This is the syndicated version of the 121st edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal, originally mailed on Saturday, February 4, 2023. In one sense, it is a traditional Newsletter Leaf Journal, recapping our new articles, providing links to interesting content from around the web, and working through other news and notes. However, this newsletter had a distinct theme. My feature article from the previous week had been the story of how Victor V. Gurbo and I rescued a pigeon. While writing the letter, I decided to tie everything to trumpeting our great feat of heroism. The result is something that I am proud of.
If you enjoy the newsletter, consider signing up for the flagship email edition or simply adding its RSS feed to your favorite reader. If you prefer to read our newsletters a couple days after they go out, you will always find them here on Mondays.
1. Leaves from the week that was
I appear to have taken a vacation from short posts in the last week, but I did publish four full articles, three of which were of the lengthy variety.
- NLJ Brooklyn NYC pigeon rescue story
Nicholas A. Ferrell. January 31, 2023.
The true story (with photographic evidence) of how Victor V. Gurbo and I (mostly Victor) rescued a Brooklyn pigeon in need.
- January 2023 at The New Leaf Journal
Nicholas A. Ferrell. January 31, 2023.
I made some style changes to our month-in-review, but it is still very much a month-in-review.
- Removing pages from Yandex Turbo
Nicholas A. Ferrell. February 2, 2023.
A more troublesome process than it should have been.
- Tiki paralogue trick in Fire Emblem Engage
Nicholas A. Ferrell. February 3, 2023.
As long as writing the article and copying screenshots from my Switch SD card to my computer was, the paralogue itself was even longer.
2. Leaves from around the web
Let’s pick up where we left off last week in my “saved links for the newsletter” list. However, I have decided to try something a little bit different this week. Having just published the heroic story about how Victor and I rescued a pigeon, I am going to see if I can find a way to remind you, the reader, of our great deed in my notes about each and every around the web link this week.
- Pigeon cuts in line, casually boards train
Oona McGee for SoraNews24. October 27, 2015.
Imagine how dangerous this would have been for the pigeon if it had twine tied to one of its feet like the one Victor and I rescued (see previous section).
- Pigeon gets on the wrong train but didn’t notice in time
Preston Phro for SoraNews24. December 30, 2015.
I hope the pigeon knew that it could have worse problems (for example, being kidnapped and rescued against its will by two New Leaf Journal writers).
- Meet the Bird Brainiacs: American Crow
Kat McGowan for Audubon. February 29, 2016.
It would probably be for the best if the pigeon Victor and I rescued does not have a crow-like memory.
- What Snails Can Teach Us About the Extinction Crisis
Tara Lohan for The Revelator. October 17, 2022.
They can teach us that if you see an animal in need (for example, a common pigeon with twine tied to its foot) that you should rescue it. If you do not rescue it, the whole species will go extinct.
- Is It Ethical to Hunt Captive Lions?
Mark Jenkins for Smithsonian Magazine. January 11, 2023.
This is an interesting article about a debate in South Africa. For whatever it is worth, I would be very opposed to hunting the common pigeon (unless you are stalking one to remove twine from its foot).
While we are at it, we should rethink our idea of the common pigeon and those who rescue it.
- Memex Design
Marginalia Memex. January 13, 2023.
This is an interesting post on a specific style of website design. I personally think a memex about how to rescue pigeons would be interesting.
- Low-effort posts
tsuki. August 4, 2022.
“I have always wondered why does my low-effort blog posts … rack up more views and engagement … than my more thought-out blog posts…” Interesting, I am wondering why my post about rescuing a pigeon has not yet crossed the 1,000,000 page view threshold. (Jokes aside, I have seen examples of the same phenomenon here at The New Leaf Journal.)
- Genetic Mutations Could Help Lizards Survive City Life
Margaret Osborne for Smithsonian Magazine. January 13, 2023.
A certain pigeon thought this too. Then it had twine wrapped around one foot and wire on the other. If that was not bad enough, it was then kidnapped after being lured with a croissant.
- Forget everything you think you know about pigeons
Jason Bittel for National Geographic. January 4, 2023.
Don’t tell me what to do (like we told that twine-entangled pigeon what to do).
