Welcome to the 145th 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.
This will be an unusual newsletter since I did not actually publish any articles this week. I was busy with work and plagued by sinus issues. I do have an article in the pipeline, but I have not gotten around to publishing it yet. (Next week will likely be on the quiet side as well, albeit busy compared to a week of no publishing.) But we need not let the lack of publishing at The New Leaf Journal hinder its newsletter cousin...
While I did not publish new articles, we can dig into the archive for some good reading. Maybe this was just a chance to give our older content a chance to shine. Let us go with nine classic (or so I tell myself) New Leaf Journal pieces.
A Tanka on Avoiding Mosquitoes
N.A. Ferrell. August 15, 2020.
I fulfilled the warning of my tanka when mosquitoes mauled me on the night of July 15/16, 2023.
A Charming Hometown Tax System Story
N.A. Ferrell. January 7, 2021.
Our sole venture (to date) into foreign tax law.
The Falcon of The Queensboro Bridge
N.A. Ferrell. January 22, 2021.
A summer sighting from 2019.
“Mondrian” – Victor V. Gurbo on his Original Song
Victor V. Gurbo. February 25, 2021.
A feature essay from Victor V. Gurbo on his original song (video link included) and the story behind its inspirations.
Water and Rocks at Main Street Park’s Pebble Beach in DUMBO
N.A. Ferrell. May 12, 2021.
A simple photo piece -- exactly as advertised.
The NYC Outdoor Dining Standing Water Crisis
N.A. Ferrell. May 20, 2021.
The abhorrent shed that inspired this article is no more. But many sheds remain...
Futaba Igarashi’s Hair Is Naturally Green?
N.A. Ferrell. November 23, 2021.
Despite never having made a dramatic splash in our weekly or monthly article rankings, Futaba has (for now) squeezed her way into the top-30 most-visited articles of 2023 (no doubt helped by links in two of our most-visited articles of the year thus far).
Unboxing an Usaburo Kokeshi Doll
N.A. Ferrell. April 24, 2022.
Our sole foray into the great field of "unboxing" "content."
Digital Purchases as Indefinite Rentals
N.A. Ferrell. July 10, 2022.
One of our many reflects on digital content ownership.
Because we have no new original articles for this newsletter, I present double our usual number of around the web links. 18 instead of 9!
Like Humans and Chimps, Cockatoos Can Use a Set of Tools to Get a Meal
Brian Handwerk for Smithsonian Magazine. March 16, 2023.
Is anyone surprised?
Why a leading professor of new media just banned technology use in class
Valerie Strauss for The Washington Post. September 25, 2014.
He realized the dangers of trying to be too cute by a half.
Pope Francis as diplomat: the principles that have guided his 10-year-old pontificate
Andrea Gagliarducci for Catholic News Agency. March 12, 2023.
Examining the foreign policy of Pope Francis in ten events.
Yokohama Doll Museum in Yokohama, Japan
Atlas Obscura. March 21, 2023.
"Since its establishment in 1986, the museum collection includes antique bisque dolls from Europe, karakura automata of feudal Japan, ethnological figures from various cultures, vintage Mickey Mouses, and traditional Japanese dolls."
Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Miss Marple Mysteries Rewritten For 2023
Caroline Frost at Deadline. March 26, 2023.
What if we locked the sensitivity readers in a room with magic markers and construction paper?
The Persistent Horror of Congo’s Exploitation
Janet Levy for American Thinker. March 31, 2023.
"'The horror! The horror!' The enormities the colonials inflicted on the Congolese are condensed in those dying words of Kurtz, the depraved, power-mad ivory-procurer of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. It was ivory then; it is cobalt now. But exploitation and slavery continue to this day in the benighted Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), long after most former colonies have prospered in freedom."
Mets ‘20-game’ packages are really for 16 games
Dean Balsamini for the New York Post. April 1, 2023.
Although this report was published on April Fools, its contents are not an April Fools joke.
We trick an online scammer into teaching us how to cook the best fried rice we’ve ever made
Casey Baseel for SoraNews24. April 3, 2023.
May as well get something for the trouble of having your time wasted.
Illustrations of ‘Unseen’ Japanese Maintenance Trains that Only Work at Night
Johnny for Spoon & Tamago. June 3, 2019.
The midnight express (repairs).
Defamed by ChatGPT: My Own Bizarre Experience with Artificiality of “Artificial Intelligence”
Jonathan Turley at Res ipsa loquitor. April 6, 2023.
I focused on AI content theft in an earlier post. Here, Mr. Turley focuses on being personally slandered by Microsoft Bing's implementation of ChatGPT.
Eckart Frahm for Lampham's Quarterly. April 5, 2023.
"Everyday life in the Neo-Assyrian Empire."
Why Hitler's grand plan during the second world war collapsed
Richard J. Evans for The Guardian. September 8, 2009.
"Two key factors undermined Germany's campaign: US involvement boosted the allies' arms-producing capabilities, while sheer Soviet manpower led to catastrophic defeat in Russia."
The One Thing I Can’t Stand About Teaching English In Japan
VisitorInAStrangeLand at Mara Waka. March 10, 2019.
I think the kids call this "ghosting."
Russia’s parallel imports hindered by Central Asia bottleneck
Eurasianet. April 10, 2023.
Russia runs into logistic issue of limited warehouse space in Central Asian neighbors.
Watch This Elephant Peel a Banana With Her Trunk
Sarah Kuta for Smithsonian Magazine. April 11, 2023.
Chess, Unlike War, is a Game of Perfect Information
Adrienne Raphel for JSTOR Daily. April 12, 2023.
But much like war, you can apply a little bit of Sun Tzu to gain an advantage.
What should be put at Anchorage Plaza in DUMBO?
Mary Frost for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. April 11, 2023.
Keep it simple.
On the brink: Namibia’s wild desert horses
Ron Swilling for Africa Geographic. March 20, 2023.
A perspective on Nambia's peculiar wild horse community.
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 29.
While we did not publish new articles, people still visited our old articles. My essay on height differences in anime romances defied my prediction from Newsletter 144 and hung on to take its third consecutive top five narrowly over my tsuki ga kirei article, which made its 117th consecutive appearance in the weekly ranking going back to April 2021. The rest of the top five consisted of some of our usual suspects, including the return of my Fire Emblem Engage guide/essay after a three-week absence.
I have been using a mini PC to provide the "smarts" to my internet-disconnected TV for several months now. Prior to this week, I used it exclusively with the GNOME desktop environment (because GNOME offers good scaling options for large displays, such as a 55 inch TV). It had not occurred to me to try Kodi. Kodi is free and open source media center software -- think of it as an alternative to Roku and similar software and services. Despite the fact that Kodi is well known by the standards of open source alternatives, I knew very little about it since I never had much reason to use it. Thus, I was surprised to learn that one can actually start a Kodi session at log in. It took me a couple of hours to get used to Kodi's UI, but it quickly became my preferred solution for playing local videos and Crunchyroll (with the help of an unofficial plugin). The only issues are that there is no Kodi plugin for HiDive (another anime streaming service I use) and it does not run well as an app when I am in a regular GNOME session (possibly due in part to the fact that the mini PC I use with my TV is limited).
I may have more to write about this subject in the future.
Thank you as always for reading and following The Newsletter Leaf Journal. If you have not done so already, consider signing up to receive our Saturday newsletter via email or adding its RSS feed to your favorite feed reader (see options). This was a slow week at The New Leaf Journal, but I look forward to publishing new articles in the near future (which will allow us to return to a more traditional newsletter).
Until July 29,
Cura ut valeas.