The Newsletter Leaf Journal LXXI 〜 We don't have a TikTok
Welcome to the 71st edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal, the official newsletter of the perennially virid online writing magazine, The New Leaf Journal. As always, this newsletter comes to you from the waterproof keyboard of the administrator and editor of The New Leaf Journal, Nicholas A. Ferrell. For today’s newsletter, I have the usual assortment of New Leaf Journal news and updates, content and recommendations from around the web, and many leaf puns.
Table of Contents
- Leaves From The Week That Was
- Leaves From Around The Web
- The Old Leaf Journal
- Most-Turned Leaves Of The Newsletter Week
- Notable Leaf Journal
- News Leaf Journal
- Taking Leaf
1. Leaves From The Week That Was
I published five new articles since the previous newsletter. You will find brief synopses and links below.
“A Harmless Error in the Bromite Repository”
Nicholas A. Ferrell. February 13, 2022.
I use the Bromite web browser on my Android-based devices. A persistent update notice alerted me to the fact that my current version of Bromite was dated as having been released in 1970. I wrote about the anatomy of a harmless error.
“Justin and Justina 〜 A Christmas Card For Valentine’s Day”
Nicholas A. Ferrell. February 14, 2022.
On December 23, a conversation between our resident fictional dialogue duo, Justin and Justina, revealed that Justina never checks her mail. At the end of the dialogue, she told Justin that she looked forward to opening his Christmas card around Valentine’s Day. Was that promise fulfilled?
“‘My First Muff’ - A Children’s Poem”
Nicholas A. Ferrell. February 15, 2022.
I reprinted a poem about a cat in a muff in January. Continuing the trend, I reprinted a very imaginative poem about a little girl and her first muff for February.
“The New Leaf Journal’s Humane SEO Framework Sitemap”
Nicholas A. Ferrell. February 17, 2022.
I changed the SEO plugin that we use on our WordPress site from Yoast to The SEO Framework. In this post, I discuss and link to the interesting and humane (as in for humans) sitemap that The SEO Framework is generating for The New Leaf Journal. Now if only I do not keep getting disconnected from my premium account (but that is a separate matter).
“On Children, TikTok, and Social Media Stardom”
Nicholas A. Ferrell. February 19, 2022.
In November 2020, I published an essay arguing against sharing photos of children on the internet. The article boiled down to a case for autonomy and letting children learn to think and feel for themselves instead of sharing them with the world. Using a new story as a prompt, I discuss the pitfalls of allowing children to pursue internet stardom with no meaningful adult guidance or supervision.
I also once again call for TikTok to be banned - but there is a broader point this time.
2. Leaves From Around The Web
Let’s see what’s going on around the world wide web…
SoraNews24: “Our reporter shares her reflections on competitive karuta playing manga Chihayafuru ending soon”
Krista Rogers. February 14, 2022.
Chihayafuru is a Japanese manga (think comic) series about competitive karuta. Karuta is a game wherein two players face off over cards that display Japanese poems, and try to pick off each card as it is read by a reader. You can find a better explanation on Wikipedia.
In this post, a reporter discusses her thoughts on the Chihayafuru manga series coming to an end after running for more than 14 years.
“While the classical Japanese anthology of one hundred waka poems (Ogura Hyakunin Isshu, which serves as the basis for a standard deck of karuta), is fairly well-known these days, 15 years ago that was not the case. Even within the Japanese Literature Department, only one or two students picked it as a topic for their graduation theses each year. However, just in this span of time, the game has become so popular! My high school-teacher friend said that competitive karuta is apparently now even a common after-school club activity at many schools. It’s not an exaggeration to say that this is due to the influence of Chihayafuru.”
It is interesting to read about the downstream effects of Chihayafuru’s popularity in Japan.
I have not read Chihayafuru, but I did watch the three seasons of the anime that aired. I liked it well enough, especially the first season, to include it as a secondary recommendation in my list recommended anime of the 2011-2020 decade (scroll down to find Chihayafuru).
