Welcome to the 159th edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal, the official newsletter of the perenially 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.
As always? I should say except for last week.
Two factors caused a lapse in New Leaf Journal publishing. Firstly, middling health commencing on October 24. Secondly, I had a decent amount of work for my law job to do while I was feeling sluggish. As a result, I did not publish any articles. Because I had no articles to share and I still had work to do last weekend, I let October 28 pass without a newsletter. While I have a few article drafts in the pipeline, I still have not published a new piece since October 21. Thus, today's newsletter will feature articles from our archive, links from around the web, our most-visited articles for each of the previous two newsletter weeks, and a look ahead to what is in store in November.
Because we have no new articles, I present nine articles from our archive.
Return to Shironagasu Island Review
N.A. Ferrell. October 31, 2022.
My 2022 review of a commercial horror visual novel.
Visual Novel Review: Bad End
N.A. Ferrell. October 31, 2020.
My first-ever visual novel review covered an obscure Japanese visual novel. While the novel is now available on Steam, iOS, and Android -- I reviewed the now defunct Amazon Store version for Kindle Fire.
Flying 12-Foot Witch in Carroll Gardens
N.A. Ferrell. November 2, 2022.
This post set the new standard for performance for a Halloween photo post in October -- which readers will learn about when I get around to publishing my October month-in-review article later this week.
Return of the Happy Halloween Daycare Ghost
N.A. Ferrell. October 29, 2022.
It returned again so it seems to be an annual visitor.
Economical Halloween Scarecrows
N.A. Ferrell. October 28, 2020.
Looking ahead to Thanksgiving...
The Holiday Inflatable Dragon in Brooklyn
N.A. Ferrell. November 20, 2020.
More looking ahead to Thanksgiving.
Abraham Lincoln’s 1851 Letters on Work to John D. Johnston
N.A. Ferrell. November 4, 2021.
Celebrating the two-year anniversary of one of our most successful history articles.
“Cooking for Invalids” – Recipes For the Bedridden From 1800s Britain
N.A. Ferrell. October 2, 2021.
Justin & Justina 〜 The Pumpkin Taker
N.A. Ferrell. November 14, 2020.
I have not seen any exceptionally horrific pumpkins yet but there are too many that appear to be on their way.
Let's check in on what is (and was) going on around the world wide web.
Buck crashes through the window of a Noodles & Company in Wisconsin
Brad Matthews for The Washington Times. October 27, 2023.
Way to shift blame to the buck. It is the shop's fault for not making its front door ADA-compliant for hooved creatures.
Escaped goat peeping into NJ homes
Angela Barbuti for the New York Post. May 13, 2023.
Shocking lack of hospitality in New Jersey.
Why did Frieren and Oshi no Ko have such unusually long premieres?
Remi Morisawa for Automation West. October 18, 2023.
I would offer my take here but my 2023 and 2024 anime year in review articles will likely have something to say about Oshi no Ko and Frieren respectively (Frieren is currently airing but will end in the first quarter of 2024).
Tokyo government opening anime art archive museum this fall
Casey Baseel for SoraNews24. September 14, 2023.
It is much easier to just watch 5 Centimeters Per Second.
NYC's racial equity head Linda Tigani shared antisemitic posts
Matthew Sedacca and Deidre Bardolf for the New York Post. October 28, 2023.
It's always who you least expect.
Nearly 10 tons of liquid meth hidden in almost 11,000 bottles of tequila seized in Mexican port
Brad Matthews for The Washington Times. April 25, 2023.
I'd check the cross-border "baby powder" shipments too.
Exploiting a "Vast Jihad Arena": The Islamic State Takes Territory in Mali
Aaron Y. Zelin and Sarah Cahn for The Washington Institute. September 26, 2023.
Everything is 2012 again.
Japanese rural airport’s Reluctant Goodbye Phone makes sorrow of parting a little sweeter
Casey Baseel for SoraNews24. June 5, 2023.
Not quite as good as running along side a train leaving the station.
An Early Charlotte Brontë Story Speaks to the Author's Lifelong Fascination With the Supernatural
V.M. Baraganza for Smithsonian Magazine. October 31, 2023.
...And her very small, neat handwriting.
Marvellous Moderns: The Brothers Perrault
Hugh Aldersey-Williams for Public Domain Review. May 17, 2023.
An excellent and lengthy essay on the Perrault brothers.
U.S. military in Japan bulk buys Japanese scallops as China’s Japanese seafood ban continues
Casey Baseel for SoraNews24. November 2, 2023.
I hope the troops like scallops because I have a feeling about what is going to be on the menu.
Seven Wild Ways Scientists Are Trying to Stop Invasive Carp
Carolyn Hager for Smithsonian Magazine. May 9, 2023.
