Plastic dolls of the world, take heart: Help is here in the form of a 262-page general science and technology book called How to Clone the Perfect Blonde (Quirk, $17). Penned by award-winning BBC journalists Sue Nelson and Richard Hollingham, How to Clone is not, as the title suggests, a DIY handbook of illicit science projects. Instead it's a layman's guide to modern science, a breezy and painless foray into the universe of cloning,
robotics, teleportation and all the rest of the good stuff, packaged into eight how-to chapters. The authors set out with a modest objective: to create a sugar-coated gateway to abstruse scientific concepts. Mission accomplished. The book is stuffed with entertaining and curious factoids. Did you know, for instance, that slime molds can navigate their way through a maze, or that eight bits make a byte and four bits a nibble, or that artificial-intelligence visionary Alan Turing, who was gay, was forced by British law to take estrogen injections? Well, I didn't.