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.
  • 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 […]

  • Yes This Really is a Column About Phosphorous

    May 14, 2012 at 5:38 am

    I cannot overemphasize the importance of phosphorus not only to agriculture and soil conservation but also to the physical health and economic security of the people of the Nation. Many of our soil types are deficient in phosphorus, thus causing low yields and poor quality of crops and pastures. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, message to […]

  • Getting Ready for the Summer with SPF

    May 7, 2012 at 2:16 am

    With summer weather and abundant sunshine looming, I thought I’d delve into the mysteries of the sun protection factor (SPF) which appears on all bottles of sunscreen.  Before I get into the details, I’d like to share my favorite sunscreen story.   Some years ago I was shopping with my wife for sunscreen at the […]

  • Water Part V: When Oil and Water Mix

    April 30, 2012 at 1:48 am

    April 24 was the one-year anniversary for Common Science.  I’ve covered a wide variety of topics including, lightning, cells phones, bananas, and even neodymium.   The topic I have touched on the most has been the impending scarcity of critical resources, particularly oil and fresh water, which I expect to be the dominant factor in world […]

  • Another Piece of the Fracking Puzzle

    April 23, 2012 at 1:24 am

    First a quick note.  Loyal readers will know that I generally publish every Sunday evening.  The steady routine suits my nature.  I had to leave town unexpectedly on the 13th and have just returned.   Therefore, I did not publish the fifth and final entry of my series on water on April 15 as scheduled.   You’ll […]

  • Water Part IV: When the Well Runs Dry

    April 9, 2012 at 12:22 am

    I should mention that at the outset I am not intentionally selecting topics that will lead to the rather pessimistic columns I often write.  I just pick a topic, follow the data, and see where it leads.  I started this series because I find water, the molecule itself as well as its uses, interesting.  It’s […]

  • Water Part III: Get the Salt Out

    April 1, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    “If we could ever competitively, at a cheap rate, get freshwater from salt water, that would be in the long-range interest of humanity and would dwarf any other scientific accomplishments” – President John F. Kennedy April 1961   I love this quote from President Kennedy.  As an engineer and a “science-guy” I enjoy the notion […]

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