Welcome to the 50th edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal, the official letter of the perennially virid online writing magazine, The New Leaf Journal. As was the case with the first 49 newsletters, this publication comes to you from the waterproof keyboard of the editor of The New Leaf Journal, Nicholas A. Ferrell. 50 newsletters - that is a good number. Before reaching the newsletter festivities, I will recap our new articles, suggest good content from around the web, and post our most-read articles from the seven days preceding this humble edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal.
Let’s get to it.
The last week was a busy one with the publication of six new articles.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. September 12, 2021.
I concluded the previous week with an article on excessively bright headlights in Brooklyn, New York. My new Justin and Justina article focuses on the same subject - with Justin attempting to explain to Justina why the car headlights became so bright. Their unproductive dialogue concludes with a callback to Justina’s existential social media misery.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. September 13, 2021.
A short article on a nineteenth century children’s poem by Margaret E. Sangster, accompanied by the illustration that was published with it.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. September 14, 2021.
I took several photos of a goose family in front of a power plant in Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn, on May 12. In previous issues of the newsletter, I teased an article about it. I finally got around to choosing the best images from my set and publishing them in a short article. There may be follow-up goose articles in store.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. September 16, 2021.
I’m not saying that I am a hero. But would a hero have acted any differently than I did when I rescued a lost ladybug that was walking on my television? Read and discuss.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. September 17, 2021.
I came across an 1895 article about New York City carrier pigeons. How could I pass up a chance to write about that? The 1895 article also came with photographs. As you will see, this carrier pigeon content spawned two follow-ups. One is discussed below, and the other will be published on September 19.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. September 18, 2021.
The aforementioned 1895 article about carrier pigeons included a story about an 11-year-old boy and his two homing pigeons - with a picture of the boy’s two pigeons included. Without spoiling the content, I will say that while you can take a pigeon away from its home, that does not guarantee that the pigeon will not return home.
To accompany our six new articles from the past week, I present six recommended articles from around the web.
Sushruta. July 13, 2021.
A blogger who goes by Shushruta wrote a post on private search engines. I thank this blogger for linking to my article on the same subject. This post covers all of the search engines that I wrote about in addition to a few additional ones that I had not heard of before.
Declan Walsh and Eric Schmitt. September 10, 2021 (updated Sep. 16).
On September 5, 2021, about 100 Guinean soldiers led by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya led a successful coup wherein they arrested Guinea’s now-former president and declared Mr. Doumbouya as the new leader of Guinea.
Guinea is a former French colony. Mr. Doumbouya, a veteran of the French Foreign Legion, is a dual-citizen of France and Guinea. He is married to a French citizen who serves in the National Gendarmerie. In light of all these facts, it is no surprise that there are articles that speculate whether there was foreign involvement in the coup.
Wait, this article is about the United States? Not France?
“But on Friday American officials said they were puzzled why he would choose to mount a coup at a moment when he was working closely with Americans.”
As hard as it may be to believe for officials and reporters outside of Guinea, it is entirely possible that the reasons for the coup had more to do with events inside Guinea than foreign affairs.
Chris Jewers. September 11, 2021 (updated Sep. 15).
It is perhaps no surprise that having authored an article in May 2020 on a closely-related topic, I am not at all surprised by these new findings.
Jonathan Greig. September 16, 2021.
I am no slot machine expert. I have never set foot in a casino. Having made these concessions… medical records? I second the questions about this story from Pixy Mesa of Ambient Irony.
Staff. September 14, 2021.
Stepping into the void.
Katie Pask. September 17, 2021.
Vending machines may not be Japan’s main cultural export. But let no one say that Japan is more creative in any other area.
Now for an article from our achive…
Nicholas A. Ferrell. August 16, 2020.
This week’s articles about pigeons cover birds that always find their way home. However, I have a number of articles about birds that lack the refined homing instinct of the pigeon - see my Lost Birds tag. One of our earliest lost bird articles covered the story of a lost emu in New Jersey.
For each Saturday newsletter, I review our most-visited articles from the seven-day period preceding the mailing of the newsletter (starting with the previous Saturday and ending with Friday). The period beginning with September 11, 2021, and ending September 17, was the 37th such “newsletter week” of 2021. Below, you will find our most-read articles with additional information about each article.
“The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei” (No Change)
Nicholas A. Ferrell. March 14, 2021.
Weeks in top five: 22 (10 in first)
“Installing Ubuntu Touch on an Asus Nexus 7 (2013)” (Change +3)
Nicholas A. Ferrell. July 5, 2021.
Weeks in top five: 7
“A Follow-Up Post on the Meaning of ‘Blob Dylan’” (Change +6)
Nicholas A. Ferrell. April 12, 2021.
Weeks in top five: 7
“Reviewing the HALOmask and är Mask” (Change -2)
Victor V. Gurbo. December 2, 2020.
Weeks in top five: 31 (10 in first)
“How to Find Substack RSS Feeds and Other Notes” (Change -2)
Nicholas A. Ferrell. June 19, 2021.
Weeks in top five: 4
My Tsuki ga Kirei article held the top spot for the second consecutive week with its strongest single-week performance on record.
My second Blob Dylan article returned to the top five for the first time since August, posting its best week in terms of page views. It slotted in behind my post on installing UBports on a Nexus 7, which also posted its strongest week on record.
Victor’s mask review and my post on RSS feeds for Substack newsletters held the last two spots to remain in the top five for another week.
One of the most notable developments of the past week was the sixth=place artcle - my February 9 review of a short visual novel called LoveChoice. To the best of my recollection, it had never threatened an appearance before. Yet this week it was in the top five through the better part of Wednesday, and it would have made the list in some weaker weeks. At first I was not sure what accounted for the strong week, but I concluded that it was likely the release of the game - which had previously only been available for computers - on the Nintendo Switch.
50 is a nice round number. Since this is the 50th newsletter, I will do something a bit different than usual for its penultimate section.
I started The Newsletter Leaf Journal in July 2020 using the Tiny Letter newsletter service. It was serviceable, but after a formatting issue in one September newsletter, I put the newsletter project on ice until December 2020. It is for that reason that it took us a bit longer than one would expect to reach newsletter 50.
It also took a bit for me to figure out what precisely to do with the newsletter. In August 2020, I decided to use the newsletter to replace the old “week in review” articles that I wrote in the early days of the site. In early 2021, I incorporated another article series - recommended articles from around the web - into the newsletter (while turning on-site around the web posts into more focused pieces).
The biggest change to the newsletter was moving from Tiny Letter to Buttondown in early 2021. While Tiny Letter was serviceable, Buttondown is a vastly superior newsletter service in all respects other than not allowing as many subscribers on a free plan (this is no issue for us at the moment, however - but feel free to tell your friends so we can make it an issue).
While The Newsletter Leaf Journal is very much a part of The New Leaf Journal rather than its own entity, I have worked to make the newsletter worthwhile reading in and of itself. I hope to continue to improve it as we move on beyond issue 50 next week - when I will have some additional updates and projects external to The New Leaf Journal to share here in The Newsletter Leaf Journal.
Until Newsletter 51,
Cura ut valeas.
Caption: Smiling at our readers 50 times.