Welcome to the 75th edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal, the official newsletter of your favorite perennially virid online writing magazine, The New Leaf Journal. 75 is a neat number. As always, this newsletter comes to you from the waterproof keyboard of the editor of The New Leaf Journal, Nicholas A. Ferrell. This edition of the newsletter comes packed as always with news from The New Leaf Journal, links from around the web, and other notes and recommendations.
I published five articles since the previous newsletter. You will find the new content, with summaries, below.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. March 14, 2022.
I previously published an article about the questionable implementation of a school dress code with respect to a Japanese student with naturally brown hair. In the long-awaited follow up post, I cover Tokyo’s new dress code policies on hair color and other issues. The report includes some thoughts on the nature and purpose of dress codes, referencing an anime series and the U.S. Constitution. (Talk about variety.)
Nicholas A. Ferrell. March 14, 2022.
Most of my visual novel reviews have covered Japanese visual novels. I broke the trend with a review of Save the Date, a creative (and free) English-language visual novel that was released in 2013. Save the Date, which I had first played about eight years ago, had been on my New Leaf Journal to-do list for a while. I finally got around to running it on my new computer and worked through the quixotic adventure again for a fresh review.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. March 16, 2022.
Original example leaf sketches included.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. March 17, 2022.
The previous article on leaf drawings came from the March 16, 1880 issue of Harper’s Young People. That issue of Harper’s had several pieces worth publishing. In this article, I reprinted its best content - a short poem and three children being rather taken by some beautiful organ music.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. March 18, 2022.
While walking in Brooklyn, I overheard a woman confidently declare that the people were saying that her dog is the mayor of the neighborhood. She also happened to be standing in the middle of the sidewalk with her dog while she made her pronouncement. My commentary was aided by the wisdom of Epictetus. Do note the incredible image I selected for this important local report.
Let’s check in on what’s going on around the world wide web…
Aaron Hertzman. March 17, 2022.
A thought-provoking essay on photography as art.
Sally Ho. March 17, 2022.
One might begin to think that countries should not have acquiesced to holding the Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Oona McGee. March 17, 2022.
If you’re out on the streets of Japan and you come across a lost item, handing it over to police at the nearest koban (police box) is always the right thing to do. That’s what Twitter user Chagashi (@tyag53) and their family did around 20 years ago, when they found a wallet while out on a trip together, and it ended up rewarding them in ways they could never have imagined.
The family received two original hand-pained cels from the Pokémon anime series. This article covers the search for the mysterious wallet owner. The mystery has not yet been solved.
Jason Kotteke. March 15, 2022.
I posted the lost wallet article to Tiny Gem, a new social bookmarking service that I signed up for. I received this article as a recommendation. One thing led to another and now we have a mini theme for the around the web section of this newsletter.
Adam Smith. March 17, 2022.
If only there was some other way to keep your subscribers from unsubscribing.
Associated Press. March 18, 2022.
Sometimes a headline speaks better for itself than anyone can speak for the headline.
waddlesplash. March 7, 2022.
Haiku OS is an alternative operating system that, unlike most alternative home operating systems, is not based on Linux. It is based on the former BeOS, an operating system of 1990s vintage. I tried it very briefly once and came away impressed. I may look to do an actual review in the future.
Megan Hughes. February 8, 2022.
Plants are ready. Spring is upon us. Speaking of which…
This is our final winter newsletter until next year. Spring is in the air. I may have some spring content from the past to share.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. March 21, 2021.
I began last year’s spring with a kitchen sink article full of spring poems and content spanning 18th century botanical periodicals to early 2000s anime.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. May 22, 2021.
A brown leaf floating in crystal clear water in May 2019. There is some seasonal confusion in what I count as one of the better photos that I got out of my BlackBerry Classic.
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 March 12 to March 18 was the eleventh “Newsletter Week” of 2022. Below, you will find our five most-visited articles of the week.
The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. March 14, 2021.
Last Week: #1.
2022 Top Fives: 11 (9 in first place).
Recommended F-Droid FOSS Apps For Android-Based Devices (2021).
Nicholas A. Ferrell. November 27, 2021.
Last Week: #2.
2022 Top Fives: 11 (2 in first place).
Installing Ubuntu Touch on an Asus Nexus 7 (2013).
Nicholas A. Ferrell. July 5, 2021.
Last Week: #3.
2022 Top Fives: 11.
Peekier Search Engine Review.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. February 28, 2022.
Last Week: #4.
2022 Top Fives: 2.
How to Find Substack RSS Feeds and Other Notes.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. June 19, 2021.
Last Week: #5.
2022 Top Fives: 8.
After several weeks of turnover in the 4th and 5th slots on our ranking, our entire top five from newsletter week 10 returned for week 11. My tsuki ga kirei article had one of its best weeks of 2022, re-solidifying its hold on the top spot in our weekly rankings for the week that included the one-year anniversary of its original publication.
One notable performance from the week was last Saturday’s post on dress code issues in Japan. While it was a good ways off from cracking the top-five, it finished a very solid tenth place in its debut week and had the fourth strongest first week of an article in 2022.
I covered several small web search engines last weekend in The Newsletter Leaf Journal LXXIV. This week, I came across a new and niche search engine called Alexandria Search on a post about privacy-friendly search engines. I decided to submit the Alexandria Search to Hacker News. The post surged to the front page and the traffic seems to have had briefly taken the Alexandria Search page down. However, the discussion is interested and the developer of Alexandria Search chimed in. I have not had much time to test it yet - but you may give it a try. Perhaps I will review it later this year.
I conducted some more work behind the scenes at The New Leaf Journal.
Firstly, I revived the Contact Form that we had been using for much of 2021. At the moment, our web server does not send emails. From my vantage point, this was a non-issue for the Contact Form since I can read the submissions from our WordPress back-end. However, the Contact Form always tries to send an email to an admin account - and it shows the user an error message if it cannot do so. I got around this problem by changing the error message to a generic “thank you for your submission” message.
Beyond the re-worked Contact page, I made a few changes to make the site perform better - especially on mobile devices. If you experience any strange issues, do let me know via the Contact Form and I will look into it (however, as far as I have tested, everything works well).
Finally, I am slowly working on adding more content to the descriptions for our category and tag pages. While the primary purpose of this is for search engine indexing, you may start to notice more robust descriptions for categories and tags when you navigate to find content.
Thank you for joining me for the 75th edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal. If you enjoyed the content, consider signing up for our weekly newsletter via email or RSS (NLJ sign-up page).
Until next week - Cura ut valeas.