One of the longest-running jokes on the scientific scene, the ''Daedalus'' column began in New Scientist in the mid-1960s and transferred to Nature in the 1980s. Each week it offers a new scheme to challenge accepted notions of scientific principles, schemes that are neither feasible nor completely absurd. Always entertaining, the Daedalus schemes often have a serious purpose and raise crucial questions about science (sample title: ''A Womb with a View, or At Least a Phone'').
This delightful book compiles roughly one hundred of David Jones's popular columns, each of which exhibits a keen and approachable mixture of entertaining and thought-provoking material. Like the collection of articles that came before it, this work will appeal to a broad audience of the scientifically curious.