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  • November 16, 2014 Why Are The Norwegians Burning Trash?

    Several weeks ago, my daughter came home and said “Dad, why does Norway have to import trash to keep its pow..

  • November 9, 2014 Is The Toilet The Greatest Public Health Invention Ever?

    Last week’s column, Spinal Cord Miracle?, was an inspiring story about how scientific progress enabled a man..

  • November 2, 2014 Spinal Cord Miracle?

      In 2010, 40 year old Bulgarian firefighter Darek Fidyka had his spinal cord severed at mid-chest level ..

  • October 26, 2014 Common Science Grab Bag

    Generally speaking, I stick to one topic per week, but at the moment there are a number of items which are lay..

  • October 20, 2014 How Chemical Engineering Is Like Calculus

    If you are not familiar with chemical engineering, you may have the impression that it is a narrowly-focused d..

  • October 12, 2014 The Case of the Disappearing Lakes

    Elementary school was a challenging time for me. I was terribly unorganized and a bit of a mess. Once, in the ..

  • October 5, 2014 Mercury Rising

    As I noted last week in Of Minerals and Men, the journal Nature recently reported that the concentration of me..

  • September 28, 2014 Of Minerals And Men

    I recently read a report from the journal Nature noting that the concentration of mercury dissolved in the oce..

  • September 21, 2014 Chikungunya Part III: The Epidemic Continues

    Since I published Part I and Part II of this series in July, the ongoing chikungunya epidemic in the Americas ..

  • September 7, 2014 How to Teach an Engineer to Play Guitar

    I am on the road again this week. So as I cruise at 34,000 feet over Knoxville, Tennessee, let me share with y..