Welcome to the 52nd 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. The last week at The New Leaf Journal was not particularly eventful, but I nevertheless published five new articles for your reading enjoyment. I will write about those articles as well as offer some article recommendations around the web and other news and notes in this humble newsletter.
Below, I provide summaries of my five articles from the past week, along with links.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. September 27, 2021.
In an earlier newsletter, one of my recommended articles from around the web was a developer’s first-hand account of sending the last message on AIM, AOL’s former instant messaging service. I said in that past newsletter that I would write an article about the end of AIM in the future. The future finally arrived - those of you who are familiar with AIM can imagine the door-opening sound effect when you follow the link to my full article.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. September 28, 2021.
Those of you who had a chance to read my last newsletter learned about the closing of the Guestbook before I posted my article on the subject. This article includes links to our Guestbook archives, preserved for posterity on the Internet Archive. I have an idea for a dynamic replacement for our Guestbook, but it will not be implemented until late 2021 or early 2022. In the meantime, feel free to contact us through our online Contact Form.
September 30, 2021. Nicholas A. Ferrell.
As always, I brought the month to a close with my month-in-review piece. This review is better reading than most, however, it includes a detailed list of content you can look forward to in October and our full monthly and quarterly content rankings. I was quite surprised to see a previously little-read February article about anime hair color make the top-10 most-read article list for September.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. October 1, 2021.
I ushered in October by reprinting a pretty 19th century poem about autumn. Its subject was quite betrayed by the title. Unlike many of the old magazine poems, this one did not come with its own image. Instead, I used John Everett Millais’s beautiful Autumn Leaves to illustrate the post.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. October 2, 2021.
The same magazine that hosted Autumn had a list of recipes for young readers to make for the sick. I reprinted the recipes in their entirety and appended my own thoughts on each. Despite being concerned about the raw beef in one recipe, most of the recipes were more than acceptable. I was satisfied with the collection of images I put together to illustrate the article.
Let’s check in on the internet…
Dennis Schubert. January 1, 2020.
Mr. Dennis Schubert wrote his assessment of alternative social media in the previous decade, although he incorrectly placed the end of the decade at 2020 (see my Old Leaf Journal post in the next section). But that joke aside, Mr. Schubert made some compelling points - I will have something to say on this subject before the end of the first year of the new decade.
James V. Grimaldi, Coulter Jones, and Joe Palazzo. September 28, 2021.
While few if any of the examples cited to in the article leave one with the impression that the financial conflicts affected the disposition of particular cases, the Federal courts ought to get this issue under control.
Q4OS. Last Updated May 2020.
Q4OS is a lightweight Linux distribution that touts itself as being user-friendly, Windows-like, and a good choice for reviving old hardware. You can see its features with screenshots here. In the manual I linked to, Q4OS shows an easy way for Windows-users to try the distribution - one can download the operating system as a zip file and install it as a second operating system (without affecting Windows) without burning it to a USB. They also published a YouTube guide. I would be tempted to test it out, but I no longer have any computers that run Windows. If anyone decides to give it a spin, let me know how it goes in our Contact Form.
Oona McGee. September 30, 2021.
Turning a 2D piece of paper into a 3D room model is clever. Is it actually helpful for drawing interior scenes? I am not the person to ask…
Reuters. September 22, 2021.
You don’t say.
Paul Skallas. August 10, 2020.
“Something happened in the mid 2000s and I don’t know what. But there has not been any changeover since then. If you think back to the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, there is clear change in mass culture. But somewhere around 2006, everything stayed the same. It is currently 2020. People are wearing the same skinny jeans, the same type of haircuts. There [are] still comic book movies being made, etc.”
A thought-provoking piece.
Now for an article from our archive…
Nicholas A. Ferrell. December 12, 2020.
Since the first of my recommended articles from around the web staked the view that the current decade is best conceived as having begun in 2020, I could not pass up the chance to recommend my article from last December making the case that this year - 2021 - is best thought of as the first year of a new decade.
Every Saturday newsletter, I list the most-visited articles since our previous newsletter. These “Newsletter Week” rankings cover the period beginning with Saturday and ending with the next Friday. The period beginning with September 25 and ending with October 1 is the 39th such “Newsletter Week” of 2021. Below, you will find our most-visited articles of Newsletter Week 39.
“The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei” (No Change)
Nicholas A. Ferrell. March 14, 2021.
