My usual method of ensuring that images which I create can be traced to me, is to publish them first in a blog that I control. Welcome to these images, which are now in my Wizzley article, "Air, Table Salt and Water in a Home Experiment about Mars".

The article deals with a simple home science experiment based on a recent news item.

This post includes two other regular features. First, my main article is also promoted in DeHaan Services ("A Home Lab Experiment with Table Salt and Water") and in my Xanga blog ("Is Your Table Salt Getting Enough Moisture?"). They are noted here simply to give the search engines a reason to cross-reference the sites.

Second, this blog includes a writing tip.

Writing Tip

Although I had planned to publish the article in Decoded Science, it is now in my Wizzley compendium instead. The reason is that Decoded Science's approach is to have authors write about their primary areas of expertise. This lab experiment article does not deal with math or computers; I'm simply an amateur science geek.

This was not a surprise; I'd been in touch with the editor and knew it was a risk. In fact, I alerted her to it again when submitting the "Lab" article.

But as a writer, I did not want to waste the effort I had put into this article. Luckily my Wizzley account, so far, deserves the label "miscellaneous".

The writing tip is: know the market, write for the market, and have a back-up market just in case.

Seven Salty Images

"Start with Salt Equipment" image by Mike DeHaan.
Here is the first image, showing the equipment used in the simple salt experiment.

"Start with This Much Salt" by Mike DeHaan.
This is the amount of salt I placed into the bowl.

"Start with Dry Salt in Bowl" image by Mike DeHaan
The container has water and a bowl with that tiny amount of dry salt.

"Ending with Salt Equipment" image by Mike DeHaan
By the end of the experiment, we have three pieces of equipment.

"Ending with Wet Salt in the Bowl" image by Mike DeHaan
The salt is quite wet at the end of the experiment.

"Ending with Measured Water" image by Mike DeHaan
The amount of water from the container at the end of the salt experiment is very nearly the same as the amount at the start.

"Ending with Wet Salt on a Stick" image by Mike DeHaan
The salt looks wet and clumpy on the stick. I think it's a better visual than the wet salt in the bowl.

Once again my DeHaan Services site leaps into the fray, publicizing an upcoming Toronto event.

"The Toronto 2012 St. Patricks Day Parade Will March on March 11" provides date, time, place and, yes, "so much more".

"Saint Patrick in Stained Glass" by NeitherFanboy
Choosing between pictures of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland and the man for whom the parade is named, or a neat image of a leprechaun was not easy.Please see the article in DeHaan Services for both pictures!

As always, my Xanga blog also promotes my article; see "Toronto's St. Patrick's Day Parade for 2012".

Writing Tip

Today's writing tip repeats what I've said before, but with a slightly different introduction.

Write what needs to be written to meet someone's needs.

In this case, as I mention in the DeHaan Services article, I realized I had watched the annual commercial that publicizes the parade but had completely missed any of the useful information. If I can miss it, so can anyone.

So, in the spirit of public service, I researched the Toronto 2012 St. Patricks Day Parade and wrote my article.

Enjoy being Irish on March 17.
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.

"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.

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.

"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?

"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.
I'm pleased with the timing for the publication of my latest Environmental Graffiti article.

"Groundhog Day: The Weather Predicting Woodchuck!" went public just before the annual frenzy for this festivity.
"Groundhog in Ottawa, Ontario" image by joy_acharjee
Nameless but as Canadian as Wiarton Willie, this Ottawa groundhog is a fine specimen.

Writing Tip

Today's writing tip covers a new topic: why did I choose to submit this article to Environmental Graffiti rather than Suite 101?

The reason is simple. My Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page) for "groundhog" shows over 900 results. The same search for the Environmental Graffiti URL shows only one article, in which "groundhog" is mentioned in a list of rodents.

There is no point in fighting with fellow authors in one market, if another has not yet been touched.

That's why I decided to fill "the groundhog gap" at Environmental Graffiti, rather than adding to the volume at Suite 101.

Always check the "competition" before deciding where to submit your article. Better yet, make that decision before deciding on the slant or angle your article should take. Different online magazines have different goals: how-to, scientific reference, cute images, children's education, or whatever.

Other Publicity for the Groundhog

As always, my article is publicized in DeHaan Services ("Groundhog Day for Canadian Woodchuck Weather Prediction") and in my Xanga blog ("Your Briefing for Groundhog Day").

May I also thank the IUCN for their assessment of the safety or danger of this species, as reported in "Marmota monax".
My latest DeHaan Fitness blog entry, "Marathon Training Unlikely to Increase Risk of Heart Attack", began with one report that was in favour of running marathons. That report did point out some dangers, too.

For journalistic integrity, I also found a more negative report, and included some of its information in my article. From my title, above, you can see which way I lean.

Any Risk of Heart Attacks when Running a Marathon?

"Heart with Anterior Wall Dysfunction", image by Patrick J. Lynch
Indeed there is a risk of a heart attack, or "cardiac arrest", when running a marathon. Or a 5Km race. Or jogging, cycling, shoveling snow, or sitting in a comfy chair.

Not that those risks are equal, but people do have heart attacks under a variety of conditions.

More Promotion for my Marathon Running versus Heart Attack Article

As always, DeHaan Services ("Marathon Training and Heart Attacks in Toronto vs USA") and my Xanga blog ("Have a Heart for Marathon Training") also promote my main article.

Writing Tip

Today's writing tip is new to this blog, so pay attention!

The disclaimer is an important part of any article that gives advice that is risky, in any way, shape or form.

Various online magazine sites suggest "boilerplate" doubt vetted by their lawyers.

Take note of the best disclaimers from your favourite authors or sites, and be sure to include your version whenever appropriate.

In the above DeHaan Fitness article, I said:

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.

