Last Call for July’s Blogging 101!

The Daily Post

Note: Blogging 101 and Blogging 201 are the same courses previously offered. Feel free to retake them, but be aware that we will cover the same topics. New blogging courses on intermediate/advanced customization are coming later this year.

July’s Blogging U. courses kick off on Monday, with the start of Blogging 101. Still mulling it over? Registration is open through Sunday evening, so you’ve still got time!

Blogging 101 is three weeks of bite-size blogging assignments that take you from “Blog?” to “Blog!” Every weekday, you’ll get a new assignment to help you publish a post, customize your blog, or engage with the community.

You’ll walk away with a stronger focus for your blog, several published posts and a handful of drafts, a theme that reflects your personality, a small (but growing!) audience, a grasp of blogging etiquette — and a bunch of new friends. The course begins Monday, July 6, and runs through Friday…

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Studio Visit: “Little” and “Big” Joan Mitchell

Fans in a Flashbulb

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Joan Mitchell lived and worked in a suburb about an hour from Paris called Vétheuil. The house was a rambling stone structure, not grand but very comfortable. In the back was her studio, a separate traditional, skylit artist’s atelier, down a corridor of paving stones set amid beautiful gardens created by Mitchell herself.

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From Mitchell’s house one was afforded views of the green-grey Seine, and square and rectangular patches of wheat colored fields in the dusty June light. She talked a great deal about the “beautiful, grey, Ile de France light,” how it brought colors to life. We were introduced by our mutual friend John Cheim. When these photographs were taken, she had not recovered from hip surgery and had top work on crutches – quite unlike the younger Mitchell, who was always scrambling up and down ladders.

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Mitchell painted very much alone and needed to isolate herself…

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Blog creation and writing tips

Live to Write - Write to Live

I know that it’s highly unusual to have a post like this on Friday, but here’s the deal. This was supposed to go up yesterday but because of some dental work, I could barely do much more than hold my head in my hands and whimper.

I’m feeling better, so you’re getting it today.

These are more notes from a blog writing class I’m teaching. The blog I reference is one I’ve created to demonstrate what I’m talking about in real life – Fit to Food. I may kill this blog at the end of the class or I may not, haven’t decided yet.

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As I write more and more in my blog – Fit to Food, I’ve realized that I’m really writing about recovering from my chronic illness of Lyme disease. I went back and edited the tagline from “On a quest to feel bulletproof again”…

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How Likely Is (Nuclear) War Between the United States and Russia?

Dart-Throwing Chimp

Last week, Vox ran a long piece by Max Fisher claiming that “the prospect of a major war, even a nuclear war, in Europe has become thinkable, [experts] warn, even plausible.” Without ever clarifying what “thinkable” or “plausible” mean in this context, Fisher seems to be arguing that, while still unlikely, the probability of a nuclear war between the United States and Russia is no longer small and is rising.

I finished Fisher’s piece and wondered: Is that true? As someone who’s worked on a couple of projects (here and here) that use “wisdom of crowds” methods to make educated guesses about how likely various geopolitical events are, I know that one way to try to answer that question is to ask a bunch of informed people for their best estimates and then average them.

So, on Thursday morning, I went to SurveyMonkey and set up a two-question survey that asks respondents to assess…

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