Only my second Environmental Graffiti article for September, "One Endangered Giant Panda's Waste is Humanity's Biofuel Treasure" shows the potential in the giant panda's intestinal bacteria.
Picture
"Giant Panda Eating Bamboo" by Crazy Creatures
Biofuel production may be important to sustain our gasoline-powered lifestyles. Scientists are reviewing how different animals convert cellulose into fuel. Here's my scoop on panda poop!

As always, I also promote my article in my DeHaan Services blog. As usual, "Possible Biofuel Improvement Thanks to Endangered Giant Pandas" simply points to the main article.

Writing Tip

Here is the only writing tip related to today's article.

After deciding to write my version of the news item, I researched several possible search terms using Google "Insight for Search" to determine the exact phrases that people were seeking, and also what advertisers would reward with  better rates.

While they remain popular, these factors might improve the chances that this article will be viewed.
 
 
My latest "Toronto Events" article in DeHaan Services is "Kew Garden Ceremony for the 2011 Toronto Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon".

Picture
"Old House in Kew Garden" by John Vetterli
Remarkably, the article exposes Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's relationship to this road-closing athletic competition and charitable fund-raiser.

Toronto's Kew Gardens and the Toronto Beach neighbourhood will have two opportunities to be involved.

 
 
I began a new series in the Math section of Decoded Science yesterday.

"A Quick Reference Guide to the Set of Natural Numbers" should be helpful to educators and students, as well as those wanting to understand the foundations for using the counting numbers.

Picture
"Counting Change" by ┬░Florian
Although this image did not survive the editor's selection, I really like it as the Natural numbers relate so closely to counting.

As always, my DeHaan Services blog also promotes this article. "Introducing Natural Numbers at Decoded Science" adds little to this discussion, but informs those readers know about my writing.


Writing Tip

Today's writing tip is: consider writing a series of articles, rather than dreaming up one-off topics every time.

Be sure that there is enough demand for the topic; that you can link from one article to the next; and that you can summarize everything in a concluding article.
 
 
My latest blog entry at DeHaan Fitness and Weight Control is "Pursue Fitness Anytime and Anywhere".

It encourages people to start with small "process" goals and short, easy, incremental fitness activities.

Too many of us have a "go big or stay home" mindset. With fitness, it can be better to start small.

I also promoted this article in my DeHaan Services blog, as "You Can Indeed Pursue Fitness Anytime".

Writing Tip

Today's writing tip is to incorporate a rising search term from "Google Insight for Search" as a key word or phrase in an article. While it is too soon to determine whether the above article will benefit from using this trick, it certainly cannot hurt.
 
 
My latest Suite 101 article is "How to Defend Yourself from Flood-Contaminated Garden Vegetables".

I know: we all think of the vegetables as victims in a flood, but contamination could turn your produce into rogue rutabagas.

Picture
"Minot, N.D., flooded from the Souris River in June 2011" by Clay Church of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Major health problems may arise from eating fruit or vegetables contaminated by flooding. My article's focus is on practical safety tips for dealing with fruit orchards or vegetable gardens after a flood.

I also promoted this article through my DeHaan Services blog entry, "Floods may Contaminate your Garden or Orchard".


Writing Tips

Here are two writing tips based on my experience writing this article.

First, read news releases with an open mind. I was inspired to write this article by a Pennsylvania State University item. Since I usually think of flooding as "immediate threat to life" and "expensive property repairs", this health follow-up was new to me.

Second, consider whether a topic has value to anyone. While I hope none of my readers is hit by any natural disaster, it's clear that some people will be unlucky. Since this information was new to me, it might be new and valuable to others.
 
 
Once again I preview an image before it appears in Decoded Science...but you may find it in "Lightning Fast Math for Neutrinos versus the Speed of Light".

Speeding Neutrino Image

Picture
"Two Neutrino Speeds" by Mike DeHaan
Unfortunately this is not an image of a neutrino. It is merely an image of some math I did for the article in Decoded Science.

As always, I also promoted this article in DeHaan Services. You might read "Quick Math Problems for a Speeding Neutrino" as proof.


Writing Tips

My writing tips are very short.

/1/ Pursue your own question first. When I saw the first article about these speedy neutrinos, I asked myself "What, really, is the percentage difference"? Soon I found that different reporters implied different values.

/2/ Pursue your writing quickly, when appropriate. This is a "news" topic, so I put another article on hold while getting this one to market.
 
