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.
  • 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 […]

  • Don't Sweat It

    July 16, 2012 at 12:43 am

    Last week I spent three peaceful and fantastic days volunteering at the Festival for the Eno.  The weather was steamy with high humidity and temperatures flirting with 100 oF.   In the course of delivering drinks and ice to hot and thirsty people, I got into a conversation about sweat with my fellow Drink Booth Coordinator, […]

  • The God Particle

    July 9, 2012 at 2:03 am

    July 4th, 2012, was a significant day in the history of science.    In a news conference in Geneva Switzerland, physicists at the Large Hadron Collider – a 16 mile long particle accelerator where matter is smashed together in an attempt to recreate conditions which existed fractions of a second after the Big Bang – announced […]

  • Don't Know Much Biology

    July 2, 2012 at 12:50 am

    My oldest child enters high school this fall and, like most freshmen, will be starting her sequence of science classes with biology. From my perspective biology is not the logical starting point for high school science and it is time to reevaluate the entire science curriculum.   First, we need to ask ourselves “why do […]

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup, One Lump or Two?

    June 24, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    “Corn isn’t fit for pigs to eat.”  Alvin Danner   Between 1980 and 2010 the percentage of adults in the US who were obese more than doubled, from 15% to 33%.  A number of root causes have been suggested for this “obesity epidemic”, with a lot of focus on the addition of high-fructose corn syrup, […]

  • Bronze Age Part II: The Case of the Missing Copper

    June 18, 2012 at 2:53 am

    “. . . For the Ocean that was at that time navigable; for in front of the mouth which you Greeks call, as you say ‘the Pillars of Heracles’ [Straits of Gibraltar] there lay an island which was larger than Libya and Asia together; and it was possible for travelers of that time to cross […]

  • Bronze Age Part I: Intelligence versus Accumulated Knowledge

    June 11, 2012 at 12:01 am

    “If I have seen farther it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” – Isaac Newton   It’s tempting to look at our modern world, with its space travel, medical miracles, and iPads, and conclude that we are a lot smarter than our forebears.  The truth, however, is that we are simply the beneficiaries […]

  • The Transit of Venus

    June 4, 2012 at 2:06 am

    Tuesday June the 5th is the last chance you will have in your lifetime to see the transit of Venus, so don’t miss it!  Not sure what the transit of Venus is or why you should take time out of your busy schedule to observe it?  Common Science is here to help.   Everyone is […]

  • Gravity, Still a Mystery

    May 28, 2012 at 2:08 am

    We are so accustomed to the effects of gravity that we fail to remember that although we can predict its effects, we don’t really know how it works.  Really, we don’t.    The mysteries of gravity have attracted some of the greatest minds in history.  Aristotle grappled with gravity in Ancient Greece and postulated that […]

  • Fracking, What NPR Left Out

    May 21, 2012 at 1:50 am

    As I noted on the Common Science® Twitter feed, NPR is in the middle of a week-long series on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”).  It’s good to see them catching up with us.  Then in the midst of NPR’s usual high-quality science reporting the reporter said, “When producing electricity, natural gas is considered to be a cleaner […]

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