Welcome to the 37th edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal, the official newsletter of the perennially virid online magazine, The New Leaf Journal. As always, this newsletter comes to you from the waterproof keyboard of Nicholas A. Ferrell, editor of The New Leaf Journal. I come bearing summaries of and links to our content from the past week, content recommendations from around the web, an article recommendation from our archive, and news, notes, and anecdotes. Settle in with our official bug-eyed mascot, Mr. Envelope, for another exciting edition of our humble newsletter.
I published six articles since I sent the last newsletter. I covered everything from 21st century alternative search engines to nineteenth century Kodak cameras. See our content summaries, with links, below.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. June 13, 2021.
I had planned to write a post on the subject of alternative search engines for a while. On June 6, I had published an article about Bing’s pro-Chinese Communist Party censorship. I figured a post on alternative search engines would be a natural follow-up.
In this article, you will find an explanation of how alternative search engines work, why they are worth considering, and a list of the most practical alternative search engines for every-day use for English-language searchers.
I received helpful feedback in The New Leaf Journal Guestbook from an interesting tech writer who goes by “Sierdy.” After reading his comment, I updated my article with the information he added about how DuckDuckGo (and some other similar alternative search engines) use various sources to inform their search results. I will be recommending a post from Mr. Sierdy in our “Leaves from Around the Web” section.
By Nicholas A. Ferrell. June 14, 2021.
In last week’s newsletter, I recommended an article about Ms. Meghan Markle and her publisher offering a 107-word audio book version of her children’s picture book for $15. I expanded my quip into a full post, focusing on the question of why one would need an audio book version of a picture book at all. The article concludes with a digression about how her naming her book “The Bench” reminded me of a very unserious anime series.
By Nicholas A. Ferrell. June 15, 2021.
Several months ago I wrote an article about former New York City Republican mayoral candidate Sara Tirschwell’s terrible campaign “About Page.” . It recently came to my attention that Ms. Maya Wiley current candidate in the Democratic primary election for the same office, , had an About Page that was subpar for similar reasons. Not one to miss an opportunity, I analyzed Ms. Wiley’s campaign About Page in detail and compared it to those of her main opponents.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. June 17, 2021.
I found an interesting promotion in a June 1897 magazine. Readers who referred four new subscribers would receive a Pocket Kodak camera. Readers who received nine new subscribers would receive a No. 4 Bulls-Eye camera (also Kodak). Finally, readers who referred 100 new subscribers would receive a bicycle voucher. In this post, I not only examined the promotion, but also offered some notes and resources about the two classic cameras. As for the bike voucher, I discussed how it reminded me of an event in the original Pokémon games.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. June 18, 2021.
Scabby the inflatable Union Rat is a common site in New York City and (as I have been led to believe) in other big cities. A union rat with a coffin and inflatable hazmat suit man, however, is less common. Fortunately, your favorite nature photographer chronicled the rare trio at your favorite online magazine.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. June 18, 2021.
I am not as enamored with Substack as its biggest proponents, but on the whole, I think any service that gives individual content creators a way to reach new audiences is a good thing. I personally prefer Buttondown for sending newsletters (evinced by the fact that this newsletter comes to you courtesy of Buttondown), but Substack is a viable option for more commercial projects.
I prefer to consume content via RSS feeds than email newsletters. There are a few Substack authors I am interested in following. I was curious if Substack newsletters had RSS feeds. I found that indeed they do - hidden feeds, but feeds nonetheless. In this very brief article, I explain how to find them.
Although I left you with well over 10,000 words of new content at The New Leaf Journal this week, I know that may not be enough for voracious readers. Below, you will find six additional content recommendations from around the web for your enjoyment.
Rohan Kumar (“Seirdy”). March 10, 2021 (updated June 17, 2021).
Mr. Seirdy responded to my post on alternative search engines - which cited to one of his earlier posts on a different subject - with some information that I had missed in my post. He also directed me to his own post on the subject of alternative search engines. Mr. Seirdy provided a more rigorous and technical analysis of alternative search engines, and included several that I did not include in my article.
I thanked him for his feedback and incorporated it into my post. I made a few recommendations for his post regarding webmaster tools for certain search engines and an additional international search engine. Mr. Seirdy incorporated my additions into his post with credit (thank you for the backlink).
If you enjoy my alternative search engine post, be sure to read Mr. Seirdy’s as well.
David Reaboi. June 16, 2021.
Mr. David Reaboi is a political writer and consultant who has achieved a following on Twitter for his content about politics, bodybuilding, and jazz. He started a Substack, and his first post - “Aesthetics & Obsessions” - is short and worth a read. See his conclusion:
“I still think that process [of pursuing an aesthetic obsession] is beautiful and worthwhile–especially now, as we’ve got so much access to knowledge at our fingertips. I’m sure that availability, combined with the coarseness of our aesthetic sensibilities, has a lot to do with what seems like a great decline in curiosity about the beautiful things that make life worth living.”