Weeks in top five: 24 (12 in first)
“Persona 4 Golden Digital Artbook Review (Steam)” (No Change)
Nicholas A. Ferrell. November 15, 2020.
Weeks in top five: 32 (6 in first)
“Installing Ubuntu Touch on an Asus Nexus 7 (2013)” (Change +3)
Nicholas A. Ferrell. July 5, 2021.
Weeks in top five: 8
“Reviewing the HALOmask and är Mask” (No Change)
Victor V. Gurbo. December 2, 2020.
Weeks in top five: 32 (10 in first)
“How to Find Substack RSS Feeds and Other Notes” (No Change)
Nicholas A. Ferrell. June 19, 2021.
Weeks in top five: 5
My review of our September article ranking on Thursday (September 30) focused on surprises. There were no surprises in the 39th Newsletter Week. Four of the five articles held their exact positions from week 38, with the only change being last week’s third place article on Blob Dylan falling to 7th and being replaced by my article on installing Ubuntu Touch on a Nexus 7, which had one of its better weeks. As for articles on the outside looking in, my May 2020 article about the last stand of Constantine XI was close to returning to the ranking for the first time in a couple of months.
With the Persona 4 Golden sale having just ended, we can expect to see my Persona 4 Golden artbook review return to Earth until the next sale. I have some big projects planned to shake up our rankings in the last quarter of 2021, but we can expect to see an interesting contest next week behind my March article on Tsuki ga Kirei, which led the ranking by a wide margin for the fourth week in a row. In another notable achievement, Tsuki ga Kirei broke a record it shared with Victor’s mask review for the most consecutive weeks in our top five in 2021 - notching its 24th consecutive appearance.
As always, I begin to wrap the newsletter up with some news, notes, and anecdotes.
When I wrote my first article about “Blob Dylan” graffiti back in February, I did not expect it to garner much attention, much less for it to become a series. Yet, as of October 2, 2021, my two articles on Blob Dylan are our 9th and 14th most-read articles in 2021 thus far - with the second Blob Dylan post having the higher ranking.
My second Blob Dylan article caught the attention of a reader who hails from Florida. This reader provided me with some tips about the origin of the Blob Dylan graffiti and the mysterious figure behind it. I am now working on a new Blob Dylan article in a continuing effort to make The New Leaf Journal the world’s leading Blob Dylan authority. You can expect to read this article later this month (if you are reading this newsletter after October 2021, the article is likely available here.
The following story is more of an anecdote, but the line between “notable” and “anecdote” here is more than a bit nebulous.
In addition to going to high school together, my New Leaf Journal colleague Victor V. Gurbo and I both went to Brooklyn College. Victor, however, was accepted into a special honors program. One perk he received was a very low-powered mid-2000s Macbook.
Out of curiosity, I asked him if he still had it. He said that he did, but that it no longer charged. No matter, I thought - we could revive it with a lightweight Linux distribution.
It turned out Victor was wrong - his ancient Macbook charges fine. However, there was another issue - it did not recognize the USB I created with an ISO for Bodhi Linux as a bootable device. I did not know why. Victor left the Macbook with me to figure it out.
After an arduous process, I found a solution to the peculiarity in how certain Macbooks from the mid-2000s are designed for purpose of installing Linux. Hence, it is no longer a Macbook, but now a “BodhiBook.” By the time many of you read this newsletter - there will already be a comprehensive article on the BodhiBook experiment. Time is of the essence, for it is returning home in the near future.
Earlier this week (as in about 30 seconds ago), I wrote a long anecdote in my newsletter, but put it in the “notable” section instead of the “anecdote” section.
Last Sunday, I walked somewhere in the range of 15 miles to go see three cows from the 2021 New York City “Cow Parade” in Manhattan. You can expect to see a few photos on The New Leaf Journal this week.
The New Leaf Journal made significant strides in 2021, but the foundation for our progress was my working to produce an article every day in September 2020. While none of those September articles other than my review of the end of the Western Roman Empire (17th most-viewed article in 2021 thus far) left much of an impression individually, the consistent and varied output set us up for bigger things.
This year, I am looking forward to a big push in October and November to produce several new foundational articles that will bring readers with a variety of interests to The New Leaf Journal - wherein they may find interesting articles that are a bit less likely to turn up on Google. This work will help set up some bigger changes to The New Leaf Journal and related projects as we turn the calendar to 2022.
Until next week, I retreat to work on some of those articles.
Cura ut valeas.