I have not followed the NBA closely since 2016. However, I am working on a few article projects for The New Leaf Journal focusing on interesting NBA points, primarily from when I followed the league closely (1997-2016). See, for example, my pair of articles from last year on the Detroit Pistons’ 2003 NBA Draft and the 1997 trade which gave them the second pick in that Draft. I am in the midst of writing an article on the 2001-02 NBA MVP race, wherein Tim Duncan narrowly won the honor over Jason Kidd, but not without controversy (spoiler for my take: Mr. Duncan was the clear MVP). For that reason, I was happy to see that Basketball Reference, which I use for all of my NBA articles, just added awards voting information to its main player tables. While award voting sometimes goes sideways and specific awards do not age well (e.g., had Jason Kidd won the MVP over Tim Duncan…), I think it adds valuable context to how the media viewed specific players at the time they played.

Writing Prompt: What’s an anime that you’ve fallen asleep to? by Yomu (Umai Yomu Anime Blog)
Let’s get another one of these prompts going, and this one will be quite short!

Yomu of the Umai Yomu Anime Blog posted a new writing prompt: “What’s an anime that you’ve fallen asleep to?” Let us see Yomu’s response:

Strangely enough, I’ve never fallen asleep to an anime, even when including re-watching series where I’d already have an idea of what was going to happen and there was less need to pay attention. For some reason, anime just doesn’t make me sleepy, or I don’t want to sleep while I watch it.

I tend to watch anime at night before bed. I recall having fallen asleep during an episode once. However, I do not remember exactly when this occurred or what I was watching (maybe it is harder to remember stuff when you are falling asleep). With that being said, I do distinctly remember falling asleep once during Earth science class and once during psychology class in 11th grade, but that is not the prompt. It would be dull to end my answer to the actual prompt with I fell asleep once while watching an anime episode but I forget the anime. I will thus modify the prompt. I will think of an anime that I have watched that has the natural tendency to drain my ability to stay awake. That I can answer easily: Space Brothers. I was watching it with a friend in college (in a study room in the college library) at the same time as we were watching Kids on the Slope (another sleepy candidate) and Puella Magi Madoka Magica (which gave rise to an anecdote I published in The New Leaf Journal). Space Brothers started promising enough, but it began to lose both of us during the box arc, which featured the characters being in a box. They finally got out of the box close to episode 40, but we checked out at episode 39 of what ended up being 99 episodes. I do not think I am going to catch up for the upcoming continuation.

Alien Street Vendors and Unauthorized Employment by Nicholas A. FerrellNicholas A. Ferrell
The Gothamist published an article on the push to ban street vendors from the magisterial Brooklyn Bridge. I am 100% in support of banning street vendors from the Bridge. But vendors said there are not many legal spots where t...

I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge for the first time since New York City evicted all of the vendors and panhandlers a few weeks ago. I fully supported clearing the Bridge for pedestrians just like I previously supported removing the bike lane from the walkway. However, I was skeptical that New York City would follow through. I can happily report that I saw no vendors or stands on my two walks across the Brooklyn Bridge on the afternoon of February 6, 2024. Despite having a decent number of pedestrians, both walks were easy and painless (save for the one guy twirling around with his “selfie stick”). Moreover, I only saw one illegal bike on the Bridge. There were a few cops (first time I have seen cops on the Bridge since early 2020), so that may also be helping.

Photograph of the Manhattan skyline and Freedom Tower from the Manhattan pedestrian exit/entrance of the Brooklyn Bridge -- taken on February 6, 2024.

While I did not take pictures of the walkway, you can see the Manhattan skyline and Freedom Tower from what is close to the Manhattan off-ramp at about 1:40 PM.

 

I decided to request an invite to Bluesky a couple of weeks ago when I saw that it allowed for using one’s own domain as a handle and had RSS support. I finally received my invite on February 4. I made my account, set it up with my domain, and added my Bluesky RSS feed to my feed aggregator site. Two days after I received my invite and made my account, Bluesky announced invite-free sign-ups.

I maintain two emails over at The New Leaf Journal. My site administrator email is info [at] newleafjournal. It largely exists to receive spam emails. A certain gentleman purportedly from Qatar Energy sent me the following email:

Dearest  info,

I am [REDACTED], Manager of Finance and Accounts, at Qatar Energy. I have 
$100m for Investment.

Contact me if you are interested, I have all it will take to move the fund to 
you as a contract fund to avoid every query.

I will give you more details upon receipt of your response.

Regards,
[REDACTED].
Finance and Account,
Qatar Energy.

This email bothers me. Why did he not capitalize “Info”?  If my name is Info now, he ought to capitalize it. The spammer also spammed my naferrell at newleafjournal email. That one led with Dearest naferrell.  I respect creative spam. This is just trash.

If you have a WordPress site, you can subscribe to yourself on Minds and Minds will recognize your WordPress account as a follower. In order to this, you need the ActivityPub and Friends plugins, both available in the regular WordPress plugin repos

After both are configured, go into your Friends admin menu and add a new friend. Add your Minds account in the following format:

@[username]@minds.com

From the WordPress side, you can “subscribe” to your Minds account. I checked from the Minds side and it recognized my WordPress site as a new subscriber/follower.

Caveat: There is a quirk with multi-user WordPress sites. I set my default user on my site to my administrator account (not hidden in this case so not a big deal) and subscribed with my user account. From the Minds side, it recognizes admin account as subscriber even though from the WordPress side I subscribed as user.

RSS? (Evan Sheehan)
RSS can even become a burden. A feed reader is another inbox, and like all inboxes you have very little control over how much stuff gets put in there. The more feeds to which you subscribe, or the more prolific some of the authors are, the more of a commitment opening your feed reader becomes.

