Foldscope: where have you been all my life?
This is just begging to be a science fair project: a group of scientists at Stanford have made an origami microscope! It’s crazy cheap, super portable and is capable of some pretty impressive magnification for something made of a scrap of paper, a cheap lens and an LED.
If you are in possession of a small child, have access to one (or merely behave like one), you need to shamelessly use him or her as an excuse to drop everything and make a Foldscope of your own.
PS: If you’re the type who likes an over-abundance of detail with your cool science info and you’re not familiar with Cornell’s arXiv.org yet, you’ve been missing out. It’s an open access source for e-prints of technical papers on physics, computer science, math, quantitative biology, quantitative finance and statistics. (Personally, I could do without those last two, but that’s just me….quantum mechanics I can do. Finance scares the pants off me.)