Christian Long

Jonathan Drori: Every Pollen Grain Has a Story

In TED Talks on May 28, 2010 at 9:50 pm

Extra credit reflection by GABRIELLA B.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Jonathan Drori:  Every Pollen Grain Has a Story

I enjoyed this talk, personally, I’m a bit of a plant fanatic, yet I’ve never really thought all that much about pollen. It was just kind of peripheral. I need pollen if I want my annuals to reseed. But it was never very important.

Watching this was enlightening. Drori makes all that dry high school biology come alive.
His talk is visually appealing and funny. He manages to breathe life into a subject that could easily be boring. Something most could never connect with. Instead he not only manages to share his obvious passion about pollen in its many strange and often beautiful forms, but also reminds us that pollen is good for more than just causing hay fever.

Pollen is used in forensics to place within a square kilometer where an object has been recently from its pollen finger print. I found this absolutely fascinating. Your average person looks at a patch of woods and thinks they look exactly the same as any other patch of woods. However scientists will tell you that every area has its own unique mix of plant life and thus pollen.

So, is this all pollen is good for? In fact it is not, pollen is used to track counterfeit drugs, and banknotes. Pollen can help to determine the authenticity of antiques, from desks to wine. It was also, in a more morbid instance used to help the prosecution in the trials for Bosnian war crimes.

I doubt that I would ever have discovered this much about pollen if I’d never watched this video. I think this informative talk falls under the category of fun fact. Interesting dinner conversation or perhaps one of the many random tidbits of information that will go into your future book titled: five hundred random things I could tell you about the random and arcane.

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