Posted by Ellen

Two years ago, Jimmy Kong retired from his job as a lab technician and began teaching himself macro photography, the art of photographing teensy little things.

He seems to have gotten the hang of it, even though this Malaysian spider obviously has locked its gaze dead straight on Jimmy and his camera.

We suggest you click on the photo to appreciate it at its most embiggened.

Posted by Ellen

The United Nations Conference on Climate Change opened a few days ago in this brand new convention center in Doha, capital city of the Persian Gulf emirate of Qatar. The venue is "ironical," according to a columnist for India Today in Mumbai, because "talks about cutting down fossil fuel emissions and sustainable development are being held in the mecca of opulence and fossil fuels."

Qatar has the world's highest per capita income and also generates the world's largest per capita carbon footprint.

The "high-level" work of the conference is set to begin Tuesday, with attending nations each being given three minutes to address the group on climate-change and carbon-dioxide control issues. The conference banquet is set for Tuesday night; although the new building is said to offer banquet seating for 10,000, the climate change banquet will be held at Qatar's Islamic Museum in downtown Doha.

The name Doha is Arabic for "big tree," a theme much in evidence in the conference center architecture. In its central hall is French-American artist Louise Bourgeois's largest spider statue, Maman.

Posted by Ellen

This is what you'd see if you confronted a spider head on from a distance of 12 millimeters (about half an inch), magnified 50-fold with a scanning electron microscope. Below is the mouth of a caterpillar, magnified 10,000 times, as viewed from a distance of 5 millimeters.

Posted by Ellen

Yesterday, Tanja Baker noticed this arachnid, named her Thekla, watched her eat three bugs, and got her to pose for a picture.

Thekla is about an inch long from toe to toe. "Too bad I have to work," Tanja says, "and cannot watch this all day." Thekla's name is from the spider in a German children's story, "Maya the Bee."