Adventures in Learning #1

6 May

This new series of posts has been inspired by the fact that when I read newspapers, magazines, and non-fiction, I cannot for the life of me shut up about all the cool things I’m learning. I have a similar compulsion when I read Wikipedia entries (like this one!).

Oprah has her “aha” moments. I have my “huh!” moments! This is when I read in bed and loudly say “huh!” in hopes that my boyfriend will take the bait and ask what I’m reading about so I can share the latest tidbit. If it doesn’t work, sometimes I resort to a “wow,” complete with head-shaking and raised eyebrows. So now, when I read a particularly juicy bit of information, I’ll share it here instead.

Today’s learning moment is brought to you by The World Without Us, by Alan Weisman:

Suburbs don’t stand much of a chance of lasting longer than 500 years, aside from things like aluminum dishwasher parts and stainless steel kitchenware. And, for areas like Arizona, “…from Roman ruins we can guess that thick cast iron will be around long into the future’s archeological record, so the odd prospect of fire hydrants sprouting amidst cacti may someday be among the few clues that humanity was here.”

Expect more to come in the next few days…this thing is a DID YOU KNOW?! goldmine.

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4 Responses to “Adventures in Learning #1”

  1. Buried In Print May 7, 2010 at 1:19 pm #

    I’m muttering huh and wow just thinking back to the Chernobyl bits in Weisman’s book. Oh, and the parts about the fragility of subway systems in “modern” cities. And those hotels and apartment buildings behind the wire fences. Yah, I’ve forgotten a lot of the details, but the wow-ness remains intact. I’m looking forward to more of your DidYouKnow-ness.

  2. Lija May 7, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    Hah, there goes the next DidYouKnows I was lining up! Never mind, I’m still going to do them, because they were mind-blowing. Have you read anything similar to this that you’d recommend?

  3. Buried In Print May 10, 2010 at 2:31 pm #

    Have you read Jared Diamond’s Collapse? I have his more-often-talked-about Guns, Germs and Steel on my list of Must-Reads for this year, but Collapse I remember having the same kind of feel as the Weisman book. And, of course, it’s a little end-of-the-worldish too.

    Veering away from that topic, I tortured Mr. BIP with my reading of Michael Pollan’s The Botany of Desire and Marion Nestle’s What to Eat and all the “huhs” that emerged, but he couldn’t say protest because he’d huh-ed all the way through them himself. Plants and food: who woulda thought they’d be so interesting.

    I should read more non-fiction. ::wags finger at self::

    • Lija May 13, 2010 at 2:19 pm #

      I haven’t read those, but thanks for the recs!

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