A Question From FaceBook

Still making the effort to combat blog fade, I opened the door on FaceBook for suggested topics for this evening's post. Thanks to Steve for the highly motivating, "Do the benefits of pollen exceed its suckiness?" Let's just see if I can do that justice.

Well, to be scientific about it, I started with a Wikipedia search on what exactly is pollen. "Pollen is a fine to coarse powder containing the microgametophytes of seed plants, which produce the male gametes (sperm cells). ..When pollen lands on a compatible pistil of flowering plants, it germinates and produces a pollen tube that transfers the sperm to the ovule of a receptive ovary." Wikipedia is probably the best known example of a multi-user-collaboratively-edited website called a wiki. It's amazing that anyone can login in to a wikipedia account and freely edit the content.  During the London subway bombing some years back, wikipedia had a constantly updated story, including photos, within minutes.

However, sometimes, you don't quite understand what the pollen article in Wikipedia means when it shares, "In a process called microsporogenesis, four haploid microspores are produced from each diploid sporogenous cell (microsporocyte), after meiotic division." Honestly, I had to copy and paste since my ADD wouldn't let me past microsporoguinessbeer.  One site that helps with that is againbutslower.com . Paste any wikipedia article's URL into their site and it will reduce the article down to a much simpler to understand version. Great for elementary kids wanting to just get a basic concept.

You may find yourself jogging around Ladybird Lake or Camp Gesundheit and your jogging partner is sneezing up a storm. Sure, we need pollination to further grow our vegetation, feed our insects, regulate evolutionary plasticity (thanks again Wikipedia!), and keep allergy clinics in the black. But sharing that with your sneezing blister-mate may not be what he wants to hear. Perhaps quickly using your phone to email snapask.com could provide a distracting relief by requesting more facts from Wikipedia to be sent directly to your phone. Snapask.com lets you shoot keyword requests to them in an email, getting you an answer back in 30 seconds. Great for bar room bets!

Joggers can also rejoice, knowing pediaphon.org can provide an audible version of any Wikipedia article directly to your phone or iPad/Android device. Who wouldn't want the melodic tones of a Stephen Hawking-esq voice reading, "Dependence of the secondary sex ratio on the amount of fertilizing pollen was confirmed on four dioecious plant species from three families — Rumex acetosa (Polygonaceae), Melandrium album (Cariophyllaceae), Cannabis sativa and Humulus japonicus (Cannabinaceae)," from Wikipedia?

Well Steve and Shannon, to answer your question, Yes.  To learn more about why, you may just find a little website called Wikipedia helpful.  I know I did!
2 Responses
  1. We're Not In Texas Anymore Says:

    Ah, the wide and wonderful world of Wikipedia. With that fresh on my mind I was admiring your banner on your blog yet again, and thoughts of the Coathanger, Elijah E. Myers, and Porro prism binoculars ran through my mind.


    Denny Crane...

  2. MrMartinsClass Says:

    We're Not, Thanks for the quick run back to Wikipedia for those terms. ;) The footer at the bottom of the page names the originators of the banner graphic and theme. I liked it enough to alter for my own, but the original was all about Australia. So, the Coathanger remained, though partially covered like most of the other Aussie references. (Nothing personal against any Aussie friends out there.) Glad you liked.

    Thanks for the comment!

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