Welcome to the 49th edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal, the official newsletter of the growing perennially virid online writing magazine, The New Leaf Journal. As always, this newsletter comes to you from the waterproof keyboard of the editor of The New Leaf Journal, Nicholas A. Ferrell.
Today’s newsletter falls on the solemn twentieth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The towers have long since fallen, but the loved ones of the deceased grieve today. Let us all take a moment to remember those events, the thousands of people who were lost, and the thousands more they left behind.
For the occasion, my articles from around the web section will focus on content about the events of that day.
I published five articles since I mailed the last newsletter. You will find the titles with links and brief synopses below.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. September 5, 2021.
The New York Post published a good article about the Border Patrol’s Horse Patrol. Since I had covered this topic before, I wrote a new article discussing some of the interesting information in the New York Post piece.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. September 6, 2021.
What could I possibly add to the headline?
Nicholas A. Ferrell. September 8, 2021.
I communicate with several of my friends through SMS. After I moved to a touchscreen phone last spring, it became more difficult for me to text - especially while working on the computer. I tried a new $3 per month solution that allows me to send SMS messages via XMPP. In the article, I discuss how I communicate and my new solution to a quandary.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. September 9, 2021.
According to the FBI, Mr. Sirajuddin Haqqani - who now serves as the acting Interior Minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan - is most likely in Pakistan. I compiled several open source intelligence sources to reach a different conclusion. I think he is most likely in Afghanistan running the Interior Ministry. I look forward to my $10 million reward.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. September 10, 2021.
Car headlights have become obscenely bright in Brooklyn in recent months. What is going on here? After some observations and complaining, I describe my solution for navigating our uncomfortably bright evening walks.
A selection of articles from around the web - fitting for today’s anniversary.
Garrett M. Graff. September 9, 2016.
A long article featuring recollections from members of the administration of former President George W. Bush and reporters who were close to the President as the events of 9/11 unfolded.
An eerie excerpt from Karl Rove:
“Andy [Card] and I are there with the president. The president gets this call from Cheney—we didn’t know who it was at the time, we just knew the phone rang. He said ‘yes,’ then there was a pause as he listened. Then another ‘yes.’ You had an unreal sense of time that whole day. I don’t know whether it was 10 seconds or two minutes. Then he said, ‘You have my authorization.’ Then he listens for a while longer. He closes off the conversation. He turns to us and says that he’s just authorized the shoot-down of hijacked airliners.”
Ben Brachfeld. September 10, 2021.
“For the children of those heroic first responders, though, the post-9/11 world is the only life that their adult selves have ever truly known — and the compulsion to run into the literal and metaphorical fire is inextricably ingrained in their DNA.”
CBS News. September 10, 2021.
Harrowing accounts from students at Stuyvesant high school, which is and was in the shadow of the former World Trade Center.
Staff. October 14, 2001.
The prelude to war.
Wendy Ryan. September 10, 2021.
“Life goes on but don’t paint it black so you can’t see it. Realize the sacrifice. We won’t forget. We never will.”
Janine Pulnak. September 15, 2017.
“The biggest takeaway from 9/11 - for me - was that you might be able to break down steel and structure, but you can never destroy love.”
A fitting article from our archive.
I was in Brooklyn on September 11, 2001, attending school in Boerum Hill. I will leave the in-depth recollections of the day to people who experienced the events on the other side of the East River and those who lost loved ones. My September 11 experiences were not at all extraordinary compared to others.
To mark the nineteenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, I published a short article detailing my own memories in brief and some other thoughts on the day - including progress toward a stabler and healthier Middle East.
Each newsletterr. I list our most-read articles from the day I sent the previous newsletter. This period, beginning with the Saturday I send the prior newsletter and ending with the Friday before the current newsletter, is a “newsletter week.” The period beginning with September 4 and ending with September 10 was the 36th such “newsletter week” of 2021.
Below, you will find the top-five most-read articles of the 36th newsletter week along with publication and ranking information for each article.
“The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei” (Change +1)
Nicholas A. Ferrell. March 14, 2021.
Weeks in top five: 21 (9 in first place)
“Reviewing the HALOmask and är Mask” (Change -1)
Victor V. Gurbo. December 2, 2020.
Weeks in top five: 30 (10 in first place)
“How to Find Substack RSS Feeds and Other Notes” (No Change)
Nicholas A. Ferrell. June 19, 2021.
Weeks in top five: 3
“Persona 4 Golden Digital Artbook Review (Steam)” (No Change)
Nicholas A. Ferrell. November 15, 2021.
Weeks in top five: 30 (6 in first place)
“Installing Ubuntu Touch on an Asus Nexus 7 (2013)” (No Change)
Nicholas A. Ferrell. July 5, 2021.
Weeks in top five: 6
Our top five articles remain unchanged for the third straight week, and three of the top five retain the same positions that they held last week. The only change is my study of the phrase “tsuki ga kirei” returning to the top spot in the ranking for the first time since July. After a few relative down weeks, it posted a visitor count commensurate with most of its previous 8 first-place finishes in the ranking. With 21 straight appearances in the top five, it is two shy of Victor’s mask review (second this week) for the most consecutive newsletter week appearances in 2021 (23).
My piece on installing Ubuntu Touch very nearly fell out of the top five in favor of my search alternative engine review, but it posted what I believe is its strongest single day since publication on September 10 to hold is fifth place spot in the weekly ranking.
We had some interesting articles floating around the top 12 this week that have not been often seen around those parts - so perhaps some shake-ups are in store for later September newsletter weeks.
Some news, notes, and anecdotes, presented with leaf puns as always.
Last week, I stated that I would publish information about guest posting along with an introduction to a new New Leaf Journal Symposium section. Both plans were delayed - but you can expect to see both this September.
It came to my attention in a helpful reader email that the “Submit” button on our Guestbook is not working. I do not know why. Since I do not like having things on our site that do not work, I will look into it and see if I can find a solution. However, in light of the fact that the guestbook was lightly used even when it did work, I may replace it with a fully email-based comment system if there is no easy solution.
Last Sunday, there was a successful military coup in Guinea. The leader of the coup was 41-year old Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, a former member of the French Foreign Legion. You can read about him here. But ignore the details first - note the picture. If this guy joined central casting and you were looking for someone to play a young coup leader in a movie, you would choose him. Uncanny.
I set up a free virtual machine instance with Oracle. My goal is to run a personal Matrix server and then write about it at The New Leaf Journal. As part of the sign up process, I had to give them my phone number. I hate doing that, but for the experiment’s sake I did so. I received a phone call this morning. Now whenever I receive a phone call, I expect it to be some sort of robocall. Surprisingly, a real person asked for me. He said he was from Oracle and was going to be my point of contact during my trial period. He asked why I set up the instance. I said to try to run a personal Matrix server. He did not sound too disappointed when I said I would stay on the free plan - told me to contact him if I needed any assistance.
Good customer service even for free customers. I hope I do not need to take him up on it, but maybe I will.
This concludes our newsletter for a solemn occasion. Next week will be our 50th Newsletter Leaf Journal. 50 is a cool number, so I will try to come up with something new and exciting four our next mailing. Be sure to tell your friends.
Until Newsletter Leaf Journal L,
Cura ut valeas.