Welcome to the syndicated version of Newsletter Leaf Journal 142. You can see the original version here. Our July 1 newsletter included a number of 4th of July links to go with our usual assortment if New Leaf Journal news and notes and highlights from around the web. If you enjoy the newsletter, you can read about all the following options here.

Leaves from the week that was

I only published three full articles since mailing newsletter 141, with one being our June review. In my defense, however, the combined word count of these articles was above average.

I examined an interesting question on the 20th anniversary of the 2003 NBA Draft. The Detroit Pistons lucked into the second overall pick thanks to a trade it had made in August 1997. The Pistons were unusual for being a good team, having won 50 games and made the Eastern Conference Finals the year before, picking at the top of the draft. The Pistons took Darko Milicic with the second pick ahead of three future hall of fame players (Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade). Mr. Milicic was traded by the Pistons in his third season after barely seeing the court. Conventional wisdom says that the Pistons should have drafted Mr. Anthony or Mr. Bosh with the second pick (Mr. Wade proved to be the best of the next three picks, but there is no evidence he was on the Pistons’ radar as their number two pick). I argue that conventional wisdom understates one complicating factor – the Pistons won the NBA Championship in 2003-04 after drafting Mr. Milicic over Mr. Anthony.

I published this as a companion article to the Pistons-Anthony piece (it stands on its own, however). Here, I explain how exactly a very poorly conceived throw-away trade in 1997 would cost the Memphis Grizzlies (they were the Vancouver Grizzlies in `97) six years later the second overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft.

No surprises…

I also published four short posts.

Leaves from around the web

Let’s check in around the world wide web…

Astute readers of one of my pieces on a George Washington poem will quickly deduce that I agree entirely with this article.

He probably drafted it in markdown and then used Pandoc to convert it to Word (Congress was reluctant to adopt open formats, alas).

The nexus between a U.S. Army base and lizard obesity is unclear only to the uninitiated.

A neat family history.

I knew the name of this show sounded familiar. I saw the first season in… 2017. Six years between seasons. The first season wasn’t good. Is the underlying manga popular or something? I don’t understand.

Surprisingly young ghost town…

Surely the repeated references to “wine” by some of the dramatic personae in the documents are really about wine.

Even if it is not, it is probably still good. Chocolate mint is the best ice cream and best milkshake (vanilla mint might be better, however – someone needs to get on that).

Not built to last.

Hey! I described it as dystopian first!

It turns out that pancakes have a long (and varied) history.

Gulf War Game Boy Says Goodbye to Nintendo New York Store
Daniel Bueno for Siliceonera. June 30, 2023.

In the end, Saddam lost to the Game Boy.

The Old (Independence) Leaf Journal

Let’s dig into our archives to find some suitable content for the July 1 newsletter…

Our fictional dialogue duo explains what is really happening with all of those Independence Day grilling sessions.

Reviewing one of the finest Independence Day speeches.

This 4th of July speech makes for interesting reading alongside Coolidge’s (see above link).

Harrison formally accepted the Republican nomination for president on July 4, 1888. He had a busy day giving speeches from his porch. Things would become even busier beginning on March 4, 1889, when Harrison was sworn in as the 23rd President of the United States.

That time my New Leaf Journal colleague and I recorded two Independence Day-themed Pokémon battles. (Technically speaking, my Guestbook question at the bottom of the post is still live!)

While one may think it was an extraordinary coincidence for the 5th President of the United States, James Monroe, to die on July 4, it was not. He was in fact the third of the first five presidents to die on Independence Day, following the second and third presidents, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who had perished exactly six years to the date of Monroe’s July 4, 1831 death. While no subsequent presidents died on July 4, Calvin Coolidge called July 4 his birthday.

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 26.

  1. The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei (NAF, 3.14.21)
    2023 Appearances: 26
    Top Placements: 9
  2. Heights in “The Dangers in My Heart” Anime (NAF, 4.2.23)
    2023 Appearances: 5
  3. The Pokémon Special Split in Generation 2 – Statistics and Analysis (NAF, 1.18.22)
    2023 Appearances: 18
  4. Peekier Search Engine Review (NAF, 2.26.22)
    2023 Appearances: 19
    Top Placements: 3
  5. The Enigmatic Life and Death of Emperor Otho (NAF, 4.18.21)
    2023 Appearances: NEW

Newsletter Week 26 was our quietest week in terms of page views of the year thus far (Wednesday-Friday were particularly slow). But our ranking saw some interesting developments.

My Fire Emblem Engage article missed the top five for the first time since it was published after making the list in each of its first 20 full weeks. 20 is a good streak. Off the top of my head, it is only the fifth time an article has made 20 consecutive top fives. My Peekier search engine review is now at 18 weeks, so perhaps it will hang on two more weeks to join the 20-club.

My tsuki ga kirei article did not miss the top five, and in so doing made its 114th consecutive appearance. It also notched its fourth consecutive top five. While it is well off the peaks it saw in late 2021 and the first half of 2022, it continues to perform consistently well no matter what is going on around it.

Our surprise of the week was the appearance of The New Leaf Journal’s longest article, my 2021 survey of accounts of the life and death of Roman Emperor Otho, in the fifth position. The Otho article has been a generally solid if not unspectacular performer, checking in as our 27th most-visited article of 2021 and the 43rd most-visited article of 2022. In its more than two years online, it had never made a newsletter week top five (I thought it had in 2021, but apparently it did not). It finally makes its top-five debut in the last week of June 2023. For whatever it is worth, it had a few weeks that were better in pure numerical terms, but this was one of its better weeks, and it picked a good week (read mediocre for everyone else) to perform well. The Otho article was strong generally in June, posting its best month in terms of views and achieving its highest rank (10th) since April 2021 (7th). I am not sure what to make of its recent solid performance, but in theory there is no reason a long history of a Roman Emperor could not permanently trend upward.

News week journal

In what should be unsurprising news in light of the fact that I did not have time to post many New Leaf Journal articles in the last week, there were no notable changes to The New Leaf Journal more broadly. I have not received any further updates from our Bing case-worker, so I will request an update on Wednesday to see if the review of our unexplained Bing ban is still ongong. Bing’s weirdness aside, it would be nice for people searching on Bing, or more importantly Bing front-ends such as DuckDuckGo, to be able to discover New Leaf Journal articles again.

Notable leaf journal

Yukinu, a friend of The New Leaf Journal, published a very informative essay on the history of the Unity Desktop environment which I recommend reading. I have never used Unity seriously beyond my brief experiences with a version of it when I tested Ubuntu Touch. Yukinu, somewhat inspired by my specious essay arguing that an anime character should use Linux instead of Windows, examined in detail several real Linux-anime appearances in a 2020/2022 anime called Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove It.

Yukinu goes in-depth into the Unity sightings in Science Fell in Love in a way that someone who has written detailed essays about hair color in anime series and visual novels can appreciate, going so far as to discover that the Unity sightings were anime-exclusive (computer pictures in the underlying manga have a distinct Windows appearance). It is an impressive study, and I look forward to seeing whether Yukinu can discover what prompted the anime team to add Linux-Unity references that did not exist in the manga source material.

Taking leaf

Thank you as always for reading The Newsletter Leaf Journal. If you do not already follow the publication, you can sign up to receive the Saturday newsletter via email, add the newsletter RSS feed to your favorite feed reader, or wait for the syndicated version on The New Leaf Journal. See all of our options here.

I hope that all of our American readers have a restful and patriotic July 4. I look forward to publishing new articles and reporting back next week.

Until July 8,

Cura ut valeas.