Welcome to the 135th 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 Mother’s Day-Eve newsletter brings links to our newest posts, some New Leaf Journal news, and your assortment of links from around the web.
I published four regular articles since mailing Newsletter 134.
Two ducks in a drizzle at the BBG (2007)
N.A. Ferrell. May 6.
Another photo from my 2007 set.
The NCCIH’s AI-like melatonin-COVID note
N.A. Ferrell. May 10.
Wherein I wonder if we are run by a government of bots.
Thoughts on WordPress Categories and Tags
N.A. Ferrell. May 11.
The article taxonomy fans have been waiting for.
Introducing our Osmosfeed Aggregator
N.A. Ferrell. May 11.
Regular newsletter readers already learned about our off-site aggregator a couple of weeks ago, but this article goes much more in depth into how I set it up.
I also published four short-format posts.
Let’s check in on the world wide web…
Off the beaten Japan travel path in Amami Oshima’s mangrove forests【Photos】
SoraNews24. April 2, 2023.
I am always up for a good photo journey.
The Age Barrier, And Its Costs
Glenn Harlan Reynolds at Instapundit. March 29, 2023.
“If you look around our society, many of our more dysfunctional institutions are sorted by age: Homes for the elderly, public schools, even colleges. This age-segregation is artificial, something that never happened naturally in human society and barely happened at all until fairly recently in historical terms. Age segregation separates people from society, perhaps stigmatizes them, and, I think, harms society too.”
Inspector general dings DHS over money spent on migrant welcome program
Stephen Dinan for The Washington Times. March 30, 2023.
Giving no-meaningful-strings-attached money to nonprofits with missions contrary to the ostensible purpose of the funding ends in the manner one would expect.
See How History’s Great Artists Painted Their Dogs
Christopher Parker for Smithsonian Magazine. March 28, 2023.
A selection of dog paintings by the great painters.
Did Our Ancestors Actually Wield Clubs?
Václav Hrnčíř for Sapiens (via Smithsonian Magazine). March 27, 2023.
What is a “club” really?
Shrine in Japan issues “beautiful woman certificates,” so we went to get one
Casey Baseel for SoraNews24. March 22, 2023.
“Ordinarily, the doors of the bijin Benten pavilion are closed, but Masanuki was in luck – they’re opened up from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the first and third Sundays of the month, and he just happened to be there on one of the open days.” (Saw this in my backlog and realized it will apparently be open for Mother’s Day…)
Early Doctors Diagnosed Disease by Looking at Urine
Morgan Godvin for JSTOR Daily. March 24, 2023.
Most interesting is how many of the early doctors knew a trap when they saw one and came up with clever ways to not become trapped.
Dynamite Cop – 1998 Developer Interview
Shumplations. March 24, 2023.
I never heard of Dynamite Cop prior to reading this translation of a 1998 developer interview, but the interview is a good read regardless.
Rube Waddell’s Grave in San Antonio, Texas
Atlas Obscura. March 23, 2023.
The story of an early twentieth century baseball pitcher and his difficult life.
The Mysterious Deep Time Movements of Snails
Thom van Dooren excerpted by The MIT Press Reader. March 20, 2023.
An excerpt from a book looking into how snails cross oceans.
A map of NYC’s park benches could help save them, thanks to these CUNY students
Jaclyn Jeffrey-Wilensky for Gothamist. March 16, 2023.
A neat project to catalogue and map park benches in New York City.
Google Arts and Culture brings DMZ to virtual life
Park Han-sol for The Korea Times. February 22, 2023.
An interview on Google’s “Korea’s Demilitarized Zone” interactive exhibit.
Let’s dig into the archive…
Anna Jarvis and the Origin of Mother’s Day in the United States
N.A. Ferrell. May 9, 2021.
Was there any doubt that our pre-Mother’s Day newsletter would include my history of Mother’s Day?
Calvin Coolidge Describes His Mother, Victoria
N.A. Ferrell. March 13, 2021.
“There was a touch of mysticism and poetry in her nature which made her love to gaze at the purple sunsets and watch the evening stars.” - Calvin Coolidge describing his mother
1914 Moral Story For Children on Responsibility
N.A. Ferrell. March 1, 2021.
If only Lilian and Earl kept their promise to their mother…
Our Town: “Pretty Enough For All Normal Purposes”
N.A. Ferrell. May 11, 2022.
Pulitzer Prize-winning study of how to handle your daughter demanding to know whether she is pretty.
The Quarantine Sessions: “Goodnight, Irene”
Victor V. Gurbo. July 6, 2020.
Victor V. Gurbo explores the life of Lead Belly and links to a performance of his own rendition of Goodnight, Irene.
“Casey’s Revenge” - Grantland Rice’s 1896 Reply Poem to “Casey at Bat”
N.A. Ferrell. August 26, 2021.
A stab at a sequel to the iconic Casey at Bat.
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 19th newsletter week of 2023.
My review of the now-dead Peekier Search Engine slightly improved on his week 18 first-place finish, and that proved to be enough to secure its second consecutive top placement ahead of my Fire Emblem Engage piece, which has finished in the top two in all 14 full weeks it has been online. We had a bit of a surprise in third with the re-appearance of my presidential 2022 presidential age study, which faded after a very strong January (its best all-time month was May 2022, so maybe there’s something to May there). My tsuki ga kirei post had another fairly weak week, but easily notched its 105th consecutive weekly top-five dating back to 2021.
The star of this week’s ranking is our fifth-place finisher, my study of how the forget-me-not flower became the forget-me-not. Published in 2021, the article has been consistently strong, having been our 22nd most-read article of 2021 and the 20th most-read article of 2022. Despite this consistent performance and a number of strong monthly placements (e.g., 7th in April 2022; 6th in April 2023), it had never posted a weekly top-five. It was similar to my 2021 review of the School Days anime in that respect, which posted top-25 finishes in 2021 and 2022 without any corresponding weekly top-fives (it has three appearances in 2023). But more than two years after the forget-me-not article was published, enough readers remembered it to give it a debut newsletter week top-five appearance. It is currently the 5th most-visited article of May, so perhaps it will set another ranking milestone by month’s end.
I have two updates to share. Firstly, I revamped our Feeds Hub Page. Our feeds remain the same, but our resource for New Leaf Journal feeds is now more focused and includes information about the Osmosfeed Aggregator Site. I also finished adding meta descriptions to all of our categories and tags, news I noted in my article on WordPress taxonomies. You should see a short description on every tag and category archive page. I may make descriptions for key categories and tags more detailed in the future. I have a few other additions to the site planned for May.
I went for two long walks on Monday, May 8, 2023. One took me to Brooklyn’s Vinegar Hill and the second to lower Manhattan. I came away with some good photos from the walks. But sadly, there is no photo of the squirrel on a park bench in Manhattan eating a French fry. You can look forward to the photos I did manage to capture in the coming weeks.
Thank you as always for joining me for another edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal. If you enjoyed the newsletter and are not already a subscriber, we provide email sign-up and RSS feed options. I also syndicate the newsletter to The New Leaf Journal on Mondays. See the all the ways you can follow the newsletter here.
I have some interesting things planned for the second half of May at The New Leaf Journal. I hope you follow along to see them rolled out.
Finally, I wish all of the moms among our readers a happy Mother’s Day tomorrow (or after the fact, depending on when you read this).
Until May 20,
Cura ut valeas.