 
My DeHaan Services blog entry today is "Autumn Insect Articles Recap for 2011".

Three Insect Pests for the Fall of 2011

Picture
"Bed Bug on Skin" by JLplusAL
Autumn brings its own set of insects to bedevil us. I took this opportunity to remind readers that I had written various articles about head lice (always popular as school opens), stink bugs (who want to move in with you for the winter), and bedbugs (a threat all year long).

See my blog entry for links to those articles in Environmental Graffiti and Suite 101.


Writing Tips

Today's writing tip truly arrived last night while working on a totally different article. However, for once the contents of the article is not relevant. The situation is important.

After a busy and physically-active couple of days, while writing an article on a subject I knew well, I began to do some proof-reading. I had completely swapped the names of some important people! I gave up and went to sleep shortly after noting the kinds of corrections that were outstanding.

The writing tip is to write when well-rested; to proof-read carefully; and to recognize the signs of fatigue and impairment before you send drivel to your editor.


 
 
This article was written before "The Square Root of Two is a Real Irrational Number" was published at Decoded Science. As of Sept. 19, 2011, it is available for your reading pleasure.

I also publicized it in my DeHaan Services blog: see "Greek Tragedy or Geek Irony from the Square Root of Two".

Many of my math articles for Decoded Science include images that I create with Microsoft software. In fact, for any of my articles for sites which I do not control, if I make an image or take the photograph, then I publish them here first.

The idea is to prove that I created the image and have copyright.

The Square Root Image

Picture
"Isosceles Right Triangle" by Mike DeHaan
This is a deceptively simple image.

Regular readers of my Math articles may notice that I have begun to put a border into the image. These days, I try to remember to do it in Microsoft Excel. Simply adding colour to unused cells in the spreadsheet, and cropping wisely, gives the image its own frame.


Writing Tip for Online Images

As usual, here is a writing tip especially aimed at online articles.

Although some well-framed photographic images essentially provide their own "picture frame", images that you create probably need their own. This is especially true if the web site has a bland background, such as the white currently used by Decoded Science.

In a program such as Microsoft Paint, you can draw a straight line along the borders, then fill each edge with a colour. The process is simple but takes a bit of time and fuss.

With a program such as Microsoft Excel, you can set a background colour in blank cells bordering your active work. Note the solid green in the image above. I set other cells to a light grey behind the graph. That makes a quiet contrast to the graph's white background.
 
 
My DeHaan Services blog includes a category called "Toronto Events".

Today I published "The 2011 MCC Quilt Auction and Relief Sale Event at Black Creek Pioneer Village".

Promoting the MCC Relief Sale at Black Creek Pioneer Village

Picture
"Hand-Made Ice Cream"
Today's article does not just publicize and promote an event.

It answers the important questions: What is MCC? What is Black Creek Pioneer Village? Where is the venue and how do I get there? What will it cost?



Writing Tips

Today's two writing tips are quite simple.

First, write about what you know. I've been volunteering at this annual fall festival for over a decade.

Secondly, remember the journalist's questions "Who", "What", "When", Where", "Why" and "How". My article answers these questions...although "Who is MCC"? is more of a "What is this organization?".
 
 
Today we publicize two related articles at two sites.

(Updated Oct. 30, 2012): We just published a third article, "Emerald Ash Borer Closes Parks for Tree Removal in Oakville".

The Emerald Ash Borer in Environmental Graffiti

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"Adult Emerald Ash Borer" by cham0138
Reviewing my Environmental Graffiti article, "How the Emerald Ash Borer Threatens North American Ash Trees", one sees the emphasis on the insect rather than the tree.


Suite 101 and the Ash Tree

Picture
"Sandy Spring Ash Tree in Maryland USA" by Carly & Art
Differentiated from the other article, in Suite 101 "Important North American Ash Trees Invaded by Emerald Ash Borers" starts by looking at the ash tree.

Of course I also publicized these articles in DeHaan Services. As usual, "Complementary Reports on the Emerald Ash Borer and Ash Trees" has no bonus information.

(Updated Oct. 30, 2012): As is now my custom, my Xanga blog ("Return of the Emerald Ash Borer") also publicizes my articles.


Writing Tips

Today's writing tip is that you can re-use your own research and write multiple articles, so long as you ensure they are distinct!

In this case, one article took aim at the Emerald Ash Borer and the other article's focus was the Ash Tree.

(Updated Oct. 30, 2012): The new DeHaan Services article's focus is on a specific news release in Oakville Ontario.
 

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