Welcome to the syndicated 148th edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal, the official newsletter of the perennially virid online writing magazine, The New Leaf Journal. I originally mailed the newsletter on Saturday, August 12, 2023. Below, you will find Newsletter 148 as it was originally written with a minor change to the conclusion section.
Leaves from the week that was
I published one new article since mailing newsletter 147.
- Trash pick-up vehicle on Brooklyn Bridge
N.A. Ferrell. August 10, 2023.
A 2019 photo of a small New York City DOT truck on the Brooklyn Bridge’s then-narrower pedestrian walkway.
I also published three short posts.
- MTA announces G-Train Upgrades (I offer some brief thoughts on one of the most unique NYC Subway lines)
- Brave no longer relying on Bing images (Brave drops its Bing images dependency in favor of serving images from its own index)
- Mojeek drops Bing and adds Openverse (More independent search engine image search news…)
Leaves from around the web
Let’s check in on what is (or was) happening around the world wide web…
- Truck crash leaves Arkansas highway covered in nacho cheese
Brad Matthews for The Washington Times. August 4, 2023.
At least it wasn’t limburger.
- The Illuminating Science Behind Fireflies
Madeline Bodin for Smithsonian Magazine. May 17, 2023.
While The New Leaf Journal has not yet covered fireflies, rest assured that it is a pro-firefly publication.
- Major Questions Or Lax Parents?
Josh Blackman at Volokh Conspiracy. July 27, 2023.
The intersection of statutory analysis and parenting.
- Notes on the French Intifada
Ed West at Wrong Side of History. July 14, 2023.
Thoughts on the recent riots in Paris.
- Westchester Avenue Station in The Bronx, New York
Atlas Obscura. March 22, 2023.
I never saw this abandoned station in person (The Bronx may as well be a foreign country to me), but it looks neat. Someone ought to take care of it.
- Publish your content in Bing News and Windows feed… if you are lucky enough
Dariusz Więckiewicz. May 14, 2023.
I correctly predicted the ending to this article before I read it.
- WT – Want to blog more? Go offline.
Weakty. November 23, 2022.
I agree to the extent that it would be hard to write much of note if you do not spend any time off the internet.
- Egypt Has Expelled a Dutch Museum’s Team of Archaeologists From Saqqara in Revenge Over a Controversial ‘Afrocentric’ Exhibition
Richard Whiddington for Artnet News. June 8, 2023.
“The fallout over the exhibition is related to complicated Egyptian notions of heritage and national identity. In what has sometimes been labeled cultural misappropriation, there is a sense of frustration that non-Egyptians are bundling Egypt’s culture together with other African cultures.” (Egypt’s point, which it made through the exercise of its territorial sovereignty, is that this is much less complicated than Dutch museums and Netflix want you to believe.)
- Archaeologists Find the Persian Gulf’s First Known Pearling Town
Christopher Parker for Smithsonian Magazine. March 22, 2023.
“Now, archaeologists have discovered the Persian Gulf’s first known year-round pearling settlement in the Umm Al Quwain emirate, around 30 miles northeast of Dubai. Villages like this one were mentioned in ancient literature, but their existence had never been confirmed by archaeological evidence.”
- Oberlin Sues Insurance Companies for the Costs of its Abusive Litigation Against Family-Owned Grocery
Jonathan Turley. August 8, 2023.
Maybe Oberlin should have found an insurer that covers damages stemming from malicious slander and incomprehensibly foolish legal decision-making.
- PDF Format History: Where Our Future History Lies
Ernie Smith at Tedium. February 27, 2018.
Have you considered turning this newsletter into a PDF?
- Managing Kitchen Fruit Flies with a Little Shop of Horrors
Zachary Cohn. July 21, 2023.
Putting carnivorous plants to good use…
The Old Leaf Journal
Let’s dig into our archives…
- A Brave Little Tree Grows in Manhattan
Nicholas A. Ferrell. August 27, 2020.
One of my better BlackBerry Classic photos: A tree growing from the roof of a tenement as seen from the Manhattan Bridge.
- Google Not Indexing Murena Phone Review
Nicholas A. Ferrell. August 11, 2022.
On August 9, 2021, I scheduled this article to go live on August 11. On August 10, this Google-neglected article unexpectedly made Hacker News page 1 and went on to become the most-visited article of 2022.
- A Lemon-Flavored Motherboard
Nicholas A. Ferrell. August 14, 2020.
My current workstation had a rough start…
- New Computer, New Leaf
Nicholas A. Ferrell. August 23, 2020.
…But a happy ending.
