Just what exactly is going on here? Whatever it is, it's the most arresting thing I've come across while shelving this week's new secondhand arrivals. This cover of Quirks & Quarks radio host Bob McDonald's book Measuring the Earth With a Stick: Science As I've Seen It (Viking, 2000)takes misguided cover design to a whole new level. Poor Bob looks like he overdid it at 10-cent wing night. Is there research to suggest a good lie-down on planet earth can sooth a curdled stomach? It's true he's (sort-of) smiling, but when I see those interlaced hands massaging his gut, all I can see is an acute case of acid reflux. And so I ask: an in-house lark on the part of Viking? Embarrassing fallout from the Y2K craze for all things scientist-ic? Quirks & Quarks indeed. Sorry, Bob. We like you, but the jacket's a miss.