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.
  • A Science Question for Michelle Bachmann

    July 10, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    OK, so this is a science blog, not a political blog. However, when politicians wander into the science realm and the media chooses not to engage, Common Science is going to step in. As I mentioned in a recent post, scientific accuracy is one of the first casualties of presidential politics.  During the 2004 presidential campaign, when pressed […]

  • Gas Prices and the Dow Jones

    July 4, 2011 at 2:53 am

    As I continue this series on petroleum it can be difficult at times to determine the best order in which to cover which topics. If you have been following along so far you should have a good feel for the following: All petroleum started as carbon dioxide in the air which was captured by plants through […]

  • Lessons for Chapelboro from George Washington

    June 27, 2011 at 1:42 am

    If we are going to use the forum of the Common Science blog to discuss matters of consequence to Chapelboro, I am going to have to persist in the use of multi-part series. I hope you have been following the series on petroleum which is about halfway completed. This story about George Washington and the soil is […]

  • Peak Oil in 5 Paragraphs or Less

    June 18, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    This is part five of the series I am writing about petroleum, which will be the single most important issue for this century. If you want to start at the beginning follow the links below. 1.     Nothing Matters More than Oil, Nothing 2.     Photosynthesis Part I: Oxygen Gets all the Press 3.     Photosynthesis Part II: Glucose Should […]

  • Farewell to Brood XIX

    June 11, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Brood XIX, or the Great Southern Brood, has left us and will not return for another 13 years. I will miss them. Is you want to see some great pictures and hear a recording of the cicadas check out the The Cicada Invasion by Kristin Oguntoyinbo from Snapshots from the Hill right here on There is something irresistibly fascinating […]

  • Is Your Cell Phone Trying to Kill You

    June 5, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    Last week the World Health Organization (WHO) listed cell phones as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”. You may be more disposed to listen to an important international health organization than your favorite Local Buzz science blogger, but I strongly suspect they are wrong. There have been multiple studies on this topic over the years and most studies have […]

  • Petroleum: 300 Million Years of Sunlight

    June 1, 2011 at 1:59 am

    This is part IV of my series on Petroleum. To start at the beginning read, Nothing Matters More Than Oil, Nothing, Photosynthesis Part I: Oxygen Gets All the Press, and Photosynthesis Part II: Glucose Needs a New Agent. If you want to understand all of the issues, economic, political, and scientific about oil then you have to […]

  • Shelter from the Storm

    May 20, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    This question to Common Science was submitted by Boykin Bell of Chapel Hill.   “It’s the bottom of the first inning.  Rain is falling steady, a little thunder.  Kids are holding metal bats and standing in the wide open baseball diamond.  Lightning flashes once, twice, and then the rain is heavy enough that the bats […]

  • Photosynthesis Part II: Glucose Needs a New Agent

    May 16, 2011 at 2:43 am

    This is part III of a series on oil I am writing.  It’s going to take a little while to get to the price of a gallon of gas, but I hope you can enjoy the journey with me.  If you want to go back to the beginning start with Nothing Matters More than Oil, […]

  • Dating an Engineer

    May 10, 2011 at 3:25 am

    Back in the Common Science introduction, I told you that part of my inspiration for writing this blog are the conversations I had with friends and relatives over the years.  Back in college I had a debate with an old girlfriend that I thought you might enjoy.   Like many questions I have gotten over the […]