- Using Web Archives To Get Around CAPTCHAs
Nicholas A. Ferrell. August 12, 2022.
My useful guide to a creative use of the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine almost made its weekly top-five debut. It earns a spot in The Old Leaf Journal as a consolation prize.
- The “King Baby BKF” Sticker in Gowanus, Brooklyn
Nicholas A. Ferrell. December 8, 2021.
What can you add?
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 for 2023 newsletter week 32. (Note: All stats are for 2023 only.)
- Abraham Lincoln’s 1851 Letters on Work to John D. Johnston (NAF; Nov. 4, 2021)
4 appearances. First top placement.
- The Pokémon Special Split in Generation 2 – Statistics and Analysis (NAF; Jan. 18, 2022)
- Height differences in anime romances (NAF; March 22, 2023)
7 appearances. 4 top placements.
- The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei (NAF; March 14, 2021)
31 appearances. 10 top placements.
- Review of /e/ – An Android Alternative For Mobile Phones (NAF; Nov. 21, 2021)
My 2021 article on two 1851 letters written by Abraham Lincoln to his half-brother dominated the weekly rank, posting one of the stronger weeks of 2023 and easily taking its first top spot of 2023 and second overall. This article has had a strange ranking history. It left little impression in its first 10 months online until it came from nowhere to take the top spot in the weekly ranking on one week in September (a month in which it finished third overall). It stayed solid throughout the rest of 2022, became a non-entity in the first half of 2023, and suddenly regained its strength in July. I do not understand its occasional spikes, but time will tell whether it remains a fixture after posting three top-fives in five weeks.
Spots two-through-four featured some of our usual suspects of late. My 2021 /e/ OS review commemorated the one-year anniversary of its historic (by our modest standards) Hacker News success on August 10, 2022, with its first weekly top five since 2023 Newsletter Week 12. While the /e/ OS review has been quiet in 2023, it currently sits in a respectable 13th place in our overall ranking.
News leaf journal
We upgraded to the newest version of WordPress. I skimmed over the release notes and saw that there are apparently some improvements in the area of footnote handling. When I have a chance, I will study those more closely and see if we can improve upon the presentation of three recent footnote–filled articles.
Notable leaf journal
I need to write a full article about how I collect articles for the newsletter around the web section at some point. But I will briefly describe the process here since it segues into a story.
I usually read articles on my LineageOS-powered phone with the open source Handy Reading news reader. I previously explained that I like this reader because it combines read-it-later functionality with my feeds.
When I come across an article that I want to save for one reason or another, I use Android’s native sharing functionality to share the article into Markor, a free and open source text editor. I maintain several markdown files. One of them is for potential around the web articles. I use Syncthing to sync my entire directory of Markor lists to several devices, chief among them my main workstation. This ensures that the around the web markdown file, along with my other link lists, are shared directly from my phone to my computers – no cloud needed. One nice thing about sharing links into Markor is that they are saved in proper markdown. This works well here since the newsletter is written in markdown (contrast with New Leaf Journal where I draft articles in markdown but convert them to ODT or HTML before copying into WordPress).
Once every week (or two or three… sometimes), I review my around the web links and copy them to a separate markdown file where I add the publishing information and my commentary. I sometimes do this while I am working on the newsletter.
While writing this newsletter, I took a break before choosing my around the web links to go through the links I had collected over the last week and add them to my ready-to-use links document. After I was done, I continued writing the newsletter in the ready-to-use links document. I only noticed the error after publishing the most-turned leaves section and noticing that Ghostwriter, my preferred markdown editor, was reporting that the newsletter draft was more than 8,300 words. Seeing the error, I cut the section of the newsletter that I wrote into the collected links markdown file and pasted it into the newsletter draft. Unfortunately, I had neglected to actually choose my 12 around the web links, so I cut and pasted 12 from the collected links file into the newsletter before continuing to write the news leaf journal and the instant section.
(In my defense – I am writing this newsletter late at night after having spent a good amount of my day reading legal submissions and writing a memorandum.)
Thank you as always for reading The Newsletter Leaf Journal. If you enjoyed the newsletter and have not done so already, you can subscribe to our Saturday newsletter with your email or add the newsletter’s RSS feed to your favorite reader (no sign-up required). I also syndicate the newsletter to The New Leaf Journal during the following week (you’re reading the syndicated version). See the options here.
While we did not have a busy week at The New Leaf Journal, the site keeps on ticking with regular updates. I do not expect a particularly busy week ahead (August may be back-loaded), but I should have some interesting articles and news and notes to share on August 19,
Until the 19th,
Cura ut valeas!