Welcome to the 143rd 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. We had a warm week to begin July here in New York City. But weather aside, I published several new articles. You will find links to and descriptions of our new article along with our usual assortment of links from around the web and other news and notes.
I published four regular articles since mailing Newsletter 142.
Most-Visited NLJ Articles of 1H 2023
N.A. Ferrell. July 1, 2023.
Many of the featured pieces on our 24 most-visited articles of the first half of 2023 will comes as little surprise to newsletter readers. But beyond the top 10, you will find a few articles which have not been mainstays in our weekly most-visited article rankings.
Basil Hall on Benjamin Franklin's grave
N.A. Ferrell. July 3, 2023.
An 1829 account of a British explorer visiting the grave of Benjamin Franklin, with my own commentary, notes, and up-to-date information about the site.
The Eagle, the National Seal, and turkeys
N.A. Ferrell. July 4, 2023.
We begin with a children's bedtime story for July 4 and conclude with Benjamin Franklin's thoughts on eagles and turkeys.
Mafia Social Media Over-Sharing
N.A. Ferrell. July 7, 2023.
Instead of spoiling this article, which is accurately described by my headline, I will note that I am pleased with what I put together.
I published two short articles to go with my four regular articles.
Do I have to watch My Tiny Senpai?
N.A. Ferrell. July 2, 2023.
This question was prompted by something we will get to in my weekly article ranking...
The 'well actually' guy on coyote rescue
N.A. Ferrell. July 7, 2023.
An NYPD tweet about a heartwarning rescue of a coyote from the East River triggers the most dull sort of Twitter reply.
My word count was a bit light this week. But fear not. Here are 12 links from around the web to help fill your reading weekend...
Bumblebees Learn to Open Puzzle Boxes From Each Other
Will Sullivan for Smithsonian Magazine. March 8, 2023.
Back in January 2023, a pigeon in need learned that the editors of The New Leaf Journal are there for pigeons in need.
7-Eleven’s new whipped cream sandwich takes Japanese convenience store food to a whole new level
Oona McGee for SoraNews24. March 20, 2023.
While I am sure that it tastes good, I remain unconvinced that this is the best use of whipped cream.
Purchase and Manage Domains Directly Through Bluesky
Bluesky Blog. July 5, 2023.
I do not have much interest in Bluesky, but allowing people to create handles with their own domains is a very good feature.
How This Tiny Mexican Town Has Saved Their Monarch Butterflies—For Now
Vanessa Freije and Yolotzin Hernández for Atlas Obscura. April 7, 2023.
"Every winter, hundreds of thousands of monarch butterflies migrate from Canada and the United States to central Mexico where they hibernate. For decades, deforestation, herbicides, and pest diseases in the United States and Mexico have threatened butterfly habitats. During the 2022-2023 season, the hibernating population dropped by 22%, according to the World Wildlife Fund Mexico. But individuals like Carrillo are working to protect butterfly habitats."
You Can Write About Anything
Roy Tang. June 1, 2023.
I am obviously more of the view that you need to hew closely to your niche (looks shifty).
Beyond Virality: Understanding TikTok’s New Growth Patterns – Adweek
Brendan Gahan and Claire Cohen for Ad Week. May 18, 2023.
Some promising trends in TikTok viewership (depending on your perspective, of course).
July 4 Injunction Bars Various Federal Departments from Encouraging Social Media Platforms to Delete Content
Eugene Volokh at The Volokh Conspiracy. July 4, 2023.
Unlike most reports, this one has the actual text describing the behaviors that numerous Federal agencies are now enjoined from engaging in.
Goldilocks and the Four Non-Originalists
Josh Blackman at The Volokh Conspiracy. July 4, 2023.
An interesting look at one of the central points of contention in the Supreme Court's recent decision in Counterman v. Colorado.
It Takes a Village to Save a Frog
Amandas Ong for Smithsonian Magazine. April 26, 2023.
It takes good people skills to rally a community to save a frog.
Domino’s Japan pushes pickle love to the limit with new Pickles Pizza
Casey Baseel for SoraNews24. July 4, 2023.
It is probably good. But it looks strange.
NBA Draft: Is Being 7 Feet Tall The Fastest Way To Get Rich In America
Dan Diamond for Forbes. June 27, 2013.
Recent trends in NBA play style are not favorable to some of the traditional 7-foot prospects.
Memoirs from the old web: IE's crazy content rating system
Hugo Landau. May 6, 2023.
Thanks to Victor V. Gurbo, you know that all New Leaf Journal content is rated FAMILY FRIENDLY (see The Old Leaf Journal below).
Let's dig into our archive...
Where Victor V. Gurbo explained that The New Leaf Journal is a family website (he also explained some music history and the consequences of TikTok addiction).
Installing Ubuntu Touch on a Google Nexus 7 (2013)
Nicholas A. Ferrell. July 5, 2021.
The second birthday of one of our most-read articles just passed.
The Life Masks of John Henri Isaac Browere
Nicholas A. Ferrell. July 5, 2022.
