The World Without Us is a non-fiction book about what would happen to
the natural and built environment if humans suddenly disappeared,
written by American journalist Alan Weisman and published by St.
Martin's Thomas Dunne Books. It is a book-length expansion of
Weisman's own February 2005 Discover article "Earth Without People".
Written largely as a thought experiment, it outlines, for example, how
cities and houses would deteriorate, how long man-made artifacts would
last, and how remaining lifeforms would evolve. Weisman concludes that
residential neighborhoods would become forests within 500 years, and
that radioactive waste, bronze statues, plastics, and Mount Rushmore
will be among the longest lasting evidence of human presence on Earth.
The author of four previous books and numerous articles for magazines,
Weisman traveled around the world to interview academics, scientists
and other authorities. He used quotes from these interviews to explain
the effects of the natural environment and to substantiate
predictions. The book has been translated and published in France,
Germany, Portugal and Spain. It was successful in the U.S., reaching
#6 on the New York Times Best Seller list. It ranked #1 on Time and
Entertainment Weekly's top 10 non-fiction books of 2007.
The book has received largely positive reviews, specifically for
Weisman's journalistic and scientific writing style, but some have
questioned the relevance of its subject matter.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
French physician Jean-Baptiste Denys administered the first
fully-documented human blood transfusion, giving the blood of a sheep
to a 15-year old boy.
To settle the Oregon boundary dispute, the United Kingdom and the
United States signed the Oregon Treaty, extending the United States –
British North America border west along the 49th parallel north that
was first established by the Treaty of 1818.
King Hussein of Jordan married American Lisa Halaby, who takes the
name Queen Noor of Jordan.
The Provisional Irish Republican Army detonated a bomb in the
commercial centre of Manchester, England, injuring over 200 people and
causing widespread damage to buildings.
Leaders of the People's Republic of China, Russia, Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan formed the Shanghai Cooperation
Wiktionary's Word of the day:
festinate: (obsolete) Hurried, hasty.
Wikiquote of the day:
I protect my right to be a Catholic by preserving your right to
believe as a Jew, a Protestant, or non-believer, or as anything else
you choose. We know that the price of seeking to force our beliefs on
others is that they might some day force theirs on us.
-- Mario Cuomo