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.
  • Nuclear Power Part II: Waste, No Solution So Far

    September 24, 2012 at 12:39 am

    When I started writing about nuclear power last week, I was planning on a two-part series.  As I started Part II, it quickly became apparent that a three-part series would be needed to keep the segments at manageable lengths. So this week I’ll cover nuclear waste and next week I’ll move on to operational safety […]

  • Nuclear Power Part I: The Science

    September 17, 2012 at 1:23 am

    I’ve written quite a few columns about electricity generation, but until this week have left nuclear power out of the conversation.  Given that nuclear power currently generates 14% of the world’s electricity, I thought it was about time for a Common Science review of this fascinating, yet controversial, technology.   With the exception of solar […]

  • If We Mine it or Drill It, We're Going to Burn It

    September 10, 2012 at 3:15 am

    I am often disappointed with the quality of reporting on energy issues in the national media.   The recent slate of reports on reductions in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, stemming from many U.S. power plants converting from coal to natural gas are no exception.   Although many of these reports are interesting and well written, for the […]

  • West Nile Virus

    September 3, 2012 at 2:47 am

    So far in 2012 in there have been over 1000 reported cases of West Nile Virus in the U.S. which have resulted in over 40 deaths.  The graphic at the top of the page from the CDC shows the locations of the confirmed 2012 cases through August 28.  The news reports I have read thus […]

  • The Science Behind WCHL, Your News, Talk, and FM Station

    August 26, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    Tuesday, August 28, 2012, is a big day for WCHL with the launch of FM broadcasting on 97.9. To honor this new phase in the station’s history, here is your Common Science® review of AM and FM radio waves.   Let’s start with some of the basics and talk about waves.  If you throw a […]

  • Marriage Advice from Common Science

    August 20, 2012 at 1:20 am

    This week I am taking a detour from my usual topics and providing a bit of life advice.  Want to get married?  Find yourself a chemical engineer.  (Full disclosure for first time readers, your humble author is a chemical engineer himself.)   If you want to determine the “divorce rate” in the U.S. and assume […]

  • Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite

    August 12, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Good night, sleep tight, Don’t let the bedbugs bite. And if they do Then take your shoe And knock ‘em ‘til They’re black and blue! Old English Nursery Rhyme (~1860) – Author Unknown   Among the list of things that give us the creeps, bed bugs are near the top.  If you think learning about […]

  • When the Lights Go Out

    August 6, 2012 at 2:04 am

    As I write this, 600 million people in India – approximately twice the population of the United States – are in the midst of the most extensive power outage in the history of the world.  Take a moment and consider the chaos that would occur here in the U.S. if the entire country lost power […]

  • To Frack or Not to Frack

    July 29, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    I am on vacation this week, so we are running a “Best of Common Science.”  The NC Legislature’s overide of Governor Perdue’s fracking ban means that the process of designing the regulatory framework for fracking will begin in earnest. I am in the initial stages of what will be my fourth column on fracking to […]

  • Welcome to the Greenhouse

    July 22, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    I am on vacation this week, so we are running a “Best of Common Science.”  Something interesting is occurring in the scientific community in the response to the heat waves and droughts which are sweeping the country this summer.  In years past, the response of the scientific community to extreme weather has been along the lines […]

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