Newsletter Leaf Journal CLXVIII 〜 Newsletter boosting 〜
The first Newsletter Leaf Journal of 2024 discusses the unexpected success of our (very) recently published article on doping and cycling, our review of 2023, 21 links from around the web, and an assortment of other news and notes.
Welcome to the 168th 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, like the newsletters of 2020-2023, from the waterproof keyboard of the editor of The New Leaf Journal, Nicholas A. Ferrell. Despite being under the weather for the early days of 2024, we still had an eventful week of the new year at your favorite green online writing magazine. Without further ado, let us begin with the first newsletter of the new year.
Leaves from the week that was
I published four new articles since mailing Newsletter 167.
December 2023 at The New Leaf Journal
Nicholas A. Ferrell. December 31, 2023.
Just in case you have to catch up on 2023 before starting on 2024.
New Leaf Journal Year-In-Review: 2023
Nicholas A. Ferrell. January 1, 2024.
Our annual year-end review, featuring a ranking of our 54-most visited articles of the year, statistics, and dialogue from our fictional dialogue duo.
Cycling Doping Fallacies
Nicholas A. Ferrell. January 5, 2024.
I address one sportswriter's assertion that Lance Armstrong would have been the greatest cyclist of all time (charitably re-interpreted as most accomplished Tour de France rider) had he not engaged in performance enhancing drug use and other blood doping methods.
Correcting the Yoshi-Dragonite Record
Nicholas A. Ferrell. January 5, 2024.
A correction in article form to accompany my amendments to our 2021 April Fools article.
I also posted twice to our sister site, The Emu Café Social:
- I just participated in the Steam hardware survey (Sharing my specs)
- Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki 2nd STAGE (Ep 1) (Fresh thoughts on the first episode of the new season of Tomozaki after I reviewed the first season)
But enough about me. Let's check in on the...
Leaves from around the web
Organized links from the world wide web...
Everything is about me
Johto Times. January 4, 2023.
Credited for leading me to correct an old article error (see leaves from the week that was).
Signs the 'Dead Internet Theory' is correct
Gabriel at Libre Solutions Network. September 21, 2023.
All good points. But so long as The New Leaf Journal is virid, all is well.
The 12 days of new years
It's Now 2024
Yukinu. January 1, 2024.
Introducing an interesting looking personal search project.
That escalated quickly
Beluga whales adopt lost narwhal in St. Lawrence River
Emily Chung for CBC News. September 13, 2018.
"One of us!"
First-Ever Beluga-Narwhal Hybrid Found in the Arctic
Stephanie Pappas for LiveScience. June 20, 2019.
Looks like the belugas and narwhals kept getting along.
Runaway Dog Living in Green-Wood Cemetery Rescued After Months on Its Own
Christopher Edwards for Brooklyn Reader. December 15, 2023.
Greenwood Cemetery is huge so this checks out.
Vermont Attorney General's dog sniffs out electronic storage devices
Sarah Mearhoff for Vermont Digger. December 24, 2023.
The decline and fall, told in arms sales
The Intriguing Story Of How Yemen Got F-5E Tiger II Fighters
Oliver Parken for The Warzone. October 18, 2023.
Let's refrain from giving Yemen fighters -- even old fighters -- in the future.
Tokyo to sell Patriot missiles to Washington to help reload U.S. stockpiles
Mike Glenn for The Washington Times. December 22, 2023.
I think something may have gone sideways here to reach this point.
In case you were wondering
Gianmarco Gargiulo. November 15, 2023.
In case my recent mostly open source app recommendations were not enough for you.
How to write a substack
Ed West at Wrong Side of History. December 16, 2023.
This is all well and good but make sure you tell your readers about your RSS feed.
A likely story
UN employee blames ‘hack’ for pro-Hamas posts
Felix Pope for The Jewish Chronicle. January 5, 2023.
These very selective hackers never cease to amaze me.
ISIS claimed deadly Iran blasts 'under Zionist guidance'
The Jerusalem Post. January 5, 2024.
The only people who are going to be offended by this bit of Iranian propaganda are ISIS members.
Memories of Japan and Swiss Ski Chalets Inspired This Oak-Filled Brownstone
Lydia Geisel for Domino. December 26, 2023.
Archaeologists Uncover 'Exceptional' Ancient Mural Near Colosseum
Christopher Parker for Smithsonian Magazine. December 21, 2023.
Emperor Augustus was really thinking about historical preservation when he told rich Romans to tone down the ostentatious displays of wealth.
Headlines that leave the obvious unsaid
From Boycotts to Selfies: Asia’s Myriad Perceptions of Japan
Ryan Ashley for War on the Rocks. December 14, 2023.
It'd be hard to have informed perceptions of Japan if you're focused on taking selfies.
Terror in Uganda: What’s driving the Islamic State-linked rebels
Stig Jarle Hansen for The Star - Africa. January 2, 2023.
I have one idea.
Georgia around the world
Georgia Should Keep Its Election Runoff System
Jonathan Turley. December 26, 2023.
I personally would not want it but far be it from me to tell Georgia what to do.
Georgia's billionaire boss re-enters politics … again
John Horan for Eurasianet. December 31, 2023.
Just like I reentered the world of running The New Leaf Journal after a few days off last week.
This Whale-Dolphin Hybrid Is Not a 'Wholphin.' Here's Why.
Yasemin Saplakoglu for LiveScience. August 1, 2018.
