Welcome to the 81st edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal, the official newsletter of the perennially virid online writing magazine, The New Leaf Journal. If you are finding this newsletter in your inbox or feed reader, I can only hope that you subscribed. If you are reading this newsletter through other means, I hope the forthcoming content convinces you to sign up for our weekly updates via email or RSS. This newsletter, like all of our newsletters, comes courtesy of the waterproof keyboard of the editor of The New Leaf Journal, Nicholas A. Ferrell.
Today’s newsletter will have the usual assortment of recaps of our articles, links from around the web, and news related to our humble online magazine.
I published five articles since last week’s newsletter. Let’s see what was happening at The New Leaf Journal.
|3.24||N.A.F.||Unboxing an Usaburo Kokeshi Doll|
|3.25||N.A.F.||Noncitizen Nationals as Immigrant Visa Petitioners|
|3.26||N.A.F.||The Best Anime Series of 2021|
|3.27||N.A.F.||Justin, Justina, and the Eraser’s Birthday|
|3.29||N.A.F.||Biden, Lincoln, and Counting Back From the President’s Birth|
My first article of the week was a humorous affair. I never quite understood “unboxing” videos. But they seem to be popular in some circles. I had a lovely new kokeshi doll in an aesthetic box. Why not create an unboxing photoshoot article? I did not come up with an answer to dissuade me.
On Monday, I wrote my first article on immigration law in a long while. One niche area of immigration law that interests me is that of noncitizen nationality. A very small number of Americans almost exclusively from American Samoa are U.S. nationals but not citizens. I examined a very interesting pair of Board of Immigration Appeals decisions from 1975 and 1956 that established rules governing family sponsored immigrant visa petitions filed by noncitizen nationals on behalf of aliens. This article was re-tweeted by the head of Bender’s Immigration Bulletin on Twitter. I will mark that down as one of the coolest New Leaf Journal shares. Unfortunately, my analytics logs indicate that not many lawyers get their immigration news from Twitter (that isn’t a bad thing - to be sure).
I had originally planned to publish my review of 2021 in anime in December 2021. Somehow, I did not publish the article until Tuesday, April 26, 2022. Strange. In any event, I listed in brief my top series from 2015-2020 before listing my top five series from 2021 in much more detail. The article concluded with honorable mentions from 2021 and category-specific awards. I look forward to publishing my 2022 year in review in December 2022. (Also see my early thoughts on anime in 2022 in a leaflet micropost.)
April 27 marked the second birthday of The New Leaf Journal. I was not sure what to do to mark the occasion. In the end, seeing as I recently wrote a 500th article piece that delved into some notable history from our first two years, I decided to mark the occasion with a new Justin and Justina dialogue about a birthday story. (Also see my birthday leaflet micropost).
After taking Thursday off from posting, I published an interesting study yesterday (April 29). I learned recently that President Joe Biden was born in closer proximity to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln than to his own inauguration. If you take the time that elapsed from Mr. Biden’s birth to his inauguration and then apply that same time in counting backwards from his birth, the end date lands in 1864 during Lincoln’s presidency. I decided to perform the same math for the last 21 presidents (including Mr. Biden). In the article you will find the results in a table along with my thoughts.
I published 11 leaflet microposts since our last newsletter. I linked to two of the microposts above and I will link to others in other sections of this newsletter. Below, I will cover several microposts that do not appear elsewhere in then newsletter.
Let’s see what’s going on around the world wide web…
Carnegie Hall. April 28, 2022.
Our own Victor V. Gurbo will make his Carnegie Hall debut on June 2, 2022, as part of a double-bill concert with Phil Robinson. Victor will be joined by his band, Victor V. Gurbo & Co (Jason Laney on piano, Kenny Lee on guitar, Mark Caserta on bass guitar, and Evan Seymour on drums). New Leaf Journal readers have heard Victor and Mark Caserta perform together on video, now you can see them and the whole band at Carnegie Hall. Tickets are available in the story link for $20. Congratulations to Victor for the big upcoming show.
Also see my leaflet micropost.
Conor Skelding and Melissa Klein. April 30, 2022.
“‘The train conductor matter-of-factly announced that we were delayed because a chicken was crossing the tracks with a chick behind it’…”
I can see how this very short story ended up with two author bylines. A person only has so many chances to write “Why did the chicken cross the rails?” as an article lede.
James A. Nollet. April 28, 2022.
“The bow-tied Yalie was right. State was a bad fit for yours truly. The bow-tied Yalie did me a favor by declining my application.”
Sometimes failing may work out for the best.
Oona McGee. April 29, 2022.
I must take a moment to note that the can containing the cream and sponge cake is very aesthetic.
Seth Barron. April 28, 2022.
For the assailants, however—generally seriously mentally ill, or with extensive criminal records, or both—little about these incidents deserves the label ‘random.’ Certainly, nothing is random about their choice of prey. If street violence were truly random, we would expect the occasional assault on a strapping young bodybuilder, or a brawny retired ironworker. But those people never seem to be ‘randomly’ attacked. Instead, victims of street assaults are generally vulnerable: women (often petite), older men, or the disabled or indigent.
