Welcome to the 134th 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 from the waterproof keyboard of the editor of The New Leaf Journal, Nicholas A. Ferrell.
I hoped to welcome May with style, but I have been a bit busy this week with work-work and behind-the-scenes New Leaf Journal work. But I do have some interesting articles, links from around the web, and news and notes to share in this week’s edition of your favorite (I hope…) weekly newsletter.
I published three regular articles since mailing newsletter 133.
April 2023 at The New Leaf Journal
N.A. Ferrell. April 30.
All of our April posts (including Leaflets, Leaf Buds, and Newsletters) along with our 1- and 3-month popularity rankings.
Rose at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (2007)
N.A. Ferrell. May 1.
Let’s dig into my photo archive (from 16 years ago)…
Peekier redirects to Kagi Search
N.A. Ferrell. May 2.
I reviewed Peekier Search in February 2022. It died in late February 2023. I discovered this fact on May 2 and expeditiously put together an update.
I also published seven short Leaflet and Leaf Bud posts:
Let’s check in on the world wide web (and remove some links from my long backlog…)
King’s Champion, orb-bearer: Palace unveils coronation roles
Danica Kirka for the Associated Press. April 27, 2023.
Congratulations to the Champion, Mr. Francis Dymoke (no gauntlets thrown this coronation, however).
The worst coronations in history
Ed West at Wrong Side of History. May 5, 2023.
I hear that the new King easily cleared the unfortunately low bar set by a select group of his ancient predecessors.
Catholic prelate to participate in British coronation for first time since Reformation
Madeleine Teahan for Catholic News Agency. May 3, 2023.
It had been a while.
The Radar Gun Revolution
Danny Knobler for Bleacher Report. September 10, 2014.
Baseball’s enduring debate regarding the importance of radar gun readings for pitcher scouting.
Behold: The Galápagos’ Marine Iguana
Katherine Harmon Courage for Smithsonian Magazine. February 16, 2023.
Much maligned by Charles Darwin, the iguana got the last laugh (Darwin’s descendants were not as big on continuing the line as he was).
The Making of Emily Brontë
Michelle Mehrtens for Smithsonian Magazine. February 16, 2023.
On the new film about the author, with plenty of historical insights.
Can you really be radicalised by Great British Railway Journeys?
Douglas Murray for The Spectator. February 18, 2023.
I sometimes worry about our cousins across the Atlantic.
Are you a sloucher? Get a cute, furry little friend to help you correct your posture at your desk
Dale Roll for SoraNews24. February 22, 2023.
Kind of want.
Oldest cooked leftovers ever found suggest Neanderthals were foodies
Linda Geddes for The Guardian. November 23, 2022.
“Hunt and his colleagues have even tried to recreate one of the recipes, using seeds gathered from nearby the caves. ‘It made a sort of pancake-cum-flatbread which was really very palatable – a sort of nutty taste,’ Hunt said.”
Malvertising on Google Ads: It’s Hiding in Plain Site
Kenny Najarro for Kolide. March 8, 2023.
I live such a pure online life that I was not really aware of the scope of Google Ad search results pitching malicious software. But having familiarized myself with the issue, I will now advise you to not download software from Google ads in search results (or from any ads in search results).
How Florida’s Proud Open Government Laws Lead to the Shame of ‘Florida Man’ News Stories
Kyle Munzenrieder for The Miami New Times. May 12, 2015.
Another way to think about it is that Florida’s open government laws have empowered many Florida residents of the less-than-law-abiding variety to achieve their 15 minutes of fame.
Ghana: Criminal Procedure Law Amended to Introduce Broad Use of Plea Bargaining Emmanuel Amoah for The Law Library of Congress. March 6, 2023.
Let’s check in on our archives…
Visual Novel Review: May Sky
N.A. Ferrell. May 31, 2022.
My review of a 2008 translation of a 2006 freeware Japanese visual novel, part of my al|together review project (more on that in Notable Leaf Journal). The al|together visual novels range from curiosities to legitimately good pieces. May Sky falls into the latter, better camp, and it will receive a follow-up article in August (you can download it for free and run it on Windows, Linux, and maybe MacOS).
The Trees Leaf in May
N.A. Ferrell. May 31, 2020.
While this is one of my favorite NLJ articles, few people actually read it. You can help me fix that, fair newsletter reader.
Victor V. Gurbo discussed the history of the classic folk ballad, Love Henry, and posted a link to his rendition of the song with fellow Brooklyn musician Mark Caserta. One reference from Victor inspired…
The Nice Boat 〜 A Look Back at the School Days Anime
N.A. Ferrell. May 6, 2021.
I reviewed the interesting School Days anime after Victor referenced it in his Love Henry article. This is currently our sixth most-read article of 2023, so it hardly needs the extra Old Leaf Journal publicity. But I figured sharing Love Henry offers a chance to highlight the inspiration for my review.
Then-Prince Charles on Architecture (1987)
N.A. Ferrell. September 9, 2022.
