The Newsletter Leaf Journal has been out of commission since I had an issue sending out the eighth edition in September. I decided to rectify the issue by typing the newsletter directly into the newsletter editor instead of copying it from a text editor, in which I copied paragraphs from a LibreOffice document. Below, you will find some news and notes from The New Leaf Journal as well as my plans for The Newsletter Leaf Journal going forward.
Newsletter Leaf Journal Plans
Going forward, I will look to return to a schedule of sending out newsletters every Sunday. On occasion, I may skip a Sunday, but in general, you can expect a newsletter on Sunday afternoons. I will update The Newsletter Leaf Journal sign-up page to clearly reflect this system.
Catching Up On Our New Content
Since the last issue of the newsletter, we published at least five articles each week throughout October, November, and this first week of December, except for one week when we published four. For this particular newsletter, I will not recap our content from October and November, but instead refer you to my comprehensive October month-in-review and November month-in-review posts.
Prior to sending this newsletter, Victor and I published four articles to start December - with a long feature article on fact-checking coming out later today.
I began the month by posting an article about a tall, modern-looking building, looming over a quaint block in the quiet Brooklyn (NY) neighborhood of Carroll Gardens. The picture for the article was the first that I took with my new Kodak PIXPRO AZ421 camera, which I got once I started to have some issues with my old Nikon D40. It came out a touch fuzzy, but Victor did a good job making it presentable. Although Carroll Gardens itself is not a historic district, my article touches briefly on historic districts in Brooklyn, NY - a topic that I will write more about in the future.
Our second December article was a review by Victor of two fancy face-masks with filters. While Victor liked both fancy face-masks, he recommended the HALOmask to his family and to readers. Speaking for myself, I will pass on the HALOmask. The filter sounds cumbersome to me, it is a bit expensive, and were I going somewhere obviously plagued like a hospita emergency room, I would just suffer an N95 mask in place of a plain filter-less cloth mask. But perhaps some mask aficionados among our readership will try the HALOmask. If so, be sure to tell us if you agree with Victor's glowing review in our Guestbook.
In the third article of the week, I posted a fictional dialogue between two characters named "Justin" and "Justina" about how to prepare for a 5% chance of rain. This was my third Justin & Justina post, and I expect to write a couple each month. I never really explained the series, but context is overrated - may as well jump right into it. Of note, the article was accompanied by a picture I took of a rainy day in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. Shortly after taking the picture, I acquired a couple of interesting items at a local antiques and collectibles store in Carroll Gardens. You will learn about one of those two finds later this month, but in the meantime, you can revisit my article about buying a canvas with pressed flowers and a butterfly at the same location.
Finally, I posted an article inspired by a remembrance of a friendship. Thomas Sowell, a renowned economist, commentator, and author, wrote a moving remembrance of his friend Walter E. Williams, a fellow economist, commentator, and author, who passed away on December 2. In my post, I focused on Mr. Sowell's praise of Mr. Williams for keeping his personal opinions out of his classroom at George Mason University, where he taught for many decades, including the day he died. Mr. Sowell's story reminded me of my finest college professor who made a point of teaching what authors conveyed rather than his personal opinions about what authors conveyed.
Past Content You May Have Missed
My new article about Thomas Sowell on Walter Williams was not the first post in which I wrote about Mr. Sowell. On June 30, I commemorated his birthday by discussing a passage from one of his books where he argued that a school cannot function in an orderly way if 10% of its students are "hard-core troublemakers." Not only do I agree with Mr. Sowell, but I also think his observation applies outside the walls of the classroom as well.
It has been a while since Victor wrote about music. Now is as good a time as any to revisit his article on the classic folk ballad, Love Henry. Not only does Victor go into the history of the song with links to nineteenth century literature, but he also includes a video recording of the tune that he performed with fellow musician Mark Caserta. Mr. Carserta set the music to a video of squirrels at play at New York City's famous Greenwood Cemetery. While I am no music video expert, I must say that it is the best visual content for a music video that I ever set eyes upon.
New Plan for Sunday Content
Since I am working on writing newsletters every Sunday, I would rather not have to post a full article as well. This thought reminded me of an idea that I had early in The New Leaf Journal project but had yet to follow through on. Going forward, we will publish a brief digest article every Sunday containing links to interesting articles from around the web. Although we will look for some current links, we may also link to some older internet content. In addition to articles from around the web, I will feature one old New Leaf Journal article in each post.
Late last month, I published my early review of Pixelfed.social, a privacy-friendly social media platform that works similarly to Instagram. My experiences with the platform have continued to be positive, and I have seen some evidence that it has directed some readers to The New Leaf Journal. Remarkably, our Pixelfed account now has nearly twice as many followers as our Twitter account. I am not sure if this is proof that I am bad at Twitter or good at Pixelfed.
In any event, in the article, I noted that Pixelfed seems to have upload limits, and those limits have, on occasion, prevented me from uploading images for a certain period of time. I observed at the time that I was not sure how the limits worked, especially since some users post large batches of images whereas I post only one image at a time. Now, in order to increase exposure for my account, I periodically go through new posts on Pixelfed and "like" aesthetic and interesting pictures while muting advertising accounts. In so doing, I not only express my approval of good content, but also highlight my profile for those same users to see my pictures. Today, while I was liking pictures, I eventually got an error message similar to the "too many requests" error message. It occurred to me that all interactions with Pixelfed, including likes and shares, seem to contribute to the same issue that limits uploads. I will investigate the issue going forward, and perhaps post a new Pixelfed review down the line when I better understand the platform.