I am Ken Jennings. I was on Jeopardy! for six months a very long time ago. My new book about comedy is called PLANET FUNNY. AMA!

I thought bonsai trees were cool, until I went to a nature conservatory when they had a bonsai exhibit. I don't think I've ever had my opinion of something change so much, so quickly.

If you look at the back of a bonsai tree, it's all wires, forcing it to grow in unnatural ways. They say that the trees are in 'training', but really they are pruned and forced to grow certain ways which are probably harmful to the tree.

I had assumed there was some sense of using nature to make the best miniature tree possible, and that they did things like strictly control the direction and timing of sunlight. That would let the tree grow in a natural, but guided, way. But it's so not the case at all. I actually felt bad for the trees, like they were being abused or slowly tortured, and yes I know how ridiculous that is. I'll happily eat meat or mow my lawn without considering that it's harmful to some other organism, but for whatever reason it was disconcerting to see trees so contorted by metal wire.

/r/IAmA Thread Parent