Happy New Year to all! I have five content recommendations from around the web for our first Sunday recommendation post of 2021. While I am working solo for this edition, I came up with a wide variety of articles covering a range of subjects including second century philosophy, Middle Eastern cathedrals, Japanese tax policies, Wuhan virus nomenclature debates, and 1990s video game console launches (almost) gone wrong. In addition to these content recommendations, I also have an internet resource recommendation and an article selected from our own archives.

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Nicholas A. Ferrell’s Recommendations From Around the Web

Internet Classics Archive: “Enchiridion”

By Epictetus. (Tr. by Elizabeth Carter.)

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The Enchiridion is a short classic work of stoic philosophy written by Epictetus in 135 AD. It contains just over 50 short chapters wherein Epictetus offers guidance on how to live. Clear, concise, and to the point, it is worth reading and considering even if one does not accept Epictetus’s worldview wholesale. The entire text comes out to 10 pages and change if you convert it to a PDF. I figured that this would be an interesting content recommendation for everyone with New Year’s resolutions. Furthermore, I will write more about Enchiridion here at The New Leaf Journal, so you can get a head start on your reading. One of my recent posts was based on chapter 38.

Arab News: “Bahrain church project cements Gulf region’s reputation for religious tolerance”

Rawaa Talass. December 24, 2020.

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This is an interesting article about the ongoing construction of a Catholic cathedral in Bahrain. The Cathedral of Our Lady of Arabia is expected to open to the public in May, and it will be the largest Catholic cathedral in the Gulf region. The church is building it on land donated by the King of Bahrain, Hamad Al-Khalifa. The story includes architectural details about the Cathedral.

Kalzumeus: “Japan’s Hometown Tax”

Patrick McKenzie. October 19, 2018.

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This 2018 blog post discusses a policy in Japan wherein taxpayers may opt to donate up to 40% of their next year’s residence tax to the city or prefecture of their choice, meaning that the chosen city or prefecture gets that portion of the taxpayer’s revenue instead of the city or prefecture where he or she resides. I will do a short post on one part of this article in the near future, but it is an interesting read in its entirety.

The Federalist: “NBC Spreads Pro-Wuhan Anti-America Propaganda To Swipe at Trump”

Tristan Justice. December 31, 2020.

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Nick says: We celebrated the new year hear at The New Leaf Journal by publishing an article on our most-read content from 2021. Coming in at seventh on the list was my article against Chinese propaganda, wherein I asserted that certain politicians as well as U.S. corporations and media outlets were parroting Chinese Communist Party talking points about the Wuhan virus for their own political and commercial gain. This article succinctly highlights a recent example of NBC doing just that. I was particularly taken by NBC describing the calling of the virus that came from Wuhan the “China virus” or the “Wuhan virus” as “racist.” I would call it a fact, for the virus did come from Wuhan, the Chinese Communist Party did cover it up, and the World Health Organization expressly worked with China to come up with a name stripping any reference to China, eventually settling on the anodyne “COVID-19.” For NBC, however, money and pats on the back speak louder than truth.

Nintendo Life: “The Untold Story Of The Bug That Almost Sank The Dreamcast’s North American Launch”

Damien McFerran. November 15, 2020.

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The Sega Dreamcast was a video game console released on September 9, 1999. It was notable both for being Sega’s last console and for being, at the time, miles ahead of the competition in terms of its raw power. There was never a time before or since when one video game console was so clearly superior to the competition in terms of its graphical power. Dreamcast had a spectacular launch (I received a Dreamcast within weeks of its launch) before falling to Earth and being discontinued in 2001, but according to this piece, Dreamcast’s shining moment was almost derailed by a peculiar bug.

Nick’s Internet Resource Recommendation: Webster’s 1913

There is no shortage of dictionaries online, but many modern dictionaries are beholden to fads and lack useful usage examples. On matters that have not changed greatly in recent years, older dictionaries are often better. Long-time readers of The New Leaf Journal will know that I cite often to the 1889-91 Century Dictionary, a classic text that is available on the Internet Archive. As terrific as that dictionary is, the Internet Archive version is not the fastest to search. The best easily searchable older dictionary available is Webster’s 1913, which you can find at www.websters1913.com. The site has a simple homepage wherein you can search for any term and see whether it is in the dictionary, as well as similar terms. Definitions are presented simply and cleanly, often with some of the best usage examples that the English language has to offer. Webster’s 1913 is currently the newest version of Webster’s International Dictionary that is available out of copyright – and it will remain so until the 1932 edition of Webster’s Second comes free. I will convert these brief thoughts into a full article at a later date, but you can get a head start and bookmark Webster’s 1913 for your personal use.

Old Leaf Journal: A Selection From Our Archives

Women’s Fashion Trends for January 1841

Nicholas A. Ferrell. November 5, 2020.

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While I am admittedly not a fashion expert, I skimmed through an issue of the January 1841 edition of Graham’s Magazine and wrote a brief article about women’s fashion trends in Philadelphia at the time. Sadly, because I have a distinct lack of fashion knowledge, I could do little more than post an illustration from the magazine and offer some brief thoughts. It is an interesting picture with cites, however, so I still recommend the post. In early October, I wrote a more detailed fashion piece with extensive dictionary references (including to Webster’s 1913, see above) on the subject of autumnal fashion trends in New York in 1850, which you can read here.