• The Evil That is Pollen

    by  • April 12, 2010 • Community Sherpa, Freelance Writing Samples

    nose sneezeScience has all sorts of explanations for stuff. Like electricity. Gravity. American Idol. And spring allergies.

    A scientist wearing a lab coat will tell you that spring allergies are usually triggered by tiny grains of pollen filling the air, trying to fertilize other plants. All of that is well and good. Plants are nice. But when those pollen grains get up your nose, well… that’s when you’re in trouble.

    Your immune system, which is like your own personal Department of Homeland Defense, thinks the pollen is some terrible invader, and sends out its armies of antibodies. When the antibodies attack the pollen, the battle releases nasty chemicals called histamines. And the histamines are what cause the running nose, sneezing, wheezing, coughing, and itchy eyes.

    There’s plenty you can do to help yourself. WebMD has guides here and here that are pretty good survival tools.

    By the way, that illustration at the top of this post is in no way to be considered accurate or scientific. It just represents the way I feel these days!


    Michael has been writing professionally for print, television and the internet for thirty years. As a Senior Producer at CNN International, he examined the future of technology with dozens of brilliant scientists, philosophers and entrepreneurs on the acclaimed series Future Summit. Before that, in the CNN International newsroom, he helped lead the production of award winning coverage of news like the 9/11 attacks, the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the devastating 2004 tsunami in Asia. As a director, he has created a dozen short films in the last seven years. He lives with his wife, dog, four cats and two horses in the suburbs of Atlanta.