Start with his life masks...
John Browere’s Death Mask of James Monroe
Nicholas A. Ferrell. July 6, 2022.
...Then see his death mask...
Meghan Markle’s “The Bench” and Audio Book Versions of Picture Books
Nicholas A. Ferrell. June 14, 2021.
It was a good week for benches at The New Leaf Journal (see next section), but this bench sits in the shadows.
Futaba Igarashi’s Hair Is Naturally Green?
Nicholas A. Ferrell. November 23, 2021.
It was also a good week for short anime heroines at The New Leaf Journal (see below), but it was not Futaba's week (Futaba is having a quietly decent year, however).
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 for 2023 newsletter week 27.
(It was a strange week.)
As I said, it was a strange week... Beyond the unusual top two, I also noted that all five articles were published in 2021 and 2023 and in March and April. Go figure. I would not have remembered when I published the runner-up without looking.
My long essay on height differences in anime romances made a cameo top weekly ranking appearance four weeks ago and did well enough for the rest of the month to finish in sixth place in our June ranking. I was inspired to write the essay when I saw a preview for a new anime romantic comedy featuring a very short female protagonist. That anime, My Tiny Senpai, debuted last week. It seems like many Google searchers wanted to know the height of the protagonist. My article, which was more about other anime romances with notable height differences, inadvertently benefited from the windfall. The Height Differences piece had the best week since my Fire Emblem Engage strategy guide at its peak. While I think it has already seen its best days, it is doing well enough that it may continue to feature in the ranking in the upcoming weeks. It is also the first time that an article primarily about anime has topped the weekly ranking (my tsuki ga kirei article was inspired by an anime but is not primarily about anime).
While I was surprised by the success of my height differences article, I was not shocked since it had a fairly good June on the whole. My 2021 article about a banana bench, which is one of the shortest full articles I have ever published, was a bigger surprise. I can tell from our referrers that someone shared it on Facebook. Who? I have no idea. If it was you, feel free to tell me where and why. The banana bench article received enough recorded visits to be number one in the rank in most recent weeks, but it picked the wrong week to go for gold. I assume it is a one-hit wonder (banana bench has never made an impression on the rankings before), but maybe its Facebook success will continue into the next week.
Spots three through five saw returning articles from last week. My Otho post, which made its top-five debut after more than two years online, returned with an even stronger week to take third place. My second article on anime height differences came in fourth after four consecutive weeks in second (two of which barely missed first). My tsuki ga kirei post had one of its weaker weeks, which resulted in a rare fifth place finish, but it still made its 115th consecutive top five (going back to April 2021) by a comfortable margin.
While the tsuki ga kirei article's streak extends to 115, my article on the now-defunct Peekier search engine saw its streak of 18 consecutive top fives come to an end one week after my Fire Emblem Engage article's streak of 20 was snapped. I thought it would be fun to look at our longest top-five streaks (going back to January 2021, I did not keep weekly rankings for 2020):
We saw the sixth and seventh longest top five streaks end in the last two weeks. The longest active streak other than the elephant on the Moon (see what I just did there?) with its 115 consecutive weekly top fives is now my Leaflet on heights in The Dangers In My Heart anime, which has notched five consecutive top fives. It does have a second anime season coming up next January, but I doubt that will be enough to keep it in the top five for another thirteen weeks in a row in order to match Peekier.
I mentioned last week that I made contact with a real person regarding our now-seven month Bing ban for the first time. Unfortunately, there have been no more updates. Bing has supposedly been reviewing the site since June 20. I requested an update but received no response. Alas, we continue to wait to see if Bing identifies a reason why it rendered it our site not indexable, which would be some reason unknown to Google, Yandex, Brave, Mojeek, Marginalia, and other independent web crawlers and indexes.
On Wednesday of last week, a Hacker News user asked people to submit their own blogs (see thread). I caught the thread, which generated 1896 comments, a bit late. Fortunately, I was able to contribute The New Leaf Journal (it generated a rush of homepage visits... I probably would have done well to add a few articles to my post). Some enterprising Hacker News readers decided to collect all of the submitted blogs. One individual collected more than 1100 submitted blogs in an OPML file on GitHub. Another created an open source site with links to all of the submitted blogs and articles from the blogs which crossed a minimum Hacker News points threshold (you will see we have three articles on the list). The blogs have a heavy tech focus (I dare say we are one of the least tech-y blogs on the list), but I encourage everyone to browse and find some sites to add to your feed collections.
Thank you as always for reading and following The Newsletter Leaf Journal. If you have not done so already, you can receive our Saturday newsletters by signing up with your email or adding our newsletter's RSS feed to your favorite feed reader. See our sign-up options. I also syndicate the newsletter to The New Leaf Journal (I target Mondays, but actual date sometimes varies).
We had an interesting first week of July, and I look forward to publishing new articles and seeing what other forgotten articles pop up in our weekly rankings in the coming weeks.
Until July 15,
Cura ut valeas.