I actually used two disclaimers in a fairly recent Suite 101 article, "What is Probiotic, What is Prebiotic, and Why People Should Care".

To summarize the writing tip: include a disclaimer when offering advice or opinions, and/or when someone might be tempted to "try it at home" and harm themselves.
When I've created original images for an article at on online magazine, I like to publish the pictures here first.

Please read the whole article in Decoded Science. "The Pitfall that Conditional Probability is Not Commutative" continues a series by highlighting a pitfall for unwary mathematicians.

Three Original Images for Conditional Probability

Probability of the Intersection Sum of Two Dice", image by Mike DeHaan
First is the image showing the dice rolls that result in the sum of 9, 10, 11 or 12.

"Conditional Probability Given First Dice", image by Mike DeHaan
The second picture shows the condition that the first die comes up '4'. Note how few choices remain for scoring the total of 9-12.

"Conditional Probability Given the Sum", image by Mike DeHaan
Third comes the image illustrating the conditional probability of "Given that the total is indeed in the range of 9-12, what are the chances that the first die really was a '4' after all"?

Other Articles

Once the Decoded Science article is published, I will also promote it in DeHaan Services ("One Pitfall for Conditional Probability") and in my Xanga blog ("Take Care with Conditional Probability").

As I explain below in "An SEO Link Experiment Begins", I'm also providing one link to my reference material. In this situation, it happens that my only resource was "Conditional Probability" by Eric W Weisstein at MathWorld Wolfram.

Writing Tips

Regular readers will recognize these writing tips.

First, publish your original images where you along can claim copyright for them. Your blog is a good place!

Second, publish the caption with the image, such as my "image by Mike DeHaan".

Third, it's best to start the caption with key words you want to emphasize for your main article. Add the words "picture" or "image" to clarify that this reference is not a whole article, just another pretty picture. Finally, despite the way I do it, some wise people recommend that one omit the quotes ("). Personally, I prefer to use them, especially when the web editor does not handle italics or special fonts to set the caption apart from the main text.

An SEO Link Experiment Begins

Recently, I read some discussions about the SEO value of linking forward from one's own article to a trustworthy article on the same topic.

"SEO" means to "Search Engine Optimization", which is a group of techniques aimed at placing one's articles higher in search engine results for the desired keywords.

In the middle of January, 2012, the PageRank for my Blog of Writing here on Weebly is '3'. So is my DeHaan Services site.

However, the Wolfram Mathworld site has PageRank '8'.

PageRank is a number from zero to ten, as far as I know, that indicates how authoritative a site or article is...compared to everything else on the Internet. Higher numbers are better. New sites are "unranked".

The experiment is to add one high page-rank reference link to my promotional articles. Let's see whether I can find a difference in the number of page-views for my publicity articles, and especially for the online magazine articles that I'm promoting.

I will also go back to a few older promotional articles, just to speed up the process.
[Updated 2012-01-13].
As I began to write my Decoded Science article, "An Introduction to Conditional Probability in Mathematics", I wanted to achieve two online writing tasks.

First, I had to test the HTML for the "is an element of" symbol. Second, I wished to lay claim to my original "artwork" based on a spreadsheet I developed.

The Element Symbol in HTML

This is the "Custom HTML" widget as provided by Weebly.

My first guess is that the "Element" symbol might be an ampersand followed by "elem;". Here goes: ( &elem; ).

Success or fail? FAIL!

I then researched this in a reference site. It should be an ampersand followed by "isin;" ("is in"). Here is is: ( ∈ ). SUCCESS!

I based this test on a WordPress plug-in for symbols that calls the Euro coin symbol an ampersand followed by "euro;". Here goes: ( € ).

I Hereby Claim Original Artwork

"Conditional Sum of Two Dice", image by Mike DeHaan
Claiming original artwork is simple: just be the first to post your home-made image online.

As always, I also promote my article in DeHaan Services ("Introducing the Math of Conditional Probability") and in my Xanga blog ("Starting with Conditional Probability").

(Updated 2012-01-17) As I explain in "Preview of Non-Commutative Conditional Probability", I will also include a link to one article that I used for reference:
Weisstein, Eric W. "Conditional Probability". MathWorld--A Wolfram Web Resource.

Writing Tip

Today's writing tip is: do your research if you need something. I found the "element is in" symbol in the W3Schools site's "HTML Symbol Entities Reference" page.
_Today Decoded Science published my "Taste of the 2012 Joint Mathematics Awards and Prizes". I'm pleased to say it is the first official "news" article I have written anywhere.

"Professor of Statistics and Mathematics Persi Diaconis", picture by Persi Diaconis
_Decoded Science is privy to press releases from various science bodies, so it can report on news as it becomes available. It also has "news provider" status with Google. The Decoded Science standard is to conduct and include an exclusive interview for its "Headline" category of news articles.

As always, my article is publicized in DeHaan Services ("Prizes Awarded at the Joint Mathematics Convention, Jan. 5, 2012") and in Xanga ("Recognition for Mathematicians at Annual Convention in Jan. 2012"), simply to offer more readers the chance to find the main article.

Writing Tip

_Today's writing tip involves news reporting.

Google sets and maintains its standards for what constitutes "news", and reports such articles in its search results. Online writers who want to contribute "recognized" news articles, and receive the quick uptake of extra page views, might best learn this craft by contributing to online magazine sites that already have this relationship with Google.

Here is a bonus writing tip. Always find some way to add value for your reader. Often I try to find an unusual relationship among items in a news release, but an unquestionable bonus is the exclusive interview.

    Mike DeHaan

    Mike DeHaan began writing professionally in 2010 as the sole proprietor of DeHaan Services.To see this information with the best background image, please refer to "About.Me",  befriend me at Facebook, or circle me at Google+.


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