Trying to turn the carp into a human delicacy in the United States will fail. Let's see the other six ideas...
The 1924 Mikiphone: The World’s First Pocket Record Player
Rare Historical Photos. October 18, 2023.
Someone could make money by bringing this back.
Mystery toy gnomes may be burglary ploy, Welsh police warn
Steven Morris for The Guardian. September 5, 2023.
What the police won't tell you is that you can keep the gnome and decline the burglary.
Satellite spies Russia-to-Belarus nuclear transfer preparations
Andrew Salerno-Garthwaite for Army Technology. October 31, 2023.
The US nuclear forces’ Dr. Strangelove-era messaging system finally got rid of its floppy disks
Valerie Insinna for c4srnet. October 17, 2019.
"At long last, that system, the Strategic Automated Command and Control System or SACCS, has dumped the floppy disk, moving to a “highly secure solid state digital storage solution” this past June..." (Tell that to my friend after the SSD in his desktop died a few years ago!)
'Super mafia' fears as 'leading figures from Italy's three most powerful mobs' - 'Ndrangheta, Camorra and Cosa Nostra - are 'seen sharing a meal of wine and pasta together'
Jonathan Guildford for Daily Mail. October 27, 2023.
The story is in the headline but the article includes grainy surveillance photos of middle-aged Italian mobsters if that is of interest to you.
The Mobster Who Brought Armenia and Azerbaijan Together ... In Death
Niko Vorobyon for OZY. October 9, 2020.
The strange story of a wartime mobster funeral.
New York’s BQE plan is flawed, would widen highway, former DOT commissioner says
Stephen Nessen for Gothamist. July 11, 2023.
Right or wrong, said "former DOT commissioner" has a specific interest in the issue that is not revealed until the middle of the article.
Donkey Kong Mural in Concord, New Hampshire
Atlas Obscura. May 22, 2023.
Why? I don't know. But it is a solid mural.
Photography Goes Leaf Green
Jenny List for Hackaday. August 28, 2023.
I'm consulting our trademark attorney.
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 43 (October 21-28). Note: All stats are for 2023 only.
Newsletter week 43 was our best week overall in some time, establishing clearly and beyond doubt that the search engines want me to refrain from publishing new articles. It featured a surprising number one -- my outdated (but still generally useful) F-Droid Android app review from 2021, which joined my tsuki ga kirei article and my history piece on two Abraham Lincoln letters as the only articles to top a weekly ranking in two different years (going back to 2021). The rest of the top five all feature in our overall top-five for 2023 to date (3rd, 4th, 1st, and 5th respectively), so the week ended with few ranking surprises beyond the unexpected return of my F-Droid review to first place.
Now let's check in on newsletter week 44 (October 29-November 3):
We had another solid week by recent standards, but the top of the ranking was soft. My Pokémon stat review used a strong Friday to take the top spot by a shade over a resurgent (and now obsolete) review of installing Ubuntu Touch on an old tablet. Following close behind was my tsuki ga kirei review, which made its 131st appearance in 132 weeks with a strong finish on the week. Fourth featured the second appearance of a 2021 top-five regular, my post on Substack RSS feeds. Finally, my article on installing GrapheneOS on a Pixel 6a (which, unlike the Ubuntu Touch piece, is not outdated) notched its second top five in four weeks.
One effect of our return to Bing and DuckDuckGo combined with our somewhat diminished Google performance is an increase in tech articles around the top of our ranking. I long suspected that our DuckDuckGo referrals (DuckDuckGo returned to its status as our distant second-place referrer behind Google) tilted toward tech articles. Sure enough, tech articles that faded during the Bing ban have again become top five regulars in lieu of some of the video game and anime posts that dominated for stretches when Google was our only major referrer. This rule is not absolute, however. My (now obsolete) Peekier search engine review took the top spot in our May 2023 ranking without any help from DuckDuckGo while my Pokémon stat review (which favors Google) took the top spot in October 2023 and for the three-month period from August-October, as I will officially reveal in the upcoming October 2023 review post.
I plan to start publishing articles at a regular clip this week. My instant priority is to finish the al|together visual novel review project, which I had planned to complete in October. I have several short posts in the pipeline. As I noted several times in this newsletter, you can expect to see the October 2023 review in the coming days. I do not have any significant changes to The New Leaf Journal itself in store at the moment, but I will look to change the site menu structure and organization of our short posts before the end of 2023.
Thank you as always for reading and following The Newsletter Leaf Journal. If you have not done so already, you can sign up for a Saturday email or add our newsletter's RSS link to your favorite feed reader (see options). I look forward to actually publishing new articles and finishing some long-running projects so that I will have New Leaf Journal content to share with you for newsletter 160.
Until November 11,
Cura ut valeas!