Welcome to the 45th edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal, the official weekly newsletter of the perennially virid online 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. I bring you tidings of new New Leaf Journal content, article recommendations from around the web, weekly article rankings, and news, notes, and anecdotes.
I published five articles since the last edition of the newsletter. You will find them below with links, summaries and notes.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. August 8, 2021.
It is possible to use DuckDuckGo to search specific domains. I take advantage of this feature for performing full-text searches on Project Gutenberg and, on occasion, for searches of The New Leaf Journal itself.
I did not intend this to be an inspiring post, but it did shockingly well for its first four days live thanks to a large amount of traffic from DuckDuckGo. Go figure. The search volume seems to have died down, but I made an interesting discovery. Our search success aside, you may find some of the information in the article useful for search sites that either lack an on-site search feature or have a poor one.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. August 10, 2021.
I recently read Okakura Kakuzō’s 1906 classic work of aesthetics and zen philosophy, The Book of Tea. The book included an interesting promotion from a 1710-issue of The Spectator magazine advising “well-regulated families” to make the publication a part of their morning tea and bread time. 1710 was right around when tea began to catch on in Britain. My brief post includes the excerpt and some thoughts on aesthetic breakfasts.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. August 11, 2021.
The New Leaf Journal Justin and Justina dialogue duo returned for their first August conversation. Justin, inspired by my DuckDuckGo article, tries to convince Justina to use a different search engine than Google. He ultimately succeeds, albeit not in a way that he can be satisfied with.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. August 13, 2021.
In my fourth article covering photos that I took on an evening walk on May 19, 2021, I cover a blue vespa in Columbia Street Waterfront District. I was able to show exactly where I took the picture on a map thanks to a landmark visible in the background.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. August 13, 2021.
People often associate iced coffee with summer. However, if you carry an iced coffee outside in hot weather, the ice melts. If you carry a hot coffee outside in the summer, it stays hot. Eureka! Summer is for hot coffee. Or so I argue in this article.
I took the time to read new content while writing new content. Below, you will find six articles from around the web that I recommend for your weekend-reading (after our five New Leaf Journal articles, of course).
Aside - last week I included an article about a pair of identical twins competing for Russia in rhythmic gymnastics in the Olympics. I noted that they appeared on pace to sweep Gold and Silver. Apparently, one sister won Bronze while the other did not medal. Was it my fault? Did I jinx them? Is this newsletter more powerful than I know?
But I digress. On to our new article recommendations.
Paul Skallas. September 13, 2020.
An aesthetic essay by Mr. Paul Skallas on the timeless joys and benefits of walking - something well-understood in ancient Greece. I will have some more detailed thoughts on this newsletter on The New Leaf Journal in the future.
Barry Lenser. August 12, 2021.
Victor’s Bob Dylan articles have been bringing a large number of new visitors to The New Leaf Journal of late. I thought I ought to include an article on Mr. Dylan in the newsletter. Behold, a list of ten lyrics from Mr. Dylan’s “Christian-era” in the 1980s.
Jason Beeferman and Gabrielle Fonrouge. August 12, 2021.
I understand that the authors of this article want me to be outraged about the arrest of lady from San Francisco who is pretending that she did not know that you cannot walk dogs without a leash in New York City (I will add that she did not even bring a leash). Having been jumped on by about four dogs in the last month, including a large 80-pound-ish dog that thrust its front paws into my chest while I was carrying a full cup of hot coffee (I managed to hold on, somehow), my sympathy is lacking.
Brian Handwerk. July 29, 2016.
Speaking of dogs, a dreary article about what breeders have done to the bulldog. Suffice it to say, I am not a dog breeding expert. However, I have enough sense to understand that if you create a dog that cannot breed or give birth naturally, you have probably done something very wrong.
Dean Sterling Jones. August 13, 2021.
My article criticizing the fact-checking industry has aged very well. With that being said, I was not aware that the co-founder of Snopes is a serial-plagiarist (fact-check: true) when I singled the outlet out for criticism in my article.
Lara Jakes. August 13, 2021.
“On Thursday, [Ross Wilson, the chargé d’affaires in Kabul,] warned the Taliban that ‘attempts to monopolize power through violence, fear and war will only lead to international isolation.”
