Newsletter Leaf Journal XCIX 〜 Like a dove on the beach
Welcome to the 99th edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal, the official newsletter of the perennially virid online writing magazine, The New Leaf Journal. Our last newsletter in the double digits comes to you as always from the waterproof keyboard of the editor of The New Leaf Journal, Nicholas A. Ferrell. Today’s newsletter comes to you packed with updates from The New Leaf Journal, links from around the web, and other news and notes. Without further ado, let’s cut to the content.
Table of Contents
- Leaves From The Week That Was
- Leaves From Around The Web
- The Old Leaf Journal
- Most-Turned Leaves Of The Newsletter Week
- Notable Leaf Journal
- News Leaf Journal
- Taking Leaf
1. Leaves From The Week That Was
I published five new articles since mailing the previous newsletter. One of these articles was our traditional month-in-review post. Below, I will review the other four articles from the last week.
- The Ferris Wheel Off the Triborough Bridge.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. August 28, 2022
Summary: I finally published one of my favorite original photographs.
- A Rooster Statue in Brooklyn.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. August 30, 2022.
Exactly as advertised.
- Creating a Search Engine Shortcut For Google Timer.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. September 1, 2022.
After writing an article about creating search engine timer shortcuts for DuckDuckGo and Brave Search, which was inspired by the death of Google Timer, I figured that I needed to cover Google Timer after it rose from the dead (notwithstanding the fact that I will never use my own shortcut).
- Dove on the Beach in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. September 2, 2022.
Where else would one find a beach but in Brooklyn Bridge Park (on the East River). Where else would one find a dove but on the beach?
The last week was light on Leaflet microposts, but I submitted two for your reading configuration. Firstly, I covered some default application issues after switching to a new operating system. Secondly, I talked briefly about ordering a GB Operator, a device that allows for playing original Game Boy cartridges on the PC (it has not arrived yet, so further analysis will have to wait).
2. Leaves From Around The Web
My content from the last week was largely picture-based, so save for those of you who want to try my custom search engine timer shortcuts, our new content may not be enough to hold you over for the entire weekend (albeit, I will note that we have 657 articles in our Archive at the moment). To ensure that no one is left wanting for reading material, I present ten article links from around the web.
- Japanese government, please stop using floppy disks, politician asks.
Casey Baseel for SoraNews24. September 2, 2022. My thoughts: Leave the floppy disks alone.
- What is TiVoization & Why You Should Care! (Video).
Brodie Robertson on YouTube. September 1, 2022. My thoughts: An interesting short video about TiVo (which I learned is (A) still around, (B) based on Linux, and (C) technically open source), open source licensing, and Linux’s license in particular.
- Most DisplayPort cables aren’t sold with correct information.
bloopernova on Hacker News. August 28, 2022.
My thoughts: I had never heard of a DisplayPort cable until I built my current computer and discovered that my video card has one. My primary monitor (I use two on my workstation) is now powered by DisplayPort.
- America’s Bad Bet on Sports Gambling.
Christopher Caldwell for Compact. September 2, 2022.
Quote: “I sat in a sports bar in King of Prussia, Penn., with a former gambler who had opened his laptop to explain how betting sites work. It was a slow sports day, and suddenly there popped up on his screen a solicitation to bet on Argentina’s ‘B’ Soccer league. ‘If you’re sitting here in the dark on a beautiful Saturday afternoon placing prop bets on the Argentine B league,’ he said, ‘I don’t think you need the DSM-V to tell you what the problem is.’“
- Former world champion reveals that she was ordered to lose Olympic semi-final.
Jacob Qvirin Petersen for sport.tv2.dk. August 27, 2022.
Introduction: “In an exclusive interview with TV 2 SPORT, the Chinese champion tells the whole story for the first time about what exactly happened 22 years ago at the Sydney Olympics, when she was instructed to take a dive in the semi-final against her compatriot, Gong Zhichao.”
- Your child’s privacy is worth more than likes.
Luiza Jarovsky. September 1, 2022.
My thoughts: See my November 2020 article on the same topic.
- Spreading floral plants are pretty, but they pose ecological threat.
Yu Kotsubo for The Asahi Shumbun. August 28, 2022.
Quote: “Deer have caused serious overgrazing problems across Japan, but they do not feed on digitalis. The poisonous flower could thrive while other native plants are eaten up by the animals.”
- Write Thin to Write Fast
Breck Yunits. October 15, 2021.
My thoughts: I agree to a point, but that point is a bit longer than 36 characters per line (my current Ghostwriter window allows 80 characters per line).
- 5 Tools to Protect Your Email Address From Websites and Newsletters.
Ankush Das for It’s FOSS. August 12, 2022.
My thoughts: I use SimpleLogin premium, but all five options in this article look good.
