This may be the oddest entry yet in my Blog of Writing. While I have often previewed one or more of my self-created images here before publishing them elsewhere, I've never been an article ahead of myself.

Here is yet another record-breaking "first": a preview before the prior article goes live at Decoded Science.

In addition, I'm publicizing more than one article in a series in one single self-promotional blog entry.

One day later, on Feb. 21st, "A Brief Introduction to the Turing Machine" has been published. This diagram has not yet made its appearance there.

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"3 Tapes from 1 Turing Machine" by Mike DeHaan.
This image illustrates three possible execution paths that one of my sample Turing machines can take. It all depends on the input condition on the "tape".

The actual "example" article, "Examples of Turing Machines: Loops, Halts, and Rewriting", was published Feb. 24th.


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Hopefully this second image, for the third article in the series ("The Special Rules for Non-Deterministic Turing Machines"), will look better in Decoded Science than it does here.

The Third "Turing Machine" Article

"The Special Case of Non-Deterministic Turing Machines" is third in the series. It explains how the NTM differs from the standard TM.

It would be a neat trick to have a non-deterministic computer. Of course, "boffins" are working on it...

Publicity for my Turing Machine Articles

As is my usual custom, both DeHaan Services ("The Start of a Turing Machine Series") and my Xanga blog ("The Turing Machine is Not for Travellers") publicize my articles.

Writing Tip

I've used this writing tip before, but it bears repetition.

Seek out and embrace opportunities to write a series of articles.

(One special benefit that I'm finding is that I can publicize this series more efficiently by mentioning multiple articles in the same promotional blog entry. Whether that translates to more readers, or fewer, is still a mystery).

Take your time to think of the theme; do more research than normal; and then reap the reward by writing a series rather than a one-shot wonder article.

Although I was somewhat familiar with the Turing machine before starting the research, I was surprised at how much there was to cover. Alan Turing is in the spotlight, too, although he's been dead over fifty years. So I have lots of material for further articles.

You can find similar possibilities too. If you haven't tried before, look around for an opportunity and try it.
 
 
Please don't be shocked to learn that people are more likely to succeed if they are highly motivated. At least, that's true for people with diet or exercise goals.

The useful bit of information from one of the studies I summarized in "Motivation is a Key Factor for Fitness or Weight Control" is how to succeed when that enthusiasm wanes.

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"Highly Motivated Runners in the Rome Marathon 2010" by Giulio Menna
Enthusiasm waxes and wanes throughout a project. The big trick is to use your initial enthusiasm to set yourself up for success, even when the going gets tough.

As always, I shamelessly self-promote both in DeHaan Services ("Diet and Fitness without Sustained Motivation") and in my Xanga blog ("Diet Success without High Motivation?").

Writing Tip

Today's writing tip is that the same technique for long-term success in writing is the same as for diet or fitness. Just check the DeHaan Fitness and Weight Control article for the "secret"; and translate from "diet" to "writing career".

Yes, you still can succeed even if your motivation had ebbed.

 
 
Only in rare circumstances do I write articles on similar themes in both Suite 101 and also in my DeHaan Fitness and Weight Control blog.

Yes, today is such a "double day".

"The Allure of Clenbuterol for Athletes, Farmers and Dieters" covers the ground most thoroughly, and provides all the reference links that I used.

"Diet Risks with Clenbuterol" puts its focus on weight loss.

In both cases, my advice is to stay away from this drug. But why do athletes use it? Or dieters? Or farmers?

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"Dairy Cattle near Chimney Rock", image by Jim Bahn
Please read the articles linked above to learn why.

But even these dairy cattle are not allowed to be treated with clenbuterol for its intended use.

More Clenbuterol Publicity

As always, I also publicized my articles in DeHaan Services ("Clenbuterol is a Risk for Athletes, Dieters and Farmers") and in my Xanga blog ("Why Would an Athlete or Dieter take Clenbuterol?").

Writing Tip

This writing tip deals with simultaneous articles in different sites.

First, never just duplicate the contents. In this particular case, my Suite 101 article has a lot more details and covers broader territory.

Second, if it makes sense for your different audiences, write the second article. People should read my Fitness and Weight Loss blog based on that interest, so I narrowed the focus. People may also read Suite 101 for health and fitness news, but also because they want to dig deeper than what most blogs provide.
 
 
My new article for Decoded Science, "Potential New Algorithm to Calculate the Cube Root of a Number", reviews a claim of a new, improved algorithm to calculate the cubic root of a number.

This story has a fascinating sub-text: will a reputable mathematics journal, or a professional mathematician, review and critique Mr. Nirbhay Singh Nahar's work?

On the home front: before publishing and promoting that article, I had staked my copyright claim to my original artwork by publishing it here.

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"y equals x cubed" image by Mike DeHaan
Magnificently created in Excell, my illustration depicts the root of "y = x^3".

Self Promotion

As is my custom, I also promote my article in DeHaan Services ("Possible New Solution for Cubic Roots") and in my Xanga blog ("Nahar Touts a Better Cube Root Function").

Writing Tip

Some sites publish the article with the title that the author provides. That title usually becomes part of the URL and may become a hidden "tag"; both are used by search engines.

Some sites, or their editors, change the title. Presumably the goal is either to pique the interest of a human reader, or to better align with Internet searches. Even if the title is changed, however, if you enter the article into the site's online editor, your original title becomes part of the URL and any hidden tags.

My first writing tip today is: try hard to craft your title both for human interest and for search engines.

My second writing tip is: trust your editor if the title is changed.
 
 
My latest article in Suite 101 is "The Origins of the 2010 Lutheran and Mennonite Reconciliation".

It's in their "Mind and Soul" category, but you can find it directly with the above link.

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"Martin Luther" image by CTSWyneken
Martin Luther and Menno Simons were somewhat alike, but vehemently disagreed with each other.

My article explains how that feud started, and how events led to the 2010 reconciliation.

(Updated 2012-02-04): As I had hoped, this article is now "featured" on the Mind and Soul topic page in Suite 101, and also on their main page. Note that "now" is a temporary word, especially because writers submit great new articles frequently. Still, it's nice to get the recognition. See my writing tip, below!

As always, I also publicize my article in DeHaan Services ("Why the Lutherans and Mennonites Reconciled") and in my Xanga blog ("Reconciliation between Lutherans and Mennonites").

Writing Tip

Today's writing tip explains why I chose this topic.

First, the Topic Editors at Suite 101 sometimes post requests for articles in their topics. Often this means that a good article has an above-average chance of being featured in that topic.

Second, I have contributed articles in this area.

Third, this happens to be an interesting topic: personalities clashed; life or death decisions were made.

So the writing tip is to track what your readers or editors want; know your own strengths; and deliver when the two mesh.
 

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