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Our ninth weekly update falls on America’s 244th birthday.  The past week has been eventful.  Finally free of caching problems, I posted eight new pieces of content since my previous week-in-review post.  The biggest news of the week is related to two of those posts.  We are now accepting sign-ups for our official newsletter, The Newsletter Leaf Journal.  Below, I will go through our new content, new newsletter, and some things to look forward to in the coming days and weeks.

Clipped from "Ten Years Among Mailbags:  Or, Notes from the Diary of a Special Agent of the Post-Office Department" - The Newsletter Leaf Journal has a long way to go to reach 10 years.
Clipped from “Ten Years Among Mailbags: Or, Notes from the Diary of a Special Agent of the Post-Office Department,” retrieved from Project Gutenberg.

New Content

I will begin by going through six of the eight posts from the past week.

New Leaf Journal July 4 Content

I posted a couple of long reads on two little-known addresses by soon-to-be presidents to commemorate Independence Day.

The first, Benjamin Harrison’s Memorable July 4, 1888, tells the story of Harrison accepting the Republican nomination for president from his home on July 4, 1888.  His eventful Independence Day did not end there, however.  He received a subsequent visit from the Tippecanoe Club of Marion County, a political organization composed entirely of veterans who had supported his grandfather’s successful campaign for president in 1840.

The second article recounts a speech that then-Lt. Governor of Massachusetts, Calvin Coolidge, delivered from Fairhaven, Massachusetts, on July 4, 1918.  As I noted in an earlier post, July 4 was also Calvin Coolidge’s birthday.  His speech tells the interesting story of an American sea captain rescuing a young Japanese boy and bringing him to America.  That young Japanese boy would eventually return to Japan and play an important role in building early relations with the United States.

The-Man-With-the-Hose

Why does the man-with-the-hose use so much water to clean the sidewalk?  This is the question I posed, and attempted to answer, in Examining the-Man-With-the-HoseNot content to settle for an easy answer, I searched for the truth in the annals of pre-Socratic ancient Greek philosophy.  The article comes with a picture of Victor’s cat, Pumpkin.

Video Game Accessories Left Me Behind

About a year ago, I came across a Nintendo Switch accessory designed to allow you to affix your phone to your controller.  As someone who began playing games in the 90s, this concept was foreign to me.  You can read my assessment and see my artistic rendition of the product in A Fogy’s Take on New Video Game Accessories.

Wishing Thomas Sowell a Happy Birthday

Thomas Sowell, one of America’s most incisive thinkers and economists, celebrated his 90th birthday on June 30, 2020.  To commemorate the occasion, I posted an article about an interesting passage from one of his many books about maintaining discipline in schools.  I found that his assessment applied not only to education, but also to larger communities outside the classroom.  You can judge for yourself in Thomas Sowell on Hard-Core Troublemakers.

Try Our Guestbook

Last week, I set up The New Leaf Journal GuestbookShortly after I posted the last week in review, I published a brief introductory article with tips for using the GuestbookWe would love to hear from you, so please give the article a read and try signing our Guestbook if you have any thoughts or ideas.

The Newsletter Leaf Journal and Our RSS Email

I finished setting up our official newsletter, The Newsletter Leaf Journal.  Our newsletter is powered by FeedBurner and now accepting sign-ups.  You can sign up from our sidebar (this will be under the content if you are on a mobile device) or from our designated newsletter sign-up page.  In addition to The Newsletter Leaf Journal, you may also sign-up for our daily RSS email.  This second option is not a newsletter, but instead will automatically send you an email with our newest articles on evenings of days we post new content.

If you want to learn more about the newsletters before signing up, you can read my recent article about them.

The Future of Week in Review Posts

In the newsletter posts, I note that we will be sending The Newsletter Leaf Journal every weekend.  For the time being, however, I will continue posting week-in-review content in the same manner I have been.  If enough people sign up for The Newsletter Leaf Journal, I may scale down or re-orient the week-in-review posts in the future.

Other News and Updates

Last week, I promised that we would have book review content imminently.  Unfortunately, the plug-in that I was going to use for book reviews disagreed with our theme.  While it may have been possible to resolve the issues, I decided to cut my losses and figure out how to replicate some of the features of the plug-in through the normal WordPress block editor.  I came up with a solution, so you can expect to see our first book review tomorrow.

Victor and I are still working on finalizing a site logo and deciding on the feasibility of a front-page slider.  I am planning to add a designated contact page and a legal information page in the near future.

I will begin sending newsletters next weekend, on July 11 or 12.

Beyond the logo, slider, short pages, and newsletter, I do not have plans to make significant changes to the site in the immediate future.  Since I am generally happy with how the site works and looks, I will spend most of my time working on new content, leaving some of the admin life behind in the cosmic server cache.

Thank You For Reading – Happy Independence Day

Thank you, as always, for reading and following The New Leaf Journal.  We wish everyone a happy and healthy Independence Day.  While the outdoor festivities may be tempered this year due to measures undertaken to contain the Wuhan coronavirus and civil unrest in several cities, we can still take the day to reflect on America’s great founding and the principles imbued in the Declaration that endure in the hearts of patriots over two centuries later.