This is Nicholas A. Ferrell, editor and acting administrator of The New Leaf Journal, here to report to you on another week of content at our growing perennially virid online magazine. I dare say that we may have covered more bases this week than we covered on any previous week. Let’s get to it.
I published six articles since I last reported to you. Without further ado, let’s get to them.
On Monday, I reviewed Wutsearch, a search engine launchpad created by Jeff Starr. Mr. Starr is a web developer who is behind two security plugins that we use at The New Leaf Journal.
Wutsearch allows users to switch between 16 different search engines on a single page. In my piece, I opine that it is a great way to try alternative, privacy-friendly search engines. I am working on a more detailed article on alternative search engines - you can expect to see the review in a future Around the Web post.
After I wrote the article, I sent an email to Mr. Starr with a link to the article. He liked it and shared both the review and my earlier article about using RSS as a Facebook alternative, while asking for more information about issues I noted with respect to certain browser extensions and plugins. As I noted in the piece, he welcomes feedback - so do get in touch with him if you try Wutsearch and have any constructive suggestions or error reports.
My longest piece of the week was an essay on productivity. It was a bit of a mini-around the web piece, inspired by two articles I received from a newsletter that I subscribe to. In the post, I opined that productivity goes awry when people pursue “productivity” as an abstract idea, divorced from the concept of production. The post covers productivity in work, productivity in leisure, and productivity and the live lived well through the writings of Epictetus. Look, I have to put my undergraduate philosophy degree to use somehow.
Long-time readers of The New Leaf Journal will know that I am wont to turn things that I overhear on the street into New Leaf Journal content. In this case, I covered the mother who twice told her tantrum-y, barely sentient child, “I’m saying no.” Why not just say no? Strange, no? I investigated.
The New Leaf Journal is not a site about politics. But after reading the disastrous campaign website biography of Sara Tirschwell, a candidate for the Republican nomination for Mayor in New York City, I had to cover it at The New Leaf Journal.
The first six sentences of Ms. Tirschwell’s campaign biography included five deaths of Ms. Tirschwell’s family and friends. If that wasn’t enough, we also had an unexplained marital dissolution. Several of the deaths revealed nothing more than unnecessary information about the circumstances of the deaths. Four of the deaths were noted before we even learned who Ms. Tirschwell is or what she does. They all came well before we garnered any semblance of an idea of why Ms. Tirschwell wants to be mayor or what recommends her to the position.
Last week, I discussed several pleasant harbingers of spring in my Around the Web post. This week, I was reminded of a less-than-pleasant sign of spring: home ant invasions. I was so inspired by the site of that lone ant arcoss on my second computer monitor that I called my own poetry number and composed a tanka. I think that is only my third New Leaf Journal poem. A rare occurrence.
I concluded the week with an Around the Web post recommending resources for finding alternative software to the most popular solutions that treat users as products. Whether you want to consider alternatives to Google services, Microsoft products, Dropbox, or even your entire operating system, the links therein will offer a great starting point. As I noted earlier, I will complete a post going into detail on some alternative search engines in the near future.
I conclude the 25th Newsletter Leaf Journal with some brief thoughts and reflections about the site and other issues.
I received an email from Mr. Justin Duke, the man behind the newsletter service powering this very newsletter, asking whether I was satisfied with Buttondown so far. Grateful for the free and effective newsletter solution, I offered my positive feedback and stated that I would like a specific solution for integrating the newsletter with WordPress.
Mr. Duke responded personally, thanking me for the feedback and asking if he could send an email when the WordPress integration, which is in progress, is completed.
I had noted in prior newsletters that I was planning to review a visual novel video game by the name of Flood of Tears. The game is very winter-y, and thus the moment has passed. I will review it, but I will put off posting that review until next December.
In the interim, however, I do have several visual novel reviews in the works for near-term publication. To begin, you can expect a review of a very small free web-based visual novel in the near future. Save the Date, an English-language visual novel from about 10 years ago, will also be the subject of a near-future review. I will start a larger project, of which Flood of Tears will be a part, in May or June.
This is our final newsletter of March 2021. I look forward to making April the best month of content yet at The New Leaf Journal, which would only be fitting as we approach our one-year anniversary on April 27.
You can expect several book reviews, at least two visual novel reviews, a peculiar photography project that I am putting together, and surely some cherry blossom-themed content.
I will also call my shot for one specific post. The April 18 Around the Web post will be centered on the life and death of Otho, the short-lived Roman Emperor in 69 AD. I hope that any Roman history fans among our readership look forward to it.
I have a very long-delayed response to my colleague Victor V. Gurbo’s May 6, 2020 article on Love Henry, prepared for May 6, 2021. If you thought the current situation in the Suez Canal was a tire fire, I promise a bigger boat-related tire fire for my post.
Our also-long-delayed Pokémon draft battle and video is still in the works too. In fact, I just reminded myself to get to work on that. With that, I think I ought to wrap up this newsletter and get to it.
Thank you, as always, for reading and following The New Leaf Journal.