King Charles III has many correct (and sometimes humorous) takes on architecture.
The “King Baby BKF” Sticker in Gowanus, Brooklyn
N.A. Ferrell. December 8, 2021.
Reminding myself that I have a King Baby project on my to-do list.
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 of the 18th newsletter week of 2023.
Peekier Search Engine Review (NAF: 2.26.22)
2023 appearances: 11.
Top placements: 1.
Tiki paralogue trick in Fire Emblem Engage (NAF: 2.3.23)
2023 appearances: 13.
Top placements: 11.
The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei (NAF: 3.14.21)
2023 appearances: 18.
Top placements: 5.
The Pokémon Special Split in Generation 2 - Statistics and Analysis (NAF: 1.18.22)
2023 appearances: 15.
Installing Ubuntu Touch on a Google Nexus 7 (2013) (NAF: 7.5.21)
2023 appearances: 11.
Top placements: 1.
Peekier accomplished after its demise what it could never accomplish while it was live: The top place in our weekly ranking. The little owl mascot rose from the dead to end the 11-week first-place streak of my Tiki Fire Emblem piece, albeit the change had more to do with a relatively weak week by Tiki than a particularly strong week by Peekier (the final result was very close after Tiki posted strong numbers on Friday). The search engine review joins illustrious company, becoming only the 18th article to lead a weekly ranking since we started keeping track in January 2021.
It was a solid week for now obsolete tech reviews. Joining the weekly winner was our fifth-place finisher, my article on installing Ubuntu Touch on a Nexus 7. While Ubuntu Touch is alive and well (unlike Peekier), the new versions no longer support my 2013 tablet.
(For those who are curious, I have published tech reviews of non-obsolete tech.)
I have been working on adding description text to all of our tags. While this is not the source of our Bing ban, our tags can show up in search engines. Thus, it is good to have some text for search engines to interpret and display. The problem is that we have over 400 tags, and most had no descriptions. I have added descriptions to more than half of our tags, deleted a few tags, and added others. I hope to have the tag description project done in the next week. I have already completed adding descriptions to all of our article categories.
I have some very notable news to report about one of my long-running New Leaf Journal projects.
I started a project to review nearly 30 English translations of Japanese visual novels that were translated for three festivals in 2005, 2006, and 2008. You can read more in my project introduction. I have reviewed 18 thus far (see list) and I plan to finish the project in August (I have fallen a bit behind, however).
The majority of the visual novels were translated by a circle called Insani, which also organized the 2005 and 2008 al|together festivals (2006 had a different organizer, but Insani contributed a number of translations). When I started preparing to do the project back in 2020, many of the torrent downloads for visual novels from the 2005 and 2008 sets no longer worked well. Moreover, Insani had not updated its website since 2008.
I was browsing the re-designed Yukinu’s Website the other day (I highly recommend adding it to your feed reader). I checked out Yukinu’s forum and found a thread where our humble site was recommended. I followed a link to a blogroll created by Galladite at galladite.net. I will skip ahead a bit as to not deprive myself of a possible future article, but after clicking through Galladite’s site, I learned that Galladite is now the maintainer of ONScripter-EN, the scripting language used by most (but not all) of the ONScripter-EN visual novels, and one that I have written about in a Linux context. Moreover, Galladite featured our ongoing series in a resource page for NScripter and ONScripter.
While looking at Galladite’s ONScripter-EN GitHub repository, I discovered that Insani(!?) is now maintaining its own ONScripter-EN fork for the purpose of re-releasing its visual novel translations. I went to Insani’s site and discovered that Insani returned on April 1 and has released a new translation.
Well, that was unexpected.
I managed to get in touch with Mr. Seung Park of Insani and learned a bit more about their plans. While Insani is only releasing one additional translation (a project it had left unfinished in 2009), it is re-releasing its old translations and ensuring that they will be fully compatible with new computers. This is very exciting news.
I began my project with the goal of reviewing the original al|together translations, and I will stay the course. However, I will work on learning more about the new ONScripter-EN and ONScripter-Insani and follow up on the re-releases of existing visual novels. I plan to write some new material about ONScripter-EN on Linux and provide links to re-releases of games I have already reviewed as they become available. I will also review the final two Insani translations in 2023 (or in the case of the second, when it is published), but those reviews will be separate from my al|together project. If you are a New Leaf Journal reader who likes older visual novels and mid-2000s translation culture, 2023 is looking bright.
Thank you as always for joining us for another edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal. If you have not done so already, you can sign up to our Saturday newsletter by email, add its RSS feed to your feed reader, or wait for syndication to The New Leaf Journal (usually) on Mondays. See our options here.
While I did not publish as much as I hoped this past week, I made some important progress in taxonomy management. Moreover, I am excited about the new ONScripter-EN/Insani developments and look forward to learning more about them and using them to come up with some interesting article projects in the coming weeks and months.
Until May 13,
Cura ut valeas.