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.
  • 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 […]

  • Water Part II: Water, Water Everywhere, Nor Any Drop to Drink

    March 26, 2012 at 1:17 am

    After last week’s hiatus, I am picking back up with my series on water.   If you want to start at the beginning check out “Water Part I: Is God a Mathematician?”   Part II was going to be about the desalination of water.  As I started to write it, I began explaining some of the background […]

  • Lessons from the Explosion in the iPad Factory in China

    March 19, 2012 at 12:56 am

    Last week I started a series about water with “Water Part I: Is God a Mathematician”.  I started working on Part II, but find I am too saddened by the loss of 59 lives in a dust explosion in an iPad factory in China to write about anything else this week.  If you are not […]

  • Water Part I: Is God a Mathematician?

    March 12, 2012 at 1:12 am

    In the fall of 1983 I was applying to go to college and was invited to come to the University of Delaware to write an essay to help determine if I would be admitted to the honors program.  For my younger readers, 1983 was just the very beginning of the e-mail age and you could […]

  • Follow the Bouncing Rubber Ball

    March 5, 2012 at 3:06 am

    For hundreds of years European explorers searched the world for El Dorado, a city of gold.  In fact, El Dorado was waiting for them underground in the form of liquid petroleum.  Petroleum is so amazing that it’s hard to wrap your mind around it.  As a liquid it flows, making it easy to transport when […]

  • What a Fracking Mess

    February 27, 2012 at 12:32 am

    It appears that the North Carolina General Assembly is going to take up the issue of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” again in this legislative session.  I’ll leave the details of the political process to other fora, but I will be addressing the technical, energy, and environmental issues here in Common Science.    Last August I […]

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