Welcome to the 127th edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal, the official newsletter of the perennially virid online writing magazine, The New Leaf Journal. This newsletter comes to you as always from the waterproof keyboard of the editor of The New Leaf Journal, Nicholas A. Ferrell. Our final winter (for northern hemisphere readers) newsletter does not cover our busiest week, but we do have some long-form content to share with you along with interesting links from around the web and our usual assortment of news and notes. Without further ado, let’s start the newsletter.
I published three regular articles since the previous newsletter.
Strange ‘create password’ form rules (NAF: 3.12.23)
My encounter with an overly restricted and overly specific set of rules for creating a health insurance account password.
Card Hero and games on limited hardware (NAF: 3.15.23)
In a 2000 interview, game developer Yoshio Sakamoto explained why he targeted the Game Boy for what was then his new game, Card Hero, instead of the Nintendo 64 or PlayStation. His reasons tied into a number of my own articles, so I decided to publish this piece.
The dangers of adapting school to tech (NAF: 3.17.23)
I read about a very dumb (in my opinion, at least) Microsoft emotional intelligence education app. Later in the week, I read a sharp essay on children and screens which touched on some of the excesses of screens in the classroom. I brought these two articles together along with my own analysis in what stands as our feature article of the week.
I also published several short leaflet and leaf bud posts…
I am now saving my very long “around the web links backlog” in a running markdown file. This system is a bit more flexible than what I was doing before I decided to move away from Wallabag last week. Now let us pick and choose a coherent collection of ten for your weekend reading (or whenever you happen to be reading this newsletter)…
Domain-Based, Site Specific Email Addresses FTW
Jeff Starr at Perishable Press. January 26, 2023.
Mr. Starr offers great advice in this post. Definitely consider buying your own domain for email and pick a good email host. I personally recommend sticking with .com domains for this purpose. (I need to change some addresses now that I am dropping one domain I have been using…)
Sickle-wielding attacker safely fended off by victim’s umbrella in Aomori
Master Blaster for SoraNews24. January 27, 2023.
The only people who find this story surprising are the people who never played Animal Crossing.
The Black Bear Took Hundreds of ‘Selfies’ on a Wildlife Camera
Jacquelyne Germain for Smithsonian Magazine. January 30, 2023.
I blame all those people who obstruct the Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian walkway to take selfies for being a bad influence on the animal kingdom.
Why Did the Beatles Get So Many Bad Reviews?
Ted Gioia at The Honest Broker. January 30, 2023.
“An inquiry into how critics stumble.”
Creating a Timesheet in Plain Text
Scott Nesbitt at The Plain Text Project. July 21, 2021.
This is a good idea. I would try it if I needed a timesheet. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), I do not need a timesheet.
About Single-Judge Divisions
Josh Blackman at the Volokh Conspiracy. February 5, 2023.
A very interesting article (with first-hand insights) about single-judge U.S. District Court buildings off the beaten path.
TikTok is dominant app for young Americans, besting YouTube, study finds
Tom Howell for The Washington Times. February 8, 2023.
Not an upgrade.
Study Claims Plus-Size Models in Advertising May Contribute to Obesity and Make Women More Self-Conscious
Julie Mazziotta for People. December 14, 2015.
When you stumble upon a once-in-a-newsletter opportunity to include an article from People (in case you could not tell from my areas of focus, I am not People Magazine’s target audience)…
THINKERS AT WAR - Socrates
History Matters. January 15, 2014.
I bet Socrates was sent off with full military honors.
Inside the New York City Kosher Meat Boycott of 1902
Julia Métraux for JSTOR Daily. February 6, 2023.
Imagine if they saw the current egg prices.
Let’s revisit six exciting articles from our own archives…
School Discipline and Learning
N.A. Ferrell. June 10, 2022.
Things schools ought to be more concerned with than forcing students to talk about their feelings with a Microsoft cartoon (said Microsoft cartoon was featured in this week’s article selection).
On the Game Boy Renaissance
N.A. Ferrell. April 23, 2022.
