The Newsletter Leaf Journal LXXXIV 〜 ProxiNewsletter
Note for Bearblog readers: The Newsletter Leaf Journal is the official newsletter of my main project, The New Leaf Journal. Each issue includes news about our new articles, links from around the web, and other news and notes. If you enjoy the content, you can sign up to receive our newsletter via email or RSS here. You can read our past issues in our archive.
Welcome to the 84th edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal, the official newsletter of the perennially virid online writing magazine, The New Leaf Journal. This newsletter comes to you as always from the waterproof keyboard of the editor of The New Leaf Journal, Nicholas A. Ferrell. Below, you will find our usual assortment of New Leaf Journal article recaps, links from around the web, and other exciting news and notes. I will also note that this is the first newsletter that I am simultaneously publishing at Bearblog.dev - so I welcome anyone finding it there.
Without further ado, let us get to the content.
Table of Contents
- Leaves & Leaflets 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 & Leaflets From The Week That Was
I published seven new articles since the previous newsletter.
- A Look at ProxiTok, a TikTok Frontend | N.A. Ferrell | May 14, 2022 | Summary: I reviewed ProxiTok, a privacy front-end for the dreadful TikTok. In so doing, I showed everyone how to find our own Victor V. Gurbo's content on TikTok through ProxiTok.
- A Writer's Case For Markdown | N.A. Ferrell |May 15, 2022 | Summary: Inspired by a 2017 article, I made the case for drafting and writing in markdown from the perspective of an ordinary writer.
- Excerpt's From "A Weaver's Reverie" | N.A. Ferrell | May 16, 2022 |Summary: I reprinted a beautiful 1840s essay by a factory girl which set out to answer the following question: "Why is it ... that the factory girls write so much about the beauties of nature?" I also prepared my own HTML version of the original essay.
- Blue Paint Memories and Hypotheticals | N.A. Ferrell | May 17, 2022 | Summary: A short anecdotal story proving that hypothetical tasks can be more memorable than real tasks.
- Blue Violets - An 1880 Children's Poem | N.A. Ferrell | May 18, 2022 | Summary: I included a concluding section with a list of links to other New Leaf Journal spring content that touch on violets.
- A Dialogue on Pot and Skunk Waterboarding | N.A. Ferrell | May 19, 2022 | Summary: Wherein Justin of our Justin & Justina dialogue duo presents an alternative theory to explain the persistent smell of marijuana in New York City.
- Baby Geese in Brooklyn Bridge Park | May 20, 2022 | Summary: New photos from the same spot I captured a family of geese in May 2021.
I also published a few Leaflet microposts throughout the week. A May 14 Leaflet covered an Android app called Mood SMS, which seems to have an odd number of trackers. On May 16, I addressed New York City's decision to loosen what already appear to be very loose standards on sanitation at restaurants (see Leaflet). On May 18, I covered a ladybug encounter and rescue. Finally, on May 19, I called for a new adaptation of Kare Kano, a classic anime series that aired in 1998 and 1999 and was beset by creative and financial drama in its second half.
2. Leaves From Around The Web
Let's see what's happening around the world wide web...
- Third-party web trackers log what you type before submitting | Bill Toulas for Bleeping Computer | May 16, 2022 | My thoughts: Ominous.
- Japanese universities determine cats know the name of other cats | Master Blaster for SoraNews24 | May 17, 2022 | My thoughts: You on the other hand...
- Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund Acquires 5% Stake in Nintendo | Thomas Whitehead for Nintendo Life | May 17, 2022 | My thoughts: Try explaining this headline to someone 25 years ago.
- I bought 300 emoji domain names from Kazakhstan and built an email service | Ben Stokes at Tiny Projects | March 11, 2021 | My thoughts: How could one not click the headline
- Kindle, EPUB, and Amazon's Love of Reinventing Wheels | Tom Nardi for Hackaday | May 17, 2022 | My thoughts: A look at the strange saga that is proprietary ebook formats on Kindle.
- Why Mao Zedong Didn't Invade Taiwan |Laura Lam for American Thinker | May 15, 2022 } My thoughts: Good content and context.
- Spy X Family and the Messy History, Dynamics, and Intent of Anima Co-Productions | kVin for Sakuga Blog | May 14, 2022 | My thoughts: An in-depth look at anime co-productions between different studios prompted by one of the most popular and well-funded series of the current season.
3. The Old Leaf Journal
Let's dig into our archives...
