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The Slice

The Sci-Fi Slice question

What if you woke up tomorrow and the only people left on Earth were those you had seen with your own eyes in the course of your life?

Your family would be there, of course. So would friends, colleagues, classmates, fellow jurors and neighbors. But countless others still here tomorrow morning would have virtually no connection to you — except that you had once seen them.

You might have seen them when you were 4. You might have glimpsed them in passing in an airport, stadium or theater.

Maybe you saw them when you were backpacking across Europe or while in the military and stationed in Japan. Or Germany. Or South America.

Perhaps you saw them on a college campus, in a bustling downtown while on vacation or at a world's fair, music festival or political rally.

Maybe you saw them in a Philadelphia hospital or Kansas City bus station. In an Ohio amusement park you visited when you were 10. Or on a cruise to Alaska. 

Maybe you saw them while touring a prison in Tennessee, while dining in a Boston restaurant or while using a restroom during a cross-country road trip in Canada when you were 20.

At Disneyland, the Grand Canyon or a Sudanese refugee center.

Some famous. Most not.

You need not have spoken to them. They just had to pass through your field of vision for an instant sometime in your life.

These individuals — assuming they are still alive on this special morning — are the only people left on Earth.

So here's the question.

What would an illuminated map of the world's population look like?


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About this blog

Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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