Hacker News: “Help HN: Can’t Open Childhood Files”
twooclock. February 19, 2022.
The poster here asked Hacker News readers for help in trying to open files that he or she had saved in the early 1990s. The issue itself is interesting - and you can read the responses to learn more about the particulars. The situation presents a good lesson for today. When considering how to save documents and other files for the long term, consider how those documents and files are being saved. Are they being saved in a format that is likely to still be in use 20 years from now? Or are they being saved in a way that is tied to an application that may not exist in two years?
Politico: “My journey down the rabbit hole of every journalist’s favorite app”
Phelim Kine. February 16, 2022.
Many journalists use an app called otter.ai to transcribe oral interviews. In this article, it occurs to a journalist to wonder how Otter stores data - especially in cases where confidentiality is important.
Bleeping Computer: “Google Drive flats macOS ‘.DS_Store’ files for copyright violation”
Ax Sharma. February 18, 2022.
I neither use MacOS nor a desktop version of Google Drive. However, I thought this post may contain some valuable information for readers who use these Google Drive with MacOS.
AP (via The Washington Times): “U.S. approves new headlights that won’t blind oncoming drivers”
Tom Kirshner. February 15, 2022.
This sounds like good news. However, I am disappointed to see that the article does not directly discuss how absurdly bright headlights can blind pedestrians, an issue so near and dear to my heart that I covered it here at The New Leaf Journal in a serious post and a humorous dialogue.
Nintendo Life: “Video Game History Foundation Calls Out Nintendo’s ‘Destructive’ 3DS & Wii U eShop Closure”
Liam Doolan. February 17, 2022.
I recently praised Nintendo for seeming to commit to supporting the Switch as its flagship console for several more years. However, the criticisms of how Nintendo is handling the closure of its eShops for its predecessor consoles - Wii U and 3DS - with respect to games that are only available in digital form from those eShops, are entirely justified.
New York Post: “Man punches 4-year old, kicks cop in afternoon Times Square attack”
Larry Celona, Steven Vago, and Jesse O’Neill. February 19, 2022.
“An unhinged man with a history of attacking strangers randomly slugged a 4-year-old boy in the head in Times Square — then promptly got lit up like the lights on Broadway by two women, with the child’s mother also stepping in to help restrain him until officers arrived, law enforcement sources and prosecutors said.”
The child’s mother and the other good Samaritan should have not been placed in the position of subduing a violent criminal who was prowling the streets despite having “three open misdemeanors for ‘assaulting strangers’ dating back to the summer, including two in the past month…” But when law enforcement fails to do its job, ordinary citizens are called upon protect themselves and their loved ones. I have nothing but respect for the child’s mother and the other woman for acting swiftly and bravely.
AP (via The Washington Times): “Ex-rep Anthony Weiner to host radio show with Curtis Sliwa”
Karen Matthews. February 11, 2022.
3. The Old Leaf Journal
Let’s dig into The New Leaf Journal archives…
“Photographing a Squirrel Kiss in Three Acts”
Nicholas A. Ferrell. February 14, 2021.
How did I not submit my squirrel kiss photography triumph as an Old Leaf Journal post last week? Better late than never, I suppose.
“A Walker’s Review of BLUPOND’s Knight Vision Night Driving Glasses”
Nicholas A. Ferrell. November 13, 2021.
I usually do not post recent articles in The Old Leaf Journal section. However, since I included news about headlights earlier, I will make an exception here.
4. Most-Turned Leaves Of The Newsletter Week
I list our most-visited articles of the previous week in each newsletter. In keeping with our newsletter schedule, these “Newsletter Weeks” begin with Saturday and end on Friday. The statistics come courtesy of our local and privacy-friendly analytics solution, Koko Analytics - which I reviewed on site.
