Besides explaining why pizza stays hot for so long, biophysicist Morowitz ( The Wine of Life ) takes a look at bagel baking and martini technology. There's something for everyone in this smorgasbord of bite-size essays, originally published in Hospital Practice magazine. Topics range from a cross-cultural analysis of bathing habits to a comparison between human behavior and the ways rhinos, cobras and beavers find and exploit ecological niches. Personality profiles include a view of Thoreau as amateur biologist, while other pieces deal with the history of baseball, doomsayers' fashionable despair, the evolution of snakes and the ancient Egyptians' preoccupation with death. A witty, conversational essayist, Morowitz combines unflagging curiosity with a passion for teasing larger meanings out of seemingly trivial phenomena. Library of Science Book Club Alternate.