I was starting to wonder if I was the only one to notice that there are definite trends in the profiles of victims of “random” street crime in my home city.
Thomas Claburn. April 26, 2022.
“Apple requires that competing mobile browsers distributed through the iOS App Store use its own WebKit rendering engine, which is the basis of its Safari browser. The result is that Chrome, Edge, and Firefox on iOS are all, more or less, Safari.”
While there are different browsers on iOS, they are all tied to the same rendering engine that Safari uses. According to the report, European Union regulators are taking a negative view of iOS’s browser restrictions.
Crunchroll. Updated April 26, 2022.
A small anime PSA. I explained the news as well as its relevance to watching some of the anime series I featured in my 2021 ranking in a leaflet micropost.
Kat. April 30, 1999.
Meet a long-haired cat that lived outdoors in Seldovia, Alaska, in 1999.
Let’s dig into our archives…
|1.4.21||VVG||Why Vintage Guitars Sound Better|
|5.30.21||NAF||On Oscar De La Hoya’s Comeback From Retirement|
|5.2.20||NAF||Against Half-Way Yogurt Thievery|
Victor V. Gurbo’s January 2021 article on the special qualities of vintage guitars became our first article to be shared twice on Hacker News. The first share, which occurred in March 2021, helped place it among our 15 most-read articles of 2021. While I am not sure that it will repeat the feat in 2022, the share did propel it into our weekly top-five.
Last year, I wrote an article about legendary boxer Oscar De La Hoya’s plans to return to the ring at age 48, more than a decade after he retired in the wake of a decisive loss. I questioned the wisdom of Mr. De La Hoya’s action. His comeback attempt was shelved when he became quite sick, but he fortunately recovered and has not revived his plans for a return to the ring as a fighter.
Finally, our second birthday made me think of The New Leaf Journal’s early days. The third article in our Old Leaf Journal section is my very first signed New Leaf Journal article - an anecdotal essay about the horrors of partial yogurt thievery at Brooklyn grocery stores.
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 23-29 was the seventeenth newsletter week of 2022.
|1||The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei||NAF||3.14.21||17 (14)|
|2||Recommended F-Droid FOSS Apps For Android-Based Devices||NAF||11.27.21||17 (3)|
|3||Installing Ubuntu Touch on an Asus Nexus 7||NAF||7.5.21||17|
|4||Why Vintage Guitars Sound Better||VVG||1.4.21||NEW|
|5||Review of the Teracube 2e Smartphone||NAF||11.19.21||NEW|
My article on the phrase “tsuki ga kirei” completed a full year in the top five - making its 53rd consecutive appearance. It has been the most-read article of the week for 39 of those 53 weeks. All in all, I would say that it has done alright. Another model of consistency is my article on installing Ubuntu Touch on a Nexus 7 - which has been rooted in third place, refusing to move up or down, for 13 consecutive weeks.
Our list was rounded out by two 2022 newcomers. Victor’s vintage guitar article, spurred by the Hacker News share, made its 2022 debut in the ranking and its first appearance since the first full week of March 2021. My November 2021 review of the Teracube 2e has been close to notching a top-five for several weeks, and finally broke through with its best weekly performance.
I referenced Searx in my review of the Wutsearch Search Engine Launchpad and my list of alternative search engines and search resources.
Searx is not a search engine. Instead, it self-hostable free and open source meta-search software. Searx collects results from multiple search engines including, but not limited to, Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, Mojeek, and many more. Users can decide which search engines should be queried. Because it can be self-hosted, anyone can run Searx on a server for their own use or for the public.
I decided to try running Searx on a localhost server on my computer. This means that it is only accessible from my machine and not from the public internet. Because I run Manjaro Linux - which is based on Arch Linux - I have access to the Arch User Repository, a place where users who have much more knowledge than I do upload their packages. I installed the Searx package and accessed it on the correct localhost port. Thus far, I have been surprised at how well it works. I configured my preferred search engines (Google, DuckDuckGo, and Mojeek) from its menu and for the most part, it returns results expeditiously. I am using Mullvad VPN when I run Searx to protect my real IP address.
There are other ways to run Searx locally. It can be built from GitHub (see guide) or Docker (see guide). I may try both of those methods as well.
If you want to try Searx without installing it on your own machine or server, there are a number of public instances available for anyone to use. You can see the list here along with detailed information about each instance. Do note that if you are using Searx for privacy reasons as opposed to just wanting to see if you find it useful, you should look into who is running the particular instance in question. The /e/ foundation, which produces the de-Googled operating system that I use on my phone, runs a stylized fork of Searx that may be a good choice for those who want to see what the tool has to offer.
I did not make changes to the site in the last week. My plan to reorganize our menus and sitemap will (I hope) be completed in the coming week. I am publishing my April month-in-review this evening (being the evening of April 30, 2022), so I will reserve my news content for that article.
Thank you as always for joining us for The Newsletter Leaf Journal. If you enjoyed the content and have not done so already, please consider signing up to receive our Saturday newsletter in your inbox or feed reader. I look forward to mailing my first newsletter of May 2022 next week.
Cura ut valeas.