Tag Archives: Alan Weisman

Adventures in Learning #3

21 May

More tidbits of knowledge from The World Without Us by Alan Weisman.

This week:

The extinct “megafauna” of North America that existed before we came along included a beaver the size of a bear and a ground sloth the size of a cow. The only reason big animals still exist in Africa is because it’s the only place that humans are technically “from,” so they evolved with the animals there, rather than showing up and drastically altering the environment in a short time.

Some day every day will be Caturday. Still talking future Manhattan here: “Long before, the predators finished off the last descendants of pet dogs, but a wily population of feral house cats persists, feeding on starlings.” Hah! Wily like a feral house cat! Later in the book, he says that part of the reason for the longevity of house cats is that even in domesticity, they never lose their hunting urge, even if only in play. So that kitten tumbling around with a ball of yarn (does this ever happen?) may LOOK cute, but really, Boots and Fluffy are just preparing for human doomsday.

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My Money, My Choices

20 Apr

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of free books (well, I think it’s a lot). I’m also a big fan of my local library and an assertive gift recipient. I’m also an enormous tightwad. So when I decide to spend my hard-earned moolah on books, you know I really mean it. It’s kind of like splashing out on your favourite band’s CD even though you’ll probably just listen to it on your computer/ipod/some other mp3 player that I don’t know about. The point is, you support them. And handing over your debit card to a real human being perversely adds to the excitement of listening to their new offering.

At the moment, I plan on spending my pounds on these books:

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (third in her trilogy of highly addictive, wonderfully violent YA books).  When it comes out on August 24, natch. Not that I’ve ever seen the countdown clock.

The World Without Us, by Alan Weisman. My non-fiction tastes, weirdly, coincide with my young adult fiction tastes. The more apocalyptic, the better. The sci-fi-like science book promises to detail what would happen to the world minus the humans, but with all our crap.

The Collected Stories of Lorrie Moore, by you know who. Somehow, without ever having read her stuff, I’m sure I will love it. And I could use a short story fix.

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