Picture"Drake Equation and Seager Equation" : Image by Mike DeHaan

My recent Decoded Science article, "The Drake Equation Estimated the Scope of the SETI Project", explains how one equation led to the attempt to detect radio transmissions from alien civilizations.

Why write a "preview" article? I published this online prior to the one in Decoded Science simply to stake my copyright claim to the original artwork: the detail from a spreadsheet I created for this project.

Also read my "The Equation that Launched 3.4 Million Hosts" to learn about the Canadian connection to a different approach to finding alien life on exoplanets. SETI is not the only project based on a simple math equation!

One Writing Tip for Superscript and Subscript in Math Articles

This writing tip actually applies anywhere you need to include superscripts or subscripts in online articles. Footnote numbers provide another example of superscript text. (But if your online editor automatically makes footnotes, then it will handle the superscript too).

Let's use that image from my Decoded Science article, and focus on the section at the bottom starting "Each 'N' is...".

The image shows two equations, but let's take just a tiny bit: "fp * ne".

The 'p' and 'e' should be subscripts, but let's make the 'e' a superscript instead.

In Weebly, click the "More" in the upper left menu (below "Basic" and "Multimedia"). You should see a "Custom HTML" widget. Drag it down like a paragraph or title widget.

Then type "f<sub>p</sub> * n<sup>e</sup> in HTML" into that "custom HTML" paragraph. See the next section for the result.

That custom HTML coding works in other online editors, too, so long as they give you an environment for coding HTML tags.

Custom HTML for Subscripts and Superscripts

fp * ne in HTML

From the Drake Equation to an HTML Writing Tip

Thanks for reading about the Drake Equation, crucial for the foundation of the SETI Institute. And an excuse for today's writing tip about HTML tags to create superscript and subscript text.

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    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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    Flexible Sidebar

    Weebly's "Blog Author" widget from the Blog Sidebar's Elements menu provides a lot of flexibility. You can change both the title and the text.

    It has all the capabilities for text editing that you find in most Weebly text widgets.

    At this point, I don't see a way to code any HTML in this widget.

    The "Picture" does what you expect: it displays an image of your choice. I just added my home-made picture of "Copyright DeHaan Services 2013" as the top element in this sidebar on Jan. 22, 2013.

    The "Search Box" is a "Pro" feature; if you're paying for Weebly hosting, it may be worthwhile.

    The other widgets are pre-programmed to do what they say.

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