- Boston Police and Peacock Maintenance | N.A. Ferrell | May 20, 2020 | My thoughts: The first of what turned into many articles about wayward birds.
- Lysander and Cyrus the Younger's Garden | N.A. Ferrell | September 18, 2020 | My thoughts: A classic story about the love of gardening.
- Grafting a Bird's Head Crane Handle Onto a Wooden Umbrella | Victor V. Gurbo | June 8, 2022 | My thoughts: I thought of Victor's DIY umbrella-building piece after being rained on.
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 on site.
The week of May 14-20 was the twentieth newsletter week of 2022.
|#||Article Title and Link||Author||Date||22Top5|
|1||The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei||NAF||3.14.21||20 (16)|
|2||Biden, Lincoln, and Counting Back From the President’s Birth||NAF||4.29.22||2|
|3||The Last Stand of Constantine XI||NAF||5.30.20||8|
|4||Recommended F-Droid FOSS Apps For Android-Based Devices||NAF||11.27.21||20 (4)|
|5||Installing Ubuntu Touch on an Asus Nexus 7 (2013)||NAF||7.5.21||20|
Newsletter Week 20 was our second busiest week of 2022, behind only Newsletter Week 1 (Jan 1-7). It featured a bit of a shake-up at the top of the rankings behind my tsuki ga kirei essay, which took the top spot for the 16th time in 20 weeks. My survey of presidential birthdays resumed its momentum from the previous week, improving on its performance and taking the second spot. The biggest mover, however, was my 2020 article on Constantine XI. I suspected that it might do well as we approach the anniversary of the fall of Constantinople at the end of this month - it was strong around this time last year. After a quiet start to the month, Constantine was the best-performing article over the last three days of the week en route to posting its best week and highest finish of 2022. My F-Droid article narrowly dropped to fourth - falling out of the top-two for the first time since Newsletter Week 4 (Jan 22-28). My Ubuntu Touch piece rounded out the top five, losing a spot but making it 20 weeks in a row in the top five to start 2022.
5. Notable Leaf Journal
Today I will note an easy way to start a blog. bearblog.dev is a free-to-use blog service with a very minimalist UI. All posts are written in markdown, which I described in one of this week's articles. The free plan provides users with a blog at a bearblog.dev sub-domain and a blog. For a flat upgrade price of $29, users can set up their own domain with the blog (with SSL), upload images, and collect an email list (Bear does not send emails, however).
One reason I am using Bear is because it serves as a free and open source alternative to Medium. All posts in Bearblog have a field for adding a canonocial URL - which tells search engines where the post first appeared. Moreover, all Bearblog posts are added to the Bearblog discovery feed which consists of posts by all users. It has a voting "toast" system for content.
If this sounds interesting to you, it is free to try and use with some additional features slated to appear in the future.
6. News Leaf Journal
I almost had a fun feature to announce this week.
I decided to configure The New Leaf Journal to send and accept Webmentions. In short, Webmentions are site-to-site comments. If two sites are set up to send and receive Webmentions, and one links to the other, the site creating the link will send a mention to the other site, which can then display it.
I did configure The New Leaf Journal to send and accept Webmentions. The issue I have is with displaying Webmentions. At the moment, I would have to enable comments to show Webmentions. I do not particularly want to enable comments on posts - evinced by the fact that I have resisted doing so for more than two years. While being able to show Webmentions is neat, I do not have enough to justify a change to the site that would require maintenance and possibly have a small negative effect on performance. Thus, for the time being, I will investigate whether there is a way to display Webmentions and other linkbacks (I also enabled "Refbacks") without exposing a comment field.
Of course, I welcome all comments via our Contact Page.
While I am not displaying Webmentions yet, you can send us a mention if you link to a New Leaf Journal article. In order to send a Webmention, visit this link. The "Source URL" field is for your article. The Target URL field is for The New Leaf Journal article that you are linked to. Note this will only work if your article contains a link to our article (it may not work from everywhere).
I do plan to display Webmentions in the near future. I can do so easily by posting Admin comments "responding" to the invisible Webmentions. But before I go through the effort of doing that, I want to explore whether it is possible to implement a more elegant process without having a usable comment form.
7. Taking Leaf
Thank you as always for reading our latest issue of The Newsletter Leaf Journal. If you enjoyed the content and have not done so already, consider signing up to this weekly newsletter via email or RSS. I look forward to another week of exciting content.
Until May 28,
Cura ut valeas.
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