I have a nearly-full slate of articles to discuss for our twentieth edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal. As usual, we covered various unrelated subjects in our weekly content.
Update on Changing Newsletter Providers
Last week, I mentioned that I was considering switching from Tinyletter to Buttondown to send newsletters. I did not have time to test Buttondown in the past week, so I will use Tinyletter for at least one more week. I will provide an update in the 21st Newsletter Leaf Journal next Sunday.
Content From the Week that Was
Yesterday, Victor returned with an article after a long hiatus. He worked with the talented Mark Caserta to cover Johnny Cash's famous Folsom Prison Blues. You will find an external link in the first paragraph of the article pointing to their recording on SoundCloud. In the text, Victor explains that he and his father had thought, based on the song, that Johnny Cash actually served time behind bars. As Victor discovered, however, the only time Johnny Cash visited prisons was to perform shows for inmates. Credit to Gurbo and Caserta for what is one of the more humorous images to appear in The New Leaf Journal.
After taking Monday off from full article posting, I published an article about a golden maple leaf photo that I took in November 2018. This golden maple leaf managed to find its way to my Juliet balcony, and I staged a picture of it before it shriveled, as fallen leaves tend to do. Fun bonus fact: I performed a reverse-image search of my picture using Google and all of the results returned were of leaves actually made with gold. That amused me.
For Wednesday's post, I brought back Justin and Justina for their second dialogue of the month. The topic this time was White Day, a Japanese commercial holiday that occurs in March 14. In Japan, women give presents on February 14, and men return the favor on March 14. The dialogue involves Justin explaining to Justina why her boyfriend owes her a present on March 14, notwithstanding the fact that they are not in Japan.
My Thursday post was based on an interesting find. Lacking a ready-made article, I searched through old magazines on Project Gutenberg for a topic. I found an eloquent poem about George Washington in an 1896 issue of Harper's Round Table. The poem was authored by the then-editor of Harper's, Margaret E. Sangster, who was also a well-known poet in her day. Her poetic ode to Washington is simple, but I found its unabashed praise for Washington and his many virtues to be refreshing.
Finally, I just published our tenth Around the Web article. Today's topic was inspired by Facebook's decision to ban Australian news outlets in response to proposed legislation in Australia. Rather than focus on the debate over Facebook's measures, however, I make the case with ample external resources that discerning news and information consumers should not rely on Facebook or similar services that treat them as products. What's the better way? I suggest RSS feeds, supplemented by a bookmarking service.
Many Things to Test
At the top, I noted that I still have to test the Buttondown newsletter provider before deploying it here at The New Leaf Journal. That is just one thing on my to-test list.
I bought a cheap video capture card. In theory, this will allow me to capture video on my computer from any device that uses HDMI output. If it works well, I will use it to record the upcoming Pokémon Draft Battle that I am having with Victor. Speaking of which, I should really work on my team for that...
I started testing an interesting Goodreads alternative called Inventaire this week. Like Goodreads, Inventaire allows users to maintain an online catalogue of their book collections. Unlike Goodreads, Inventaire does not have book ratings and reviews. Instead, its focus is on sharing and lending books. I am not too interested in the sharing and lending aspect, but I am interested in the fact that Inventaire is open source and privacy-friendly. I just started manually inputting my library after discovering that Goodreads tends to not record ISBNs for ebooks. Inventaire looks sleek, and I am still learning the features. You can expect a review somewhere down the line. I noted my Inventaire project in a micropost last week.
Speaking of books, I am starting to use my Pocketbook Color more. Pocketbook is the third largest e-ink ebook manufacturer in the world behind Amazon and Kobo, and it is the only one that currently provides a color e-reader. I set up my Adobe Digitals account on the Pocketbook so I can read DRM-protected books, and it worked flawlessly with an ebook I purchased from the Kobo store. Pocketbook Color will be another review project down the line - as I mentioned in an earlier newsletter.
I am working with Victor to test two very interesting peer-to-peer social networking platforms - Patchwork and Manyverse. Both of these platforms are built atop an oddly-named protocol called Secure Scuttlebutt. They can be used in such a manner wherein the only people who can see your account at all are those with whom you exchange contact information. Interesting concept, but we still need to figure out if we can connect the desktop version (Patchwork) to the mobile version (Manyverse). We will have a review of one or both at some point in the future.
Finally, I have a couple of ongoing game review projects. First, I am close to completing my review of Flood of Tears, a little-known indie Japanese visual novel from 2001. Before I complete the review, however, I want to contact the translators to see if I can obtain a copy of the short article they wrote about the project in 2006. That article is no longer online, and I was not able to retrieve it through using the Wayback Machine. Second, I will work on a review of an American visual novel that I played many years ago - Save the Date. Save the Date is an odd one, but it left more than enough of an impression for me to want to play it again and share it with you. As an added benefit, Save the Date is easy to download, whereas procuring the Flood of Tears torrent these days is a bit hit or miss - I was probably lucky to download a copy after about 48 hours.
Thank you, as always, for subscribing and reading. You can expect a relatively short newsletter next week since I will publish our month in review post on Sunday. For that reason, I may move next week's Around the Web post to Saturday.
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