Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Old Magazines

This past weekend I was cleaning the basement and found a couple of boxes full of old magazines. One box had old Astronomy magazines. The other one had old Scientific American magazines, I kept these for the Amateur Scientists column. Also in this box was Science Probe - The Amateur Scientist's Journal. I have 8 issues of Science Probe, I am not sure how many were released. I believe that a new journal for Amateur scientist's should be released again. There is Make magazine and it is a wonderful magazine, but it does not have enough science related articles. I have tried to search for Science Probe on the net but have found very little about it.

Also in this box is the CD of the Scientific American - The Amateur Scientist 2.0 - the complete collection. I can't remember what company this was purchased from. It has all the experiments from the Scientific American - The Amateur Scientist column. It is quite a treasure to find. Along with this I have the book "The Amateur Scientist" by C.L.Stong and "The Amateur Biologist" by Shawn Carlson. The CD contains old experiments with old information but a lot of the biology and chemistry experiments can still be done. The other experiments that include electronics and hardware that you may not find anymore may be hard to do or will require some tinkering to make happen. One thing I would like to do is create the electron microscope and attach it to a computer. I have always wanted to play with an electron microscope. I think you can still get the CD from the Society for Amateur Scientists. They can be found at sas.org.

I will be spending the next little while looking through this little piece of treasure that I found and dream of my next experiments.


Venkat said...

I am quite amazed by your zeal to do diybio.best of luck.I am intersested in a powerful second hand microscope and all the kits.can u advise at vrgopal@gmail.com

Lawrence said...


Thank you. I do enjoy building things as much as doing experiments. When I was young that was the only way I could do it. When my interest grew for experimentation again and I found nothing in the stores. Checking online I found Thames and Kosmos chemistry sets saw the price and said how can any young person afford this. That is when I decided to build my as cheaply as possible.

"I am quite amazed by your zeal to do diybio.best of luck."
"I am intersested in a powerful second hand microscope and all the kits."

If you are talking about the kits I have found most of the details are on the blog, just look at the older posts. Most of the chemistry sets are very hard to find and it takes alot of searching. Can not find in department or toy stores. The CSI DNA Kit you might still be able to find this at some toy stores, where it sells for about $50.00 - $60.00. It is a nice kit, but again does not give a lot of chemicals to do the experiments. You will have to come up with other ways of doing them. Instead of agarose gel maybe use agar agar which you can find at Indian and other asian stores. Paper chromatography try using coffee filters.

As for a microscope, finding it at a flee market or second hand store, I have seen some but really I would not by these they where more like toys. I found a good Tasco 900x kids scope from the 60's or 70's that was like to one my parents bought me when I was a kid. It was actually pretty good for the optics. But I would look to a science store or a microscope store and see if you can find a secondhand one from them. I have seen some toy scopes from now and they have pretty bad optics. If money is an issue visit a nearby university and talk to them about any that are being thrown out you might find a good one or put one together from more than 1 scope. I have seen on the internet where people have built digital microscopes from their webcams and without using a scope. Actually maybe I will try that myself.

But really a good microscope is wonderful to use and you won't be sorry for spending a bit of extra money on it.

I hope this helps. but feel free to ask me any questions.


jchurch said...

I have been looking for copies of "Science Probe" are you interested in selling your copies? Or concider loaning them and letting me scan them?

Lawrence said...

I am not interested in selling my copies. They are very hard to find. Even googling them brings up very little. I will contact Forest Mims (He was the editor) and see if Science Probe can be copied and distributed. I do not want to infringe on any copyright laws that I am aware of.

jchurch said...

Thank you I have been looking for "Science Probe" for awhile now with no luck. This great magazine really should be reprinted in a collection. Please, let me know if you find out about distrubution of the magazines. Thank you again.

Frustrated on Earth said...

Just came across this post on Science Probe Magazine. I was so excited when I first learned of the magazine and I signed right up for a life-time subscription. Within a couple of months it was no longer being printed. Did anyone ever get in touch with Forest Mims? It would be great if it was scanned and put on a CD. I would pay for that. MAKE magazine is great, but there was something about Probe that really spoke to me. Somebody should start a similar magazine again.

Lawrence said...


I have tried to contact Forest Mims, I believe it was through the Society for Amateur Scientists and have not received any response. I will try to contact him through his website. I would love to have a digital copy as well.

I too would love to see another amateur science magazine, one that deals with science experiments. I never miss an issues of Make it is a great magazine.

Sheldon said...

My name is Sheldon Greaves. I was the co-editor of the Amateur Scientist CD-ROM you mentioned. The Society for Amateur Scientists went bust about a year ago. However, Forrest Mims and I have set up a new organization to replace it called the Citizen Scientists League (citizenscientistsleague.com).

You've got a nice blog here. We should talk. :-) Drop me a line at sheldon [at] the above domain.

Unknown said...

I have 3 of these same issues I would be willing to scan and post as pdfs. I think you may have all of the issues published. I contacted Gernsback publishing years ago and I think they indicated there were only 8 or 9 issues. Would you have the ability or time to scan them? I will get started on scanning the ones I have (7/91, 10/91, 4/92) and let you know when I have them available. After that is done I would be willing to scan yours as well. Let me know.

8th Grade Science Teacher

Lawrence said...


Please leave me your link to the issues you scan and post or let me know when you have them. Send me another message with your email and I can contact you, I won't publish your email address.

I would like to talk with you, seeing that you are an 8th Grade Science Teacher and seeing if my blog has been helpful and to see if there is other things that would make the blog better.