Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Mechanics' InstituteTuesday evening I was at the Mechanics' Institute to hear science writer Charles C. Mann give an illustrated talk about his new book, 1493. This account of the unintended consequences of Columbus's voyage to America weaves together science, history & ecology. The European exploitation of the Americas created a truly global economy & an exchange of people, plants &, most importantly, diseases. It was shocking to learn that two-thirds to 90 percent of the Native American population was wiped out due to the introduction of epidemic diseases, & there is a probable connection between this event & the Little Ice Age. Besides tying together a vast amount of knowledge, Mr. Mann also displayed a dry wit, as when he referred to an image of a Native American dwelling hung with animals skins as "Sara Palin's dream house."

The meeting room was full, & people who did not RSVP were put on a waiting list, though I think everyone got in. Refreshments were available, though sadly a sign said that wine could not be offered at these events which are open to the public.

§ 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created - Charles C. Mann
Mechanics' Institute

Tue, 09/27/2011 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm

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