I have seven articles to share with you for our fifth New Leaf Journal week in review post.  Furthermore, although we did not make any substantive changes to the site design itself, I will note some things that you may have to look forward to in the near future.  Without further ado, let us start with the articles from the end of May and beginning of June.

No food to go with the update today. But with New York City officially ending parts of its quarantine on Monday, perhaps we will have something on offer next week. Snipped image courtesy of Project Gutenberg.

New Leaf Journal Articles from the Week

The Quarantine Sessions Return

Victor posted his fourth Quarantine Sessions article.  In this post, Victor and Mark Caserta perform After the Death of Boo Radley, one of Victor’s own original compositions.  Victor then gives the story of how he put the song together and offers some general thoughts on how a piece of art can change through its creation process.  The post is well worth your time both for the music and the interesting insights that follow.  Perhaps Victor’s best line from the piece:  “The priority in creating art is not fidelity to a plan, but fidelity to the work itself.”

The Heroic Death of the Last Byzantine Emperor

May 29 marked the 567 years to the day the Ottoman Turks conquered Constantinople and extinguished the Eastern Roman Empire, more commonly known today as the Byzantine Empire.  Although they say history is written by the winners, I focused instead on Greek accounts of the last days of Emperor Constantine XI.  My post contains long passages translating accounts of Constantine’s final days.  Although he knew that his cause was likely lost, Constantine resolved to fight until the bitter end, and he died a heroic death alongside his common soldiers.  I argue that Constantine’s final days encapsulated the ideals of Republican and Christian Rome.

The Trees Leaf in May

“The trees leaf in May” is the usage example provided by several older dictionaries for “leaf” as a transitive verb.  I thought that the example was elegantly fitting for the first month of The New Leaf Journal.  My post explores several dictionary definitions and usage examples for “leaf,” with pictures.  I think those of you who like dictionaries and vocabulary will enjoy the article.

On Pet Millipedes

I have never had a pet millipede, but I once read an interesting fact about caring for one.  I was reminded of this millipede fact when I saw a story about the discovery of a 450-million year old millipede fossil.  What was the fact?  I would hate to spoil the surprise here.

The Death of the Last Civil War Pensioner

I discuss the recent death of Irene Triplett.  Ms. Triplett was the last living Civil War pensioner.  Her father started the Civil War fighting the Confederacy before switching sides to the Union in the middle of hostilities.  Ms. Triplett was born in 1930 when her father was already 83.  The post offers an overview of her life and times and some final thoughts on the end of an era.

Get Off My Lawn, Prime Minister Morrison

I highlight a humorous story where an Australian citizen asked the Prime Minister to get off his newly-seeded lawn.  The exchange was amicable and provides a portrait on the relationship between the citizens and the government in Australia.  The post includes a video of the exchange.

On New York City Curfews

In a longer piece, I criticize some of New York City’s application of its new curfew policy as applied to workers who are deemed essential.  My main argument is that New York City’s decision to suspend ride-sharing services during the early-hours of the nightly curfews is poorly justified, and an unnecessary inconvenience to the essential workers the State and City claim to care so much about.  This is especially so, I argue, in light of some of the inherent tensions in New York’s application of both its social distancing and curfew policies.  As with all pieces in The New Leaf Journal, the author speaks only for himself unless otherwise stated.

Site Updates

As I noted, we did not make any meaningful changes to the site this week.  The email newsletter creation remains in progress and we hope to have that ready in the very near future.  We are also working on implementing a sort of guestbook functionality to give those of you who do not use Facebook an easier way to contact us.  Beyond that, we are considering some ideas for improving the site template to make The New Leaf Journal a more aesthetic online magazine.  I may have some more updates on that as well in the future.

Looking Forward

Last week, I promised that a new Emu Café feature would be ready on Friday night.  Sadly, I will be one day late.  But you can look forward to that article this evening for a Saturday evening or Sunday read.  I will be examining the question of whether one should sit through the credits for a good movie or game, and whether one should finish a bad movie or game at all.  I also have some other ideas for posts that I hope you will find interesting, but I will save those for the week ahead.  For his part, I am sure Victor is working on some interesting new posts about music and art.  Since he is my one and only portal into the world of music, I look forward to learning from his upcoming articles.

Thank You For Reading

Thank you as always for reading and continuing to follow The New Leaf Journal.  We look forward to posting more content that is worth your while and improving the website as a whole.  If you would like to find our earlier site updates, you can access them in our New Leaf Journal General category.