I came across an interesting blog post by Evan Sheeran noting that it is easy for to become overwhelmed by new feed articles using an RSS/ATOM Feed Reader. He stated that “[t]he more feeds to which you subscribe, or the more prolific some of the authors are, the more of a commitment opening your feed reader becomes.” I recommend reading his original post where he considers what an alternative may look like. For anyone facing similar issues, I also recommend my own recent article on organizing feeds. I separate feeds by update frequency, with the three main grounds being Daily, Weekly, and Sporadic. Separating feeds with less frequent updates makes it easier to stay abreast of their new posts. I also linked to other systems for organizing feeds since my method works for my feed collection, but may not make sense for every feed collection. In using a feed reader or RSS/ATOM feeds generally, I encourage people to ask themselves why they are doing so. I use a feed reader and read-it-later tools so I can collect articles and media from websites and bloggers I want to follow without needing to go to each site individually or outsource my reading to an algorithm. To the extent I organize my feed reading so I never end up with 2,000 unread articles, it is so that I can keep tabs on good internet writing. As I noted in my feed organizing survey, not everyone has the exact same goal or style that I do. Understanding your purpose in organizing feeds goes a long way toward keeping your feed reader from being overrun (for lack of a better term).

Tree Style Tab Issue by Nicholas A. FerrellNicholas A. Ferrell
I had been using Tree Style Tab for side-tabs on Firefox along with a userChrome.css file to remove the top bar. I was surprised to find when I opened Firefox this morning that Tree Style Tabs was not working. Instead of checking its GitHub repository, where I would have found the issue, I tried to ...

I use side tabs with my Firefox set up. I briefly switched from Tree Style Tab to Sidebery when Tree Style Tab had an update issue. I was impressed with Sidebery and it comes with more power features than Tree Style Tab out of the box (It also does a better job of clearly showing nested links). However, I opted to switch back to TST when the developer expeditiously fixed the issue with a new update. Why? Firstly, while I was impressed with Sidebery, it does not do anything beyond TST that I need. Secondly, TST can take on my theme for its coloring and I like my theme.

Minds to Mastodon by Nicholas A. FerrellNicholas A. Ferrell
I have a social media account on Minds. Minds added ActivityPub support not too long ago. I had been able to follow my Minds account from Mastodon and follow my Mastodon account from Minds. However, posts were not showing up in either case. Today, I was surprised to discover my most recent Minds pos...

I wrote a post a few days ago about how my Minds posts are now visible from my Mastodon instance. I noted one issue, however. Minds has a praiseworthy set up where users can add hashtags separate from the post. I noted that I liked the set up last year on The New Leaf Journal, and Minds subsequently improved it by making the hashtags visible while still separating from the post. However, Minds has always allowed people to put the hashtags in the body of the post similarly to other social media platforms and software. When using Minds’ method for separating hashtags from the post body, the hashtags are invisible on Mastodon (I have not tested on any other ActivityPub-based clients). I tried writing my hashtags into the body of a Minds post and they carried over to Mastodon as expected. Consider this something to keep in mind if you use Minds and have followers on Mastodon or similar Fediverse networks.

Linking by Jeremy Keith (adactio.com)
A collection of hyperlinks to collections of hyperlinks.

I came across a good post with links to bloggers who share links on Jeremy Keith’s website, adactio.com. I added the adactio links feed along with a few of the link feeds noted in the post to the Links category of my personal feed collection. I may start sharing a few links each day here at The Emu Café Social, but note that I share 21 external links from around the web (with commentary) in each edition of my Saturday New Leaf Journal newsletter, The Newsletter Leaf Journal (note you can subscribe to the newsletter via RSS). In fact, I should organize the hundreds of links I share from my newsletter into a public Git repository before I start any new projects…

I use Xfce as the desktop environment on my workstation. I have read some complaints that Xfce is dated compared to GNOME, KDE Plasma, and other newer and shinier desktop environments, but I disagree. Xfce looks slick with a good theme (the Linux distribution I use, EndeavourOS, comes with a nice Xfce spin out of the box). But even if you think Xfce old and best used with an AmigaOS or Windows 95 theme, there is something to be said for heritage. I learned recently that Xfce traces its origins to the Roman Empire from a report in Atlas Obscura titled For Sale: A Mouse-Infested Roman Helmet That’s Stumping Historians. The subject of the report is a decorative Roman helmet that has two mice on the back. Historians are stumped, but I immediately recognized that the mice look very much like the Xfce logo. Switch to Xfce and use the desktop environment endorsed by Emperor Antoninus Pius. While the helmet sold for $1.2 million, Xfce is 100% free as in free coffee and open source.

I have a social media account on Minds. Minds added ActivityPub support not too long ago. I had been able to follow my Minds account from Mastodon and follow my Mastodon account from Minds. However, posts were not showing up in either case. Today, I was surprised to discover my most recent Minds post in my Mastodon timeline, which I promptly boosted.

Nicholas A. Ferrell's boosted post from minds.com in his Mastodon timeline on linuxrocks.online.
See it on Minds: https://www.minds.com/newsfeed/1599828018962894868

I have two outstanding issues. Firstly, my Mastodon posts are still not being picked on Minds. Secondly, Minds hashtags are not being picked up by Mastodon. However, I am using Minds’ nice method for adding hashtags instead of writing them directly into the post. I will write some hashtags into the post body to see if those carry over to Mastodon. While I would like to see Minds add support for RSS/ATOM feeds, its ActivityPub and separate NOSTR implementations show a good commitment to federation.