A fitting selection since one of our new articles focused squarely on the Game Boy.
Setting Up SoloKeys with Peppermint OS
N.A. Ferrell. October 1, 2020.
While I have not used PeppermintOS since early 2021, I still use my SoloKeys.
Like a Verbal Tic
N.A. Ferrell. November 21, 2020.
This is our future if education is reduced to Microsoft apps about feelings. …Wait a second…
New Leaf Spring Content, New and Old
N.A. Ferrell. March 21, 2021.
Helping you get into the spring of things (I’m very sorry for the pun).
The Quarantine Sessions: Covering The Beatles
Victor V. Gurbo. December 22, 2020.
After reading the around the web article I shared analyzing early Beatles reviews, you can listen read Victor V. Gurbo’s article on the challenges of covering the Beatles. The article includes a link to a cover of With a Little Help From My Friends by Victor and his fellow Brooklyn musician, Mark Caserta.
I list our most-read articles from the previous newsletter week (Friday to Saturday) in each edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal. These statistics come courtesy of Koko Analytics, our local, privacy friendly page-counting solution (see my review). Below, I present the 5 most-visited articles of the 11th newsletter week of 2023.
Our top five was a bit stronger this week than it was in recent weeks, which continue to fall short of our general 2022 standard due to our still being blacklisted by Microsoft Bing (still no indication of the reason).
My Fire Emblem Engage post became the fourth article (since I started keeping track in the first week of 2021) to take five consecutive top fives, joining RSS as a Facebook Alternative (one streak of 7), my tsuki ga kirei history post (many such streaks), and Cross-posing from Mastodon to Twitter (five consecutive top place finishes last fall).
Although my tsuki ga kirei history post has been locked out of the top spot in recent weeks, it posted its 99th consecutive top-five appearance, dating back to April 2021, with its runner-up placement this week. One more to 100…
The latter three spots contained no major surprises, but it is nice to see my School Days anime review notch its second top five of 2023. Prior to this year, that had been one of two articles (the other being my history of the forget-me-not flower to finish in a year-end top 25 without ever having finished in a weekly top five (both accomplished the feat in 2021 and 2022). Maybe my forget-me-not flower post, which is currently our 15th most-read article of 2023 but still without a weekly top-five, will have its week this spring.
This week saw no changes of significance at The New Leaf Journal. Last week, I explained that I had decided to drop the plugin we were using for related posts. I did look briefly for an alternative solution, but all of them had one problem or another (under my criteria). I am experimenting with better highlighting related posts within my articles, although that does not work within existing articles. This has inspired me to work on my new idea for implementing post series which you should see in April (in time for our site’s third birthday).
I added an Education content category to the site after publishing my piece on technology in the classroom. You can expect to see new posts there in the near future.
I had been using Decsync (review impending this week) to sync my RSS feeds and read-state between my phone, tablet, and computer. Unfortunately, I experienced some technical issues with the desktop leg of the set-up, and those issues caused me to look for a new solution for my own feed reading. At the moment, I have settled on the free and open source Handy Reading app for Android. I am very impressed so far. It is an entirely local feed reader with built-in read-it-later functionality, meaning that I can save a link within one of my articles (Handy Reading retrieves full text from feed links) into Handy Reading. I plan to use it for 2-3 more weeks before reviewing it, but so far it may be the most feature-complete feed reader that I have tried.
Thank you as always for joining us for another Saturday edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal. If you enjoyed the content and have not done so already, you can sign up to receive this weekly newsletter in your email inbox or simply add the newsletter’s RSS feed to your favorite feed reader. I also syndicate the newsletter to The New Leaf Journal on Mondays (well, usually by Monday). See all of our options here.
I look forward to sending a spring-themed newsletter next week, and, barring some surprises, I suppose I will need a section on 100 consecutive weekly top-fives for The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei. I also hope to have a few more new posts to share in next week’s edition of The Newsletter.
Until spring has sprung,
Cura ut valeas.