When you spend your life pontificating about norms and the global community, you may think that this is a grave warning to the Taliban. When you spend your dreaming about ruling a Sharia-compliant Islamic state and treating yourself to the spoils of conquest, you may understand this “warning” as an offer you can’t refuse.
It’s all a matter of perspective.
Let’s visit our site archive.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. August 14, 2020.
In 2011, I built a computer. That computer served me well until last year. While it still worked, I decided that I should usher in the new decade with a new computer. Unfortunately, my new computer did not work. Why? Because my motherboard was a lemon. Fortunately, the manufacturer and retailer (Newegg) agreed with me that the motherboard was defective and gave me a full refund. Nine days later, I published my first article from my working new computer.
As always, I bring you the ranking of our five most-read articles between newsletters. The below ranking covers August 7-13 (inclusive). Each article is accompanied by its change in rank from the previous week and additional information about its authorship, date of publication, and ranking history.
“Stop Saying Bob Dylan Can’t Sing” (Change +25~)
Victor V. Gurbo. July 23, 2021.
Weeks in top five: 2 (2 in first place)
“Reviewing the HALOmask and är Mask” (Change -1)
Victor V. Gurbo. December 2, 2020.
Weeks in top five: 26 (8 in first place)
“Performing Site-Specific Searches With DuckDuckGo” (NEW)
Nicholas A. Ferrell. August 7, 2021.
Weeks in top five: 1
“The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei” (Change -2)
Nicholas A. Ferrell. March 14, 2021.
Weeks in top five: 16 (8 in first place)
“Persona 4 Golden Digital Artbook Review (Steam)” (Change +1)
Nicholas A. Ferrell. November 15, 2021.
Weeks in top five: 26 (6 in first place)
Victor’s essay on Bob Dylan’s singing ability (which he describes as “clickbait”) has had an interesting few weeks. It topped our ranking in its debut week with a strong showing on Facebook. It then tumbled out of the top 25 in its second week. Now, it returns to the top of our ranking after being featured on the Bob Dylan fan-site, “Expecting Rain,” and it posted the second strongest week for a single article in New Leaf Journal history. Go figure.
Victor’s Dylan success denied his article on protective masks a second straight week at number one in what was its best week to date. Perhaps the most surprising entry (to me at least) was my DuckDuckGo article taking the third spot with a very strong debut week. It faltered on Thursday and Friday, so it will be interesting to see if its strong Sunday-Wednesday (wherein it had the most views every day) was an aberration.
My Tsuki ga Kirei article came in fourth, ending a 14-week streak of finishing first or second. It had a mediocre week by its standards, but it would have been first or second on most normal weeks. For the time being, it looks like it will continue to extend its streak of top fives, which now stands at 16.
Finally, my Persona 4 Golden artbook review returned to the top five with a solid performance, just edging out my second Blob Dylan essay for the last spot.
Below, you will find some news, notes, and personal anecdotes.
After a flurry of site changes last week, things were comparatively quiet this week. After the surge of views from Victor’s Bob Dylan article, I am coming to the conclusion that we have outgrown our current hosting (if you find that our site is a bit slow - that is likely the reason). I will examine options for improving our hosting to accommodate our new traffic levels (as well as unexpected surges in traffic) in the near future.
I have been reading on my Pocketbook Color e-reader recently. When I purchased the e-reader several months ago, I stated that I would review it at The New Leaf Journal. Now that I am spending more time with it, I will work toward publishing a review later this month or in the first half of September.
We have all heard (and for many, been drilled in) the mantra that we should look both ways before crossing the street. It is a good mantra. But until recent times, I often found it trite with regard to one-way streets. However, with the de jure legalization of e-bikes in New York City (after several years of de facto legalization), looking both ways before crossing a one-way street is as important as looking both ways before crossing a busy intersection. Brutal stuff. Expect an article on this subject in the future.
This concludes the 45th edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal. It was nice to spend the week mostly focused on content instead of site maintenance, and I look forward to continuing that trend while looking into a more sustainable hosting solution for the long term.
Until next week.
Cura ut valeas.