Welcome to the syndicated version of the 129th Newsletter Leaf Journal. For once, I syndicated our Saturday newsletter on Monday (which is what I am supposed to do) instead of later in the week. Newsletter 129 fell on April Fools (see original), but we only shared April Fools jokes rather than making our own. I thought it was a solid newsletter. If you like what you read below, you can sign up to receive the flagship edition on Saturdays in your inbox or simply add its RSS feed to your feed reader. See your options here. All newsletters starting with our first of 2023 are syndicated here at The New Leaf Journal (see letters).
Leaves from the week that was
I published five new articles since the previous newsletter, with one being the none-too-exciting month-in-review. However, despite the ordinary output in terms of number of articles, it was a busy week in terms of word-count, with two of the articles being quite long.
- The Hang Glider Citizenship Provision (NAF: 3.27)
Justin, of our Justin and Justina dialogue duo, tries to convince Justina that illegally entering the United States via hang glider confers automatic citizenship. For the record, I note that I was not at all thinking of April Fools when I wrote this piece, which was inspired by a recent news story.
- DecSync Review (NAF: 3.30)
Few articles were on my to-do list longer than this DecSync review, which is quite long itself. DecSync is a tool which allows for syncing contacts, calendars, tasks, and RSS feeds (including read-states and starred articles) across devices without a server. While a central server can be used, it is designed to work with Syncthing, which facilitates peer-to-peer device syncing. I have used DecSync for over a year, and I introduce the very interesting project along with my own experiences with it.
My review of a 12-episode anime series which concluded its run on March 25. I had previously written about the series tangentially in an article wherein I figured out why its main ending theme sounded familiar (see first article)
- Bonner’s “The Tired Eagles” (NAF: 3.31)
I fell a bit behind on my Mary Graham Bonner bedtime story project, but I will catch up this week.
- March 2023 at The New Leaf Journal (NAF: 3.31)
About what one would expect.
I also published three short posts during the week.
That I do not agree with her position should come as no surprise from those who have read my TikTok (should be banned) commentary. However, I found a different angle to approach the story.
Following my essay on the dangers of tech fads in schools.
- April Fools not big in Japan (3.31)
An article about April Fools not being a big part of Japanese popular culture inspired me to consider the lack of April Fools references in anime. As for the article which inspired this post…
Leaves from around the web
Let’s go back into my saved links list…
- For most Japanese, April Fools’ Day still no joke
Japan Today. March 31, 2017.
The article which inspired my last Leaflet of the week.
- Creating a Plain Text Contact List
Scott Nesbitt at The Plain Text Project. May 4, 2022.
This is a neat idea, but I am happy with using DecSync for contacts.
- Japanese TV network makes multiple apologies for reporter chewing gum on air
Casey Baseel at SoraNews24. February 1, 2023.
Sounds like this reporter was chewed out for his transgression.
- How did the Pink Pigeon bounce back from just nine birds?
Vikash Tatayeh for BirdLife. February 4, 2019.
Some people save unique varieties of New Zealand pigeons from the brink of extinction. Other people (hi) save New York City pigeons from the ravages of twine tied to their toes.
- Newark duped in Sister City scam by nonexistent Hindu nation Kailasa
Ronny Reyes for the New York Post. March 15, 2023.
The headline only sounds like clickbait if you do not know anything about Newark, New Jersey. But the headline is entirely in context, and I will note that I was not at all surprised (slightly impressed, but not surprised) when I read the report.
- What are the existing laws on religious conversions?
Diksha Munjal for The Hindu. December 9, 2022.
I know that readers have been clamoring for links to long articles about laws and regulations governing religious conversions in India. You, my fair reader, are very welcome.
- Rick Windham: Sandhill cranes will be returning to Nebraska
Rick Windham for National Geographic. February 29, 2023.
Apparently you may also spot an endangered whooping crane or two among the throng.
- Toxic fumes detected at popular Brooklyn shuffleboard club for past 2 years
Jordan Gass-Poore for Gothamist. March 9, 2023.
Last to know: People partaking in shuffleboard at said club.
- Audiences Grow Weary of Stories that Never End
Ted Gioia at The Honest Broker. March 10, 2023.
I have never used Netflix, so the Netflix show cancellation angst is a novel issue to me. But as a long-time anime fan, I am used to shows ending in medias res.
- Michigan blocks TikTok from state devices, with exemptions
Ben Orner for Michigan Live. March 8, 2023.
Notable exemption: The Governor of Michigan.
The Old Leaf Journal
Let’s dig into our archives…
- EGM’s 2001 Sega Neptune April Fools Joke
N.A. Ferrell. March 31, 2022.
