Science tells us grand things about the universe: how fast light travels, and why stones fall to earth. Butscientific endeavor goes far beyond these obvious foundations. There are some fields we don`t often hearabout because they are so specialized, or turn out to be dead ends. Yet researchers have given hallucinogenic drugs to blind people (seriously), tried to weigh the soul as it departs the body, and planned to blasta new Panama Canal with an atomic weapon. Real scientific breakthroughs sometimes come out of the most surprising and unpromising work. DoSparrows Like Bach? is about the margins of science—investigating everything from what it`s like to dieto exploding pants and recycled urine. Who on earth would burn off their beard with a laser? Producea fireproof umbrella that doubles as a parachute? Replace sniffer dogs with gerbils? Could a chemicalcomponent of flatulence be the next Viagra? Do sparrows (and even fish for that matter) prefer Bachto Led Zeppelin? The editors at New Scientist magazine have the answers to all these questions andmore in this celebration of outrageous, outlandish, and brilliant discoveries on the fringes of scientificresearch. This extraordinary collection is an astonishing reminder that even at its most misguided, science isintensely creative, often hilarious, and can spark the imagination like nothing else.