Welcome to the 119th 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. The last week at The New Leaf Journal was an eventful one, but most of the events were invisible to you, the reader, and to anyone searching for The New Leaf Journal on Bing or a search front-end for Bing (more on that in News Leaf Journal). But before the behind the scenes stuff, we must first cover our newest articles and interesting content from around the web.
Despite most of this week’s work being done behind the scenes, I still managed to publish five full articles and several shorter pieces.
We begin with our five new articles…
Saving Internet Archive URLs in Wallabag
Nicholas A. Ferrell. January 14, 2023.
For the un-initiated, Wallabag is free and open source software that generally replicates the functionality of Pocket. It has trouble saving some URLs, especially when Cloudflare is involved. In this article, I explain how to leverage the Internet Archive to save some troublesome cases into Wallabag.
Subscribing to category-specific RSS feeds
Nicholas A. Ferrell. January 16, 2023.
Tips for keeping your feed collection (you should have a feed collection) under control.
The Tame Canary Bird (Bonner)
Nicholas A. Ferrell. January 17, 2023.
Last week, I introduced my new series of reviews of short stories in Mary Graham Bonner’s 1923 365 Bedtime Stories with a short biography of Bonner. This week saw the first story review - The Tame Canary Bird.
The modest virtues of self-awe
Nicholas A. Ferrell. January 18, 2023.
Justin and Justina’s newest dialogue tackles self-regard. But the star of this dialogue is neither Justin nor Justina. We welcome back Justin’s friend, Proton Von.
My heroic broken link report to U.S. DOJ
Nicholas A. Ferrell. January 19, 2023.
I don’t like to brag, but…
I published a number of short posts in the last week. But on Friday, I replaced our Notes section (which lasted all of 13 days) with a new section called Leaf Buds. Leaf Buds are the same as notes, but I am implementing them with a custom plugin instead of the IndieBlocks plugin that I had been using. I converted most (but not all) of our Notes to Leaf Buds. This clogged up our short post feed, but here I will feature the short posts that were actually published in the last week. However, one gets into a News Leaf Journal issue, so I will reserve that for the later section.
Time to go back into the to-share on newsletter backlog in my Wallabag account…
Yukinu. January 11, 2023.
I discovered this very interesting site after Yukinu shared The New Leaf Journal as a recommended site. The site has an interesting cozy aesthetic and many other good recommendations. Here we have a link to Gaming Alexandria, a video game history site which is joining Yukinu’s blog in my feed collection.
More Than 400 Invasive Fish Dumped From Aquariums Found in Texas River
Margaret Osborne for Smithsonian Magazine. January 31, 2022.
“Plecos grow rapidly and can survive out of water for more than 20 hours. The fish has armored skin and no natural predators in Texas. All of these factors combined made their population explode, causing problems for Texas rivers.” (What could go wrong?)
Just how important is eye contact between musicians? And what does it signal?
BBC Music Magazine. May 27, 2022.
Focusing primarily on classical music orchestras.
New unlimited cat subscription service in Japan blasted online
Master Blaster for SoraNews24. December 27, 2022.
Important internet debates of our time.
La Crosse virus is the second-most common virus in the US spread by mosquitoes - and can cause severe neurological damage in rare cases
Rebecca Trout Fyxell for The Conversation. September 9, 2022.
In stepping down, Benedict XVI carved out new role as ‘contemplative’ pope
Zelda Caldwell for Catholic News Agency. January 2, 2023.
Looking back at the 2013 resignation of the late Pope Benedict XVI and its effects on the Church and the Papacy.
Tsuki ga Kirei: Better Late Than Never
Guardian Enzo for Lost in Anime. January 3, 2023.
Tsuki ga Kirei, a 2017 anime series, is not only one of my favorite series and my 2017 anime of the year, it inspired my tsuki ga kirei research project, which is our second most-read article at The New Leaf Journal. The author of this post is also a fan of the anime, but his article focuses on visiting Kawagoe, the Japanese city in which the series takes place.
Good hydration linked to healthy aging
National Institutes of Health. January 2, 2023.
This may be almost as much of a threat to me as the mosquitoes. Going to get a glass of water right now.
Did Natsume Misspell Its Own Name in Harvest Moon 64?
Clyde Mandelin for Legends of Localization. May 3, 2014.
Uganda: Computer Misuse (Amendment) Act Enacted
Hanibal Goltom for the Global Legal Monitor. January 5, 2023.
While this has more than a whiff of “what could go wrong?” – I’m curious how the “unauthorized sharing of information about children” provision works in light of some of my own writing.