You have to understand the context to understand why this one was good. Fortunately, having read the issue of EGM when it came out in 2001, I have the context.
- Nintendo Power’s 1999 Yoshi in Pokémon April Fools Prank
N.A. Ferrell. April 1, 2021.
This April Fools joke, even more than the EGM one I discussed in the above link, requires you to have been there to understand. The kids today with their internet thingamajigs and thingamabobs wouldn’t understand.
- April Fools With Justin and Justina
N.A. Ferrell. April 1, 2022.
I thought this one was rather clever myself.
- Nineteenth Century Autumn Dress Trends
N.A. Ferrell. October 3, 2020.
My writing more than 3,000 words about women’s fashion sounds like an April Fools joke, but rest assured this is a serious review of a women’s fashion article (granted, the article is from 1850).
- Grafting a Bird’s Head Cane Handle Onto a Wooden Umbrella
Victor V. Gurbo. June 8, 2021.
My colleague, Victor V. Gurbo, is a luthier. In June 2021, he announced that he was transitioning from guitars to umbrellas. While that is not quite right, it is true that Victor published an article about how he grafted a brass bird head handle onto an umbrella.
- An Unclear and Indistinct Idea of a Truth Tree
N.A. Ferrell. July 9, 2020.
I’m an artist (no April Fools, look at my art).
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 13th newsletter week of 2023.
- Tiki paralogue trick in Fire Emblem Engage (NAF: 2.3.23)
2023 appearances: 8.
Top placements: 7.
- The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei (NAF: 3.14.21)
2023 appearances: 13.
Top placements: 6.
- The Pokémon Special Split in Generation 2 – Statistics and Analysis (NAF: 1.18.22)
2023 appearances: 10.
- Familiar song in Angel Next Door anime (NAF: 2.6.23)
2023 appearances: Debut.
- Peekier Search Engine Review (NAF: 2.26.22)
2023 appearances: 6.
This week’s top five featured two notable events. First, my article on Fire Emblem Engage extended its reign atop the ranking to seven consecutive weeks, once again leading the way easily. In light of the fact that no article other than my tsuki ga kirei post has led for more than five weeks in a row, this is a notable accomplishment. It just needs to hold the top spot for the next 18 weeks to match the 25-week streak that my tsuki ga kirei post had from newsletter week 36 of 2021 through newsletter week 7 of 2022 (probably unlikely).
While four of the top five spots were held by the four most-visited articles of 2023 thus far, the fifth was my February post on the ending song from The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten anime. I did not expect to see that in a weekly top five, but what is a good ranking without some surprises. It saw a slight kick in views with the end of the anime series on February 25. Will my full review of the series match the feat? I think it may do decently well, but time will tell.
News leaf journal
After removing our related posts plugin (Contextual Related Posts) earlier in the month, I decided to revive it on Wednesday. I became a bit concerned with the number of one-and-done visitors we have (I can infer our bounce rate by comparing our referrer stats to total page views) I also considered that there is no easy way to access leaflets and leaf buds at the moment since they do not use regular categories and tags. I confirmed that the plugin has no negative effect on our site performance and then re-configured it to try to make it return more relevant results. With the tweaks, it is doing a bit better in terms of relevancy, but I will study it to make further improvements. I may look to a different related posts/navigation helper down the line, but for now we return to the plugin. (See the humorous disclaimer I added to it.)
I noticed two instances when the site became briefly inaccessible this week. Now this was easy enough to fix – I can just reboot our server, but I do not like our site ever becoming inaccessible (not to mention I am not always at my computer), I want to resolve the problem. Our server has way too much capacity for our humble site, but I have a couple of ideas about what the issue could be, so I will look into it to ensure something closer to 100% up-time.
Notable leaf journal
- Nintendo closed its Wii U shop this week.
- I bought a Wii U a couple of years ago so I could buy some virtual console (old Nintendo games) for it
- Bought a few games but then mostly forgot about my Wii U
- Figured I should go ahead and buy a few games that I was thinking of before Wii U shop closed
- I have been busy, so I put it off until the last minute
- Realized on deadline day that I did not have the plug for my Wii U controller (the giant one with the screen)
- Tried using my regular Wii controller
- Wii U shop needs Wii U controller
- I bought a few 3DS games instead
Thank you as always for reading and following The Newsletter Leaf Journal. If you enjoyed the newsletter and have not already subscribed, you can sign up for our Saturday mailing via email or simply add its RSS feed to your favorite feed reader. I also syndicate the newsletter to The New Leaf Journal during the following week. See all of our options here.
I have some interesting projects in store for April (I would say we ended March on a high note in terms of new feature articles). I hope you join us for those new articles and also for next week’s newsletter.
Until April 8,
Cura ut valeas.