This level of adamance almost makes you want to call it a wholphin.
Here's Why Most Dogs Have Brown Eyes
Margaret Osborne for Smithsonian Magazine. December 21, 2023.
Sensing an anime dog eye color series to join my 2D person hair color project.
The Old Leaf Journal
Let's dig into our archives...
The Best Anime Series of 2021
Nicholas A. Ferrell. April 26, 2022.
I'm not sure what is worse: That I published my anime 2021 review in April 2022 or the images I used in the article.
The Best of Anime in 2022: Year in Review
Nicholas A. Ferrell. January 5, 2023.
But between this link and the first link, it's almost as if I am signaling that a new, similar article is about to be published.
“My First Muff” – A Children’s Poem
Nicholas A. Ferrell. February 15, 2022.
A little poem about a little lady.
“Winter Quarters” – An 1882 Poem About a Very Warm Cat in a Muff
Nicholas A. Ferrell. January 3, 2022.
A little poem about a very warm cat.
Brooklyn Snowman and Winter Storm Gail Sights
Nicholas A. Ferrell. December 17, 2020.
Scenes from a snowier winter.
Most Important Dylan Songs By Half-Decade
Victor V. Gurbo. December 9, 2020.
For the Bob Dylan fans in our audience.
Most-turned leaves of the newsletter week
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).
In 2022 and 2023, I reset our weekly top-five counts to give all of our articles a clean slate. I will do the same in 2024 but this year, I will also include historical ranking information for the articles. That is, I will show how many top five appearances they have in 2024 and, separately, how many such appearances they have cumulatively going back to the first week of 2021 (we did not have enough visitors in 2020 for weekly statistics to be particularly interesting).
Of course, this is the first week of 2024 -- so I fear that our 2024-only statistics will be a bit predictable.
Most-visited for Dec 30, 2023-Jan 5, 2024
(1) Cycling Doping Fallacies
N.A. Ferrell. January 5, 2024.
(2) The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten - Anime Review
N.A. Ferrell. March 30, 2023.
Historic Rankings: 5 appearances, 1 top placement.
(3) Recommended F-Droid FOSS Apps For Android-Based Devices (2021)
N.A. Ferrell. November 28, 2021.
Historic Rankings: 58 appearances, 8 top placements
(4) Installing Ubuntu Touch on a Google Nexus 7 (2013)
N.A. Ferrell. July 5, 2021.
Historic Rankings: 78 appearances, 2 top placements
(5) Installing LineageOS on a 2013 Nexus 7 (Wi-Fi)
N.A. Ferrell. July 28, 2021.
Historic Rankings: 2 appearances
I published my essay on cycling doping fallacies yesterday morning (being Friday, January 5). Within a couple of hours, it suddenly began generating highly unusual traffic by our modest standards. I could not immediately ascertain the source because, whatever the source was, Koko Analytics was not picking up the referrer. The reason, it turns out, seems to be because I think it was picked up by The Browser Newsletter. Because it was a newsletter, most of the clicks were likely coming from emails. However, because the newsletter requires a paid subscription, I am left to infer through circumstantial evidence that we were linked to. It does appear that they provide a few samples, so I will keep an eye out to see if the January 5 newsletter becomes available. In any event -- I thank the people at The Browser for sharing my essay (for whatever it is worth, I think it is a better example of my writing than most of my externally-driven success stories).
(I did infer that The Browser has a significantly higher readership than this humble and free newsletter.)
I also saw that the cycling article was shared to Hacker News, but we have not seen much traffic from that share as of this mailing.
The rest of the top five was fairly conventional. My Angel Next Door anime review would have scored a repeat first place finish but for the strange happenings with my sports doping essay. The mild surprise of the top five was my article about installing LineageOS on a Google Nexus 7, which made its first weekly appearance since August 2022 and only its second in more than two years online. However, it has notched strong performances in recent months, so its presence is not too unexpected.
One notable is my article on a boat named S-Cape actually led the ranking for part of the week and would have made its debut save for external newsletter events and strong late-week performances by the three tech articles in the top five.
News leaf journal
As I noted at the top, I have been under the weather for the last week and change. After grinding out last week's newsletter and our (very long) year-end review, I took a few days off before returning with the cycling-doping article (which had actually been mostly done a couple weeks ago). I then turned to finishing and formatting my review of anime in 2023, which will go live shortly after this newsletter reaches your inbox or feed reader (there is a good chance it will already be live when you read this). My immediate plans are consistent with what I described in last week's newsletter.
I am curious to see how the cycling-doping essay holds up once the newsletter excitement tapers off. It was not an article that I had any particular expectations for, but I do think it is good (in my humble opinion) and it has a catchy headline, so we shall see.
Notable leaf journal
Sometimes being under the weather can cause you to forget things. I had a domain coming up for renewal that I planned to move from Namecheap to Porkbun. However, I was sick, so I missed the deadline and it renewed with Porkbun, costing me about $6 until I can do it next year. Then I forgot to renew my phone plan, Tello, one day before the auto-renewal date, meaning I could not roll over my unused minutes and data. Life is hard. Maybe I need a better reminder system for Tello since I also mixed up the date in December.
Thank you as always for reading and following The New Leaf Journal. Despite my being semi-out of commission for much of the week, things turned out to be unexpectedly interesting through little fault of my own. Let us hope for more fun January 2024-style surprises and less of the January 2023 being blacklisted by Bing surprises.
Until January 13,
Cura ut valeas.