By Jeff Danner Jeff has worked in both the chemical and biotech industries and is the veteran of thousands of science debates at cocktail parties and holiday dinners across the nation. In his Common Science blog, Jeff aims to make technological and scientific concepts accessible to all.
  • Keystone Pipeline Update

    February 10, 2014 at 9:27 am

    With the recent release of the State Department’s report on the Keystone XL pipeline, I thought would review some of the key issues for this topic. The Keystone XL pipeline is intended to transport diluted bitumen, a low-grade, impure form of crude petroleum, from the oil sands in Alberta, Canada to refineries in Oklahoma and […]

  • My First PC Weighed 25 Pounds

    February 2, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    My children like to make comparisons between the technology I had growing up and what they have today. In the course of a recent conversation on this topic, it occurred to me that, having been born in 1966, I have lived through the entire evolution of the personal computer and the internet. The internet got […]

  • West Virginia Chemical Spill

    January 26, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    On January the 9th, 2014, 7,500 gallons of a chemical called 4-methylcyclohexane methanol (MCHM) leaked from a Freedom Industries storage tank into the Elk River near Charleston, West Virginia, polluting the drinking water supply for over 300,000 people. The tank had not been inspected by regulators since the early 1990s. The other day a friend […]

  • We Can Afford More Math Textbooks

    January 19, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    As an engineer, I have had a lot of math education in my life, everything from multiplication tables to systems of partial differential equations.  I was quite successful in these classes due in part to the good fortune of innate ability, but also, I firmly believe, because for every class I had a textbook of […]

  • 2014 Predictions Part II: The Negative

    January 12, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    Last week I set out my predictions for five positive science and technology news stories that I am expecting in 2014. This week I’ve got predictions for four negative ones. As with last week, each prediction begins with an imaginary headline. 1. Hurricane Cristobal to be Second Category 4 Storm to Hit Pensacola this Month […]

  • 2014 Predictions Part I: The Postive

    January 5, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    I decided to kick off the year with my predictions about what I expect to be the most significant science stories of 2014 – five predictions for positive stories this week and five negative ones next week. Each topic begins with an imaginary headline for the story. I’ll report back in December to let you […]

  • Common Science 2013 Index

    December 22, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Below is my third annual index for Common Science on  I’d like to thank my readers for their support and for all of the interesting questions I have received from you at  Just follow the hyperlinks below to read any of this year’s stories. And if there is a topic you would like me […]

  • Smog, The Desolation of Shanghai

    December 15, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    The news last week contained many pictures like the one above of a monumental smog enveloping the city of Shanghai, China. The smog resulted in many problems: construction projects were halted, public events were cancelled, and the city’s reputation suffered. Chinese authorities were ridiculed for trying to find a silver lining in the smog by […]

  • Sudden Cardiac Arrest Part IV: The Frozen Man

    December 8, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    This is the fourth and final column in my series on sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). If you would like to start at the beginning of the story, here are the links to Parts I, II, and III. In addition to reviewing the pertinent science, this series also recounts the story of my father’s survival of […]

  • It’s The Extraction, Not The Emissions, That Matters

    December 1, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Since personal obligations have kept me busy this week over Thanksgiving, I will not be publishing the conclusion of the “Sudden Cardiac Arrest” series until December 8th. This week, I am reprising a column from September, 2012, with this new introduction, which I hope will help to shed some light on two recent, but seemingly […]

  • 1 2 8 9 10 11 12 23 24