3. The Old Leaf Journal
I wonder what kinds of articles I will dig up from our archive this week…
- The Arrival of Sparrows in the United States
Nicholas A. Ferrell. February 3, 2021.
I am glad that Victor and I did not need to try to catch and rescue an adult sparrow (that would have been difficult).
- The Newsletter Leaf Journal LXIX 〜 The Move(d) Leaf Journal
Nicholas A. Ferrell. February 5, 2022.
One day short of one year to the day I moved The New Leaf Journal from shared hosting to a VPS. That was an interesting experience, but not quite as interesting as rescuing a pigeon.
- Moving a WordPress Site With UpdraftPlus Free
Nicholas A. Ferrell. March 8, 2022.
This article explains how I moved the contents of The New Leaf Journal from our old server with Bluehost to our current VPS. (Much easier than moving a pigeon from independence to temporary captivity.)
- The Pigeon in the Puddle
Nicholas A. Ferrell. September 2, 2020.
While I have not asked, I am sure that Victor was glad the pigeon he rescued was not soggy.
4. Most-turned leaves of the newsletter week
I list our most-read articles from the previous newsletter week (Friday to Saturday) in each edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal. These statistics come courtesy of Koko Analytics, our local, privacy friendly page-counting solution (see my review). Below, I present the 5 most-visited articles of the fifth newsletter week of 2023.
- The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei
5th top five of 2023. 4th top placement.
- Tom Cantor’s Changed Has Poor Color Scheme
4th top five of 2023.
- The Story of Billy Possum, President Hoover’s Pet Opossum
1st top five of 2023.
- The Pokémon Special Split in Generation 2 – Statistics and Analysis
5th top five of 2023.
- Installing Ubuntu Touch on a Google Nexus 7 (2013)
4th top five of 2023. 1 top placement.
The notable entry in last week’s list was my 2021 article on former President Herbert Hoover’s pet opossum. Interestingly, that article also had a surge of views at the end of January in 2021. Why does this post receive an unusual number of views in late January and early February? Your guess is as good as mine, but I welcome President Hoover (and Billy Possum) back to our weekly top five for the first time in a year.
We had a decent week in terms of page views despite our still being blacklisted by Bing, thanks in large part to consistently strong performances (by our standards) with Google.
(I could not help but notice that the epic story of Victor and I rescuing a pigeon appears to have come in at 25th place. That cannot be. There must be some error.)
5. News leaf journal
We had a couple of behind the scenes changes in the last week.
Firstly, I figured out how to make our new (lightweight) search solution, Relevanssi Light, work more effectively. I dare say its search result quality is comparable to when we were using the free version of the non-light Relevanssi. There are some options to improve its search that I am looking into, although I will not implement them imminently.
Secondly, I decided to stop using the paid version of our SEO plugin, The SEO Framework. While it is a good service, I do not need either of its premium features (certainly not for another $84). I found that I did not often use its SEO analysis tools and its second main premium feature, adding article or blog schema to posts, is something that I can now do manually. I am exploring eventually moving away from a plugin model entirely and handling all of the basic SEO stuff manually, but at the moment I do not have all of the knowledge or tools to make the full transition. However, in order to prepare for the move down the line, I switched from having the plugin generate our sitemaps to using WordPress’s default sitemaps. You can find our new XML sitemaps at https://thenewleafjournal.com/wp-sitemap.xml.
6. Notable leaf journal
Did I mention that Victor V. Gurbo and I saved a pigeon?
7. Taking leaf
Thank you as always for reading The Newsletter Leaf Journal. If you have not done so already, you can sign up to receive our Saturday newsletter via email or add the newsletter’s RSS feed to your favorite reader (no sign-up-required). See the options here. I also syndicate a slightly modified version of the newsletter to The New Leaf Journal on Mondays (see section). I have some projects planned for next two weeks, including a few that were delayed due to a combination of site maintenance work, real-life work, and Fire Emblem Engage. I look forward to sharing those with you soon.
Until next week,
Cura ut valeas.
You got pigeon on the brain, yes?
@nafnlj Nicholas I always enjoy your writings. : )