There’s going to be a trend this week…
The Downstream Effects of Bing’s Tiananmen Square Censorship
Nicholas A. Ferrell. June 6, 2021.
On that time when Bing engaged in worldwide censorship on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party, and every search front-end for Bing (DuckDuckGo, Qwant, Swisscows, etc) was dragged along for the ride.
Importance of Bing Indexing for Alt Search
Nicholas A. Ferrell. August 7, 2022.
Maybe all of these “privacy” search tools relying on Bing creates a bi[n]g single point of failure…
Comparing DuckDuckGo Lite and Qwant Lite
Nicholas A. Ferrell. September 8, 2022.
They have their differences. But one thing they have in common is that they both rely on Bing.
Peekier Search Engine Review
Nicholas A. Ferrell. February 26, 2022.
Peekier is a good project, but where do its results come from? …Bing.
Brief Look at the Oscobo Search Engine
Nicholas A. Ferrell. July 1, 2022.
You’re not going to guess where the results come from…
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).
The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei
Nicholas A. Ferrell. March 14, 2021.
3rd top five of 2023. 2nd top placement.
Tom Cantor’s Change Has Poor Color Scheme
Nicholas A. Ferrell. August 3, 2022.
2nd top five of 2023.
Biden, Lincoln, and Counting Back From the President’s Birth
Nicholas A. Ferrell. April 29, 2022.
2nd top five of 2023.
Saving Internet Archive URLs in Wallabag
Nicholas A. Ferrell. January 14, 2023.
The Pokémon Special Split in Generation 2 - Statistics and Analysis
Nicholas A. Ferrell. January 18, 2022.
3rd top five of 2023.
Due to circumstances to be discussed in the next section, this week’s top-five should have been unpredictable. Instead, four of last week’s top five return, and they were joined by our first 2023 article to make a weekly top-five, my Wallabag post in its debut week. The Wallabag post was propelled by being shared by the official Wallabag accounts on Twitter, and it took advantage to jump over more well-established articles into the weekly ranking.
My Ubuntu Touch post dropped out of the ranking, leaving my tsuki ga kirei article, which now has 91 consecutive appearances, and my Pokémon stats article, as the only “perfect” articles of 2023. This is a notable change from 2022, wherein we had the same top five for the first five weeks of the year and three articles made every top five for the first 23 weeks.
This could be a bit long…
I do not often use Bing Webmaster Tools. Because I have been working on the site lately, I decided to check in and run a scan. Bing’s scan was useful in that it highlighted that our articles had a second, unnecessary set of meta tags (something I will note Google neither highlighted nor cared about). It was less useful when Bing, without warning or explanation, immediately removed The New Leaf Journal from its web search results upon completion of the scan.
I have written quite a bit about alternative search engines (see our Old Leaf Journal). In so doing, I noted that most alternatives are really just Bing front-ends. You can see the big problem with being removed from Bing’s search results. DuckDuckGo was our second biggest search referrer after Google. I say was because DuckDuckGo is little more than Bing with better privacy policies and a coat of paint. We have had 0 DuckDuckGo hits since early Monday morning because removal from Bing means removal from DuckDuckGo.
Bing provided no explanation for what happened, and other than the fact that our search impressions cratered to 0 after Monday, there is no other indication in the console that there is a problem. I resolved all of the issues and sent an email to Bing requesting assistance on Monday. I have yet to hear back. Interestingly, we are not removed from Bing’s image search results – but that does us little good.
The Bing situation is out of my hands. I preemptively did my part in 2020 when I ditched Windows for Linux. But what is not out of my hands is making The New Leaf Journal better. I spent quite a bit of time this week making meaningful improvements to the site. If Bing ever decides to fix its Bing-ness, it will display results for an Improved Leaf Journal.
There are many. Let’s work through them one-by-one…
Whew. That was quite a bit of work. The Bing thing is stupid and unjustified, but I used it as a prompt to fix a number of issues all at once. What’s on the future agenda?
Because there was quite a bit of news this week, I will skip the Notable Leaf Journal section. Let us wrap up Newsletter 119.
Thank you as always for reading and following The Newsletter Leaf Journal. If you have not done so already, consider signing-up for our weekly email or adding our RSS feed to your news reader (see options). I also syndicate the newsletter to The New Leaf Journal on Monday, two days after the official version goes out. At the moment, The Newsletter Leaf Journal is our project’s de facto official presence on Bing and its many front-ends, so I suppose its importance is growing in an unexpected way.
Until January 27…
Cura ut valeas.