The week of February 12-18 was the seventh Newsletter week of 2022. Below, you will find our five most-read articles of the week.
(Note: I accidentally wrote “January” instead of “February” in last week’s newsletter and “six” articles instead of “five” - I corrected those errors in the archived version of the newsletter.)
The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. March 14, 2021.
Last Week: #1.
2022 Top Fives: 7 (7 in first).
Notes: 24 consecutive weeks at #1.
Recommended F-Droid FOSS Apps For Android-Based Devices (2021).
Nicholas A. Ferrell. November 27, 2021.
Last Week: #2.
2022 Top Fives: 7.
Installing Ubuntu Touch on an Asus Nexus 7 (2013).
Nicholas A. Ferrell. July 5, 2021.
Last Week: #3.
2022 Top Fives: 7.
The Last Stand of Constantine XI.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. May 30, 2020.
Last Week: #8.
2022 Top Fives: First 2022 appearance.
Performing Site-Specific Searches With DuckDuckGo.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. August 8, 2021.
Last Week: #6.
2022 Top Fives: First 2022 appearance.
While there was no change in our weekly top three, this week’s top five is notable for the absence of my post on RSS feeds for Substack newsletters, which missed what would have been its 26th consecutive top five appearance by one spot, finishing in sixth place. However, it is sure to return in future weeks. It’s 25-straight top fives represented our second longest streak dating back to 2021 - behind the ongoing 43-week streak by my tsuki ga kirei article.
Two articles made their 2022 debuts this week - raising the number of articles that have appeared in the top five this year to nine. My May 2020 article on Constantine XI’s last stand made its first appearance of 2022 after appearing in the top 5 on 20 occasions in 2021. The more notable debut is that of my article on domain-specific DuckDuckGo searches. That post appeared in the weekly top five for the week it was published in August 2021, but made no subsequent appearances until this week. However, while it had been shut out of weekly top fives for six months, it made four monthly top-12 appearances in August, September, and October (2021) and January (2022).
5. Notable Leaf Journal
Where I recommend a tool or resource from around the web…
Today’s recommendation is Mr. Matt Webb’s About Feeds. This is a simple one-page website that explains RSS feeds for newcomers. The New Leaf Journal is a proponent of RSS feeds. We have an entire page with links to our feeds and you can even subscribe to this newsletter via RSS. I have some RSS content in store for you for the next couple of weeks, so Mr. Webb’s RSS explanation is a good place to get started if you are not too familiar with feeds and feed readers.
6. News Leaf Journal
I made several changes and additions to The New Leaf Journal during the last week.
Firstly, I moved our search bar back to our sidebar for desktop sites (it wlll appear below the content on small screens). I also added a navigation menu to our sidebar.
I updated our RSS Feeds page to include links to a number of free and open source RSS feed readers for all platforms. I figured that if I am pitching our RSS feeds, I ought to provide people with applications to use to follow them.
Continuing the RSS trend, I created a new page that includes links to other places that I publish online with RSS feeds. This page instantly pulls links to my new posts - so you can follow my content around the web from one place (even if you do not use an RSS reader). You will note that the first two things I link, my The Emu Café Club site and my new NAF Musings site have not been much discussed at The New Leaf Journal. I will discuss both projects in the future - so you can consider this an early preview for New Leaf Journal readers.
We may add a similar page for my colleague, Victor V. Gurbo, in the near future.
In a fun addition to The New Leaf Journal, I created a humans.txt file for the site. You can find this file at https://thenewleafjournal.com/humans.txt. I will write a short article explaining why we have this by the end of the month.
7. Taking Leaf
Thank you as always for reading and following The Newsletter Leaf Journal and The New Leaf Journal. If you have not done so already, you can subscribe to our weekly newsletter via email or RSS if you enjoy the content. I look forward to writing to everyone again next Saturday as we bring February to a close and look forward to March.
Until next week,
Cura ut valeas.