Welcome to the 79th edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal, the official newsletter of the humble perennially virid online writing magazine, The New Leaf Journal. This newsletter comes to you as always from the waterproof keyboard of Nicholas A. Ferrell, administrator and editor of The New Leaf Journal. Below, you will find our usual assortment of new articles, articles from around the web, and other news, notes, and recommendations.
Let’s get to it.
I published five regular articles since I wrote to you last.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. April 10, 2022.
I improved our on-site search functionality with a WordPress plugin called Relevanssi. You should find that if you enter a search term, the search will return useful results with your term highlighted (provided we covered your term on The New Leaf Journal). I also highlighted how you can search The New Leaf Journal directly from your browser’s address bar.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. April 12, 2022.
On April 12, 1908, a large fire destroyed about half of Chelsea, Massachusetts. I found a photo book that was published in June 1908 with near-contemporaneous pictures of the damage from the fire and included several of the photos in a short article.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. April 14, 2022.
The male half of our resident fictional dialogue duo, Justin, had just started reading The Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith. He found a particular joke by the husband in the book’s comedic married couple to be hilarious. Naturally, Justin had to tell Justina.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. April 15, 2022.
In my third article covering King Baby graffiti in Brooklyn, I focused on a sticker that someone appended to a King Baby tag in Gowanus. “You can’t fix stupid” - indeed.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. April 16, 2022.
Last year, I wrote an 18,000-plus word article on the life and death of Otho, the second of Rome’s four emperors in 69 A.D. That article relied almost exclusively on ancient histories of Otho’s life and very brief reign. Toward the end of the article, I included Martial’s Epigram on Otho. In this piece, I look a bit more closely at the famous Roman poet’s view of Otho with additional translations that I did not include in last year’s article.
The New Leaf Journal now has a Leaflet Micropost blog built in to the site - see our introduction. Below, I will highlight a few of my leaflet posts from the last week. Some of my leaflets reference materials that will be covered in my Around the Web and News Leaf Journal sections, so I will reserve those for later in the newsletter.
Let’s see what’s going on around the web…
Krista Rogers. April 10, 2022.
I am not a big metaverse guy - I dare say most metaverse ideas are less respectable than bored ape NFTs. But I have no objections about the Hatoverse, a pigeon metaverse.
Jason Perlow. February 10, 2022.
I feel good about my budget solution of banning my TV from the internet and using my computer for the smarts.
Matthew Wise. April 9, 2022.
A short, interesting video making the case for interconnected blogs as a positive alternative to social media. I agree with the thrust of the video, although I am not sure that the private blog software noted at the end would be a practical alternative for most ordinary use cases.
Tara Isabella Burton. April 9, 2022.
An interesting essay examining the 90s and early 00s sitcom, Frasier:
“[I]t was Good. I don’t just mean that it was funny, or that it was well-constructed, or that it was well-acted - although all these things are of course true. Rather, what struck me about Frasier, as a sitcom and more broadly as a peace of art, was the way it constantly, fervently, advocated for human goodness - and used comedy as a way to laugh, lovingly, about human frailty.”
Frasier was indeed good, and I largely agree with Ms. Burton’s assessment. I had a similar prompt for content on a particular late 2000s anime series that may show up on The New Leaf Journal in the coming months. I posted this link for the Frasier essay, but there is a separate interesting essay by a different author in the link.
Laura Lam. April 12, 2022.
A good piece on the life and thought Sun Yat-sen, who led the revolution to overthrow China’s Qing dynasty in 1911.
Geoff Graham. Updated February 7, 2022.
I used this guide to learn how to implement system fonts here at The New Leaf Journal, although we are using serif fonts instead of sans-serif fonts. If you have your own project, system font stacks are worth considering.
Stephanie Pappas. March 22, 2018.
This is why we must respect house centipedes.
Susan Edelman. April 16, 2022.
I may not like filing my tax returns, but it is heartening to know that the money is going to worthy case. Who else but the taxpayers would pay a fraudster his full salary for 7 years to do nothing?
Let’s dig into our archives…
Nicholas A. Ferrell. April 18, 2022.
Otho, Emperor of Rome for three months, took his life 1953 years ago to the day (today for me is April 16, 2022) rather than persist in a civil war. In what is (and shall remain) the longest New Leaf Journal article, I examined the ancient accounts of Otho’s life and death in more than 18,000 words.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. November 29, 2020.
On November 29, 2020, I wrote a response to an article by Victor V. Gurbo about the importance (or lack thereof) of choices and branching paths in narrative video games. I never noticed it register on our page hit counter until last week, when someone shared it to Hacker News. A few people read it. For whatever it is worth, I think that I offered some good takes - notwithstanding the awkward title. (See my leaflet on the HN share.)
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 April 9 to 15 was the fifteenth “Newsletter Week” of 2022. Below, you will find our five most-visited articles of the week.
|Rank (LW)||Article||Author||Pub||22 Top 5|
|1||The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei||NAF||3.14.21||15 (12)|
|2||Recommended F-Droid FOSS Apps For Android-Based Devices (2021||NAF||11.27.21||15 (3)|
|3||Installing Ubuntu Touch on an Asus Nexus 7 (2013||NAF||7.5.21||15|
|4||The Last Stand of Constantine XI||NAF||5.30.20||6|
|5||Using an Amiga OS-Inspired Window Theme in XFCE With XFWM4||NAF||1.2.22||NEW|
Both of our perennial top-two articles had proverbial down weeks, but tsuki ga kirei did enough in the final days to re-take the top spot from my F-Droid app review. My Ubuntu Touch piece, which has become a fixture in third place, was outside the top five through Wednesday, but jumped to third with a strong final two days. The top five was rounded out by the sixth appearance for my 2020 piece on Constantine XI and the top-five debut of my first regular article of 2022, a piece on an Amiga OS-inspired theme for the XFCE desktop environment.
In the grander scheme of things, our views have been a bit low in April compared to March and late February, but I hope that a combination of my changes to the site structure and some new content will set us up for a strong May.
My preferred multi-messenger application, Ferdi, appears to have self-destructed in the last week due to some drama. I do not like having too many chat applications open at once, so I decided to look for a replacement. I decided to try Hamsket - we’ll see how it goes.
This week was much less busy in terms of New Leaf Journal site changes than the previous week. I already noted our improved search functionality and my work on cleaning out our database tables above. There were three other small changes of note:
I will continue streamlining our menu over the next week, but I do not have any major changes planned for the time being.
Thank you as always for reading The Newsletter Leaf Journal. If you enjoyed the content and have not done so already, you can subscribe to this newsletter via email or RSS feed. Next week will be both our 80th newsletter and also our last newsletter before The New Leaf Journal’s second birthday on April 27.
Until next week,
Cura ut valeas (and the best for Easter).