When we attend Dragon*Con we have a table in the dealers’ room to sell our books, so we get a good look at the varied goods being sold. Some of them are quite interesting. My favorite this year was the Giant Microbes booth. I just had to have one. It was hard to choose from their wide variety, from the deadly (black death) to the unsightly (mange) to the annoying (mosquito) to the reproductive (egg and sperm cells) to the tiny critters that inhabit the waters around us (amoeba). Each comes with a tag providing the scientific name, a picture of what the real entity looks like under the microscope (the plush microbes are based on their actual forms, except the plush ones have cute little eyes), and biological information about it. I considered getting the STD gift pack, but I finally settled on this adorable copepod (Centropages hamatus) that came under the “Aquatics” category, because I counted literally thousands of them when I did plankton sampling and sea anemone gut-content analyses for my masters degree. Check them out at http://www.giantmicrobes.com/us/main/giantmicrobes-originals/.