Well put. I am sensing a future article at the The New Leaf Journal.
Casey Baseel. June 12, 2021.
To be clear, not sumo wrestlers. Regular people.
Never stop being you, Japan.
Mariana Vargas. May 31, 2021.
An interesting piece on the history of the Wingdings font family with a number of external links. I may write about Wingdings for a future around the web post.
Pixy Misa. October 9, 2007.
Like School Days, the Myself;Yourself anime was based on a visual novel and aired in 2007. Also like School Days, it was bad - albeit for different reasons. In this post, Pixy Misa reviewed the first episode - which was the only episode that had aired at the time:
“High school romance. Childhood friends separated and reunited. Indifferently animated; while digital animation ensures that everything is clear and colorful, I don’t get the impression that anyone particularly cared about this show.”
“Oh, and wait for the dub. Trust me on this.”
Despite my having only watched Myself;Yourself years ago and having concurred with the vast majority that it was subpar, one of the voices was memorable enough (in a traumatic way) for me to immediately comprehend the reference.
Why include a random episode review from 2007? I thought about Myself;Yourself when I wrote my piece on when to sit through a bad movie last year. I will review it at The New Leaf Journal someday. It is a bad show, but bad in strange ways.
Javier Espionza and James Politi. June 15, 2021.
It is not often that I side with the European Union in a dispute such as this one, but it should not come as a great surprise given my essays on big tech that I am not unsympathetic to what our friends across the pond are getting at.
As the temperatures grow warmer, the-man-with-the-hose awakens from his slumber…
Nicholas A. Ferrell. June 28, 2020.
In New York City, you will often find the man with the hose washing the sidewalk. Why does the man with the hose use so much water? Can the sidewalk ever be too clean? I examined these questions in a deeply philosophical post. Learn not only about the man with the hose, but also his two greatest influences (whether he knows it or not): Thales and Heraclitus.
Below, you will find our most-read articles from the last Newsletter Week Journal - the 24th week overall in 2021. In parentheses, you will see the article’s change in rank from the previous week. Below the article, you will find additional information about how it has ranked in 2021.
“The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei” (No Change)
By Nicholas A. Ferrell. March 14, 2021.
Weeks in Top five: 8 (6 in first place)
“An Early Review of Pixelfed - Instagram Alternative” (Change +1)
By Nicholas A. Ferrell. November 13, 2020.
Weeks in top five: 20 (2 in first place)
“Persona 4 Golden Digital Artbook Review (Steam)” (Change: +1)
By Nicholas A. Ferrell. November 15, 2020.
Weeks in top five: 20 (4 in first place)
“A Follow-Up Post on the Meaning of ‘Blob Dylan’” (Change: +11)
By Nicholas A. Ferrell. April 12, 2021.
Weeks in top five: 1 (NEW)
“Blob Dylan(?) Seen in Bushwick” (No Change)
By Nicholas A. Ferrell. February 5, 2021.
Weeks in top five: 2
My post on Tsuki ga Kirei leads the ranking for the sixth consecutive newsletter week - and it did so again by a wide margin. In so doing, it became the first article to lead the 2021 rankings for six straight weeks. It is one week short of the most weeks in first place behind Victor V. Gurbo’s review of two protective masks.
After my first Blob Dylan article debuted in the rankings last week, my second Blob Dylan article made its debut this week, coming in at fourth place for the newsletter week. It was followed by the original Blob Dylan post, which held on to fifth place for the second week in a row. I will admit that I did not have double Blob Dylan on my New Leaf Journal bingo card.
Below, I will list some news, notes, and anecdotes (with leaf puns).
I did not make any changes to the site structure this week, but I still plan to finish the category and tag reorganization in the near future.
I am glad to see that a few people out there are giving it a spin (especially if they learned about it from our content). I will review Peekier in some detail at some point this summer.
In previous newsletters, I have noted that I have a collection of photos of a growing geese family to publish (I may start on that project next week). My need-to-publish photo collection is growing. In the past week, I have added inanimate objects with googly eyes and a squirrel visitor to the collection. My colleague, Victor V. Gurbo, will be busy with photo re-touching.
I hope you enjoyed our final spring newsletter. I look forward to writing to you in the summer next Saturday. If you are not already a newsletter subscriber, I hope you consider joining us for future installments. We offer the ability to subscribe via email or RSS feed on our newsletter sign-up page.
Thank you, as always, for reading and following The Newsletter Leaf Journal.
Cura ut valeas.