3. The Old Leaf Journal
Let’s dig into our New Leaf Journal archives.
- The End of the Western Roman Empire.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. September 4, 2020.
Summary: As we approach the 1646th anniversary of the fall of Rome in the West, I link back to my post marking the 1644th anniversary…
- Project Gutenberg Sources on the Life and Reign of Romulus Augustulus.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. September 4, 2021.
Summary: …And my post on the 1645th anniversary of the fall of Rome in the West for good measure.
- The 999 Life of Herman Cain.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. August 1, 2020.
Summary: The 99th newsletter is one 9 short of 999, which I explained was the late Herman Cain’s 2012 presidential campaign calling card in a post that I published shortly after his death at the age of 74.
- 75th Anniversary of the Japanese Surrender.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. September 2, 2020.
Summary: A short post on the 75th anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War II. It includes an embedded recording of the surrender ceremony aboard the USS Missouri.
4. Most-Turned Leaves Of The Newsletter Week
I list our most-visited articles of the previous week in each newsletter. In keeping with our newsletter schedule, these “Newsletter Weeks” begin with Saturday and end on Friday. The statistics come courtesy of our local and privacy-friendly analytics solution, Koko Analytics - which I reviewed. The week of August 27 to September 2 was the 35th Newsletter Week of 2022.
|1||The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei||NAF||3.14.21||35 (22)|
|2||Review of /e/ - An Android Alternative For Mobile Phones||NAF||11.21.21||4 (3)|
|3||“Casey’s Revenge” - Grantland Rice’s 1896 Reply Poem to “Casey at Bat”||NAF||8.26.21||1|
|4||Recommended F-Droid FOSS Apps For Android-Based Devices (2021)||NAF||11.27.21||34 (7)|
|5||Abraham Lincoln’s 1851 Letters on Work to John D. Johnston||NAF||11.4.21||1|
Newsletter week 35 saw two 2021 articles make their first-ever appearances. My August 2021 article on Grantland Rice’s Casey’s Revenge poem took third place on the ranking while my November 2021 article on two letters by Abraham Lincoln to his step-brother came in 5th. The source of both debut appearances may be referrals from classroom.google.com, which suddenly appeared when my Casey’s Revenge article began receiving a bump in traffic. The Casey’s Revenge article has performed decently in 2022 - it was our 24th most-read article of the year at the half-way point and sits in 28th as of the mailing of the instant newsletter, so perhaps it will maintain its performance going forward. September 2021 did see one of our strangest strong article performances in my review of the hair color of Iroha Isshiki, an anime character - the post took 10th place in the September 2021 ranking despite not having been close to that status before or since.
The rest of the Newsletter week 35 top-five was less eventful. My tsuki ga kirei article secured its 22nd first-place finish of the year, displacing my /e/ OS review which held the spot for three consecutive weeks. My 2021 F-Droid app review is fading a bit, but it secured its 34th top five in the 35 weeks of 2022 (spoiler: I will publish a new F-Droid app piece before 2022 ends).
5. Notable Leaf Journal
Today I will share a free and open source (and free as in cost) tool that I made use of for three of the five articles that I published in the last week.
Upscayl is a small application which upscales images (shocker). According to the FAQ on its GitHub repository, it “uses AI models to enhance your images by guessing what the details could be.” I tested it on images that were not actually low-res and was satisfied with the results. You can see the fuller results of Upscayl in my Pixelfed post of the Ferris wheel picture I featured in my first article of the last week (note: I had to scale the upscayl’d photo down by about 50% in order to bring it within Pixelfed Social’s file-size limit). The results have been quite good.
Upscayl is now available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. I have only tried Upscayl on Linux. For those not inclined to build it from source on Linux, it is available as a Flatpak and Appimage. I opted for the Appimage version.
One caveat for Upscayl is that it requires “a Vulkan compatible GPU,” there referring to a video card. While my main workstation does have one, I will note that my computer crashed on the first occasion I tried to upscale an image wherein I had my usual two monitors open along with a number of applications. The crashing issue did not arise for any subsequent upscale attempts.
The current version of Upscayl lacks options beyond dropping an image and letting the application go to work, but it is a new project and the team behind it has a road-map on the GitHub repository for adding new features.
6. News Leaf Journal
I do not have much New Leaf Journal news to report, but I am moving on several projects that I look forward to sharing with you in the coming weeks. I remain busy with real work for the time-being, so the projects that require substantial work (meaning projects other than my short-but-surely-charming photo posts) will be spread out a bit.
7. Taking Leaf
Thank you as always for joining us for the 99th Newsletter Leaf Journal. I look forward to mailing a special 100th newsletter on September 10. Although this was not planned, I will note here (and note again next week) Victor V. Gurbo published our 100th article on September 10, 2020 (time flies).
Until newsletter 100,
Cura ut valeas.
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