Webtacular World Issue # 147,September 25, 2016

Greetings Webtaculators! The sad thing about vacations is that about two days after you get back from one, it seems like it happened way too long ago and it’s already time for another one. Thanks for nothing honeymoon! Basically all I learned is that I want infinite money and no job so I can travel around Italy eating pasta all day. If anyone knows how to make that a reality, let me know. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Oh Right, Mass Murder Is Now Normal
Why: Because I almost forgot that this happened. I was going to potentially write about how I’m pretty sure that Trump is the first Presidential candidate who received an explicit anti-endorsement from an editorial board of a major newspaper for why he must not be President, or maybe more about the Charlotte Police releasing the video of the killing of Keith Scott. Now, something like this gets buried under all the other terrible things that happened, because 5 people dying at a mall is no longer interesting to us as a nation, or just that there are so many other terrible things that are going on that there is not enough room to remember to print these sorts of things for more than one day. Or I guess Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie splitting up matters more. I don’t know.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (15 min. read)
What: For Profit Schools Get An F In Education
Why:

GENIUS THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: The MacArthur Geniuses
Why: Because these people were recognized for trying to make the world a more beautiful place.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What:The Death Of A Rising Star And An Established One
Why: Because Jose Fernandez was going to be one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball, and Arnold Palmer was one of the most storied golfers in history. Their talent will be missed.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Respecting Cartman’s Authoray For 20 Years (GOD I’M OLD)
Why: Because South Park turned 20. Rolling Stone Magazine also thinks it’s the 33rd best television show ever.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Bran / Gelina
Why: Because see my rant above

ART THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: The MOMA Through Time
Why: Because the New York Museum of Modern Art is one of the most interesting museums in the world, and they have kindly document all of their exhibitions on their website for your pleasure.

MUSIC / LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Violentus Femminus!
Why: Because J.K. Rowling participated in an album review of the Violent Femmes.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Finally, A Racing Game For Me
Why: Because car racing games have the problem where since you’re not feeling the rubber meeting the road, it usually isn’t that fun, because who wants to follow rules when you’re relaxing? The new Forza seems to fix that problem.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Ig Nobel Prize; Fucking Fall Again; Oh Good, Andrew Sullivan Is Telling Me To Get Off The Internet, Because He Already Read It All And It Made Him Sad Or Something
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Decorative Gourds
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

Webtacularly yours,
Brian
Managing Editor, Webtacular World
The Internet You Didn’t Know You Needed™

Webtacular World Issue # 146, September 18, 2016

Greetings Webtaculators! Sorry for the lack of updates along my vacation – wifi was super spotty, and I was too busy stuffing my face and drinking wine (see below)tired to do too much computer related. Also, I’m extremely jet lagged, and it’s basically 6 AM and I haven’t slept in whatever time zone I’m used to so this is going to be a quick one. I’ll give a better update after I get some sleep. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (5 min. watch)
What: Campaign Update
Why: Because I leave the country for less than 2 weeks, and Trump is somehow almost even with Clinton. Ok.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Sugar Vs. Fat
Why: Because apparently the whole war against fat in our diets was due to the sugar industry. Is there any business that isn’t willing to kill its customers?

LAW THING OF THE WEEK ()
What: Pardon Snowden / Don’t Pardon Snowden
Why: Because rarely has the legal status of a single fugitive(?) been so widely debated.

HEALTH THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Top 100 Health Inventions
Why: Because this is what’s allowing us to stay alive due to all the sugar and fat we eat.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (20 sec. watch)
What: Football’s Back, And So Are The Idiots.
Why: Because football. Also, this catch.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (Way too long watch. Seriously. Make it 22 minutes.)
What: The Emmys!
Why: Because no one watches scheduled TV anymore, so you might as well catch the end if you’re on the West Coast.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Nothing But The Boss
Why: Because Bruce Springsteen has a ridiculously long catalog.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: I Read A Book!
Why: It was Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice, and it didn’t entirely make me want roll my eyes back through my head and down the road so I wouldn’t be able to read anymore. Unlike The Circle. So that’s a big improvement.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Mario On The iPhone
Why: Because I forgot to include this last week. Oops! But really, it’s insane (from a historical perspective) that Nintendo is releasing one of its most popular properties on an outside console.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Kottke.org Redesign; Two Raptors Enter, One Raptor Leaves; Homer’s Jobs
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Return Trip To Italy
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

Webtacularly yours,
Brian
Managing Editor, Webtacular World
The Internet You Didn’t Know You Needed™

Webtaculare Mondo # 145, 11 Settembre, 2016 EDIZIONE INTERNAZIONALE

Saluti Webtaculators! Welcome to the first ever Italian edition of Webtacular World. No, I assure you that I am not writing this at 4:30 AM, because that would be ridiculous. Instead, I am writing this from my villa in Tuscany in the early afternoon, because I have a little free time between my carriage ride and pasta making class. Being on a honeymoon is fun.

For those of you who aren’t used to this, here’s what’s happening: basically, whenever I travel, I create a way-too-long recap of my day-to-day activities in excruciating detail. And footnotes. Many of them. However, due to the limitations of WordPress as a publication platform, I sadly will not be able to include as many side notes as you might be accustomed to. I apologize.

Our trip to Italy began at 4 PM on Tuesday of last week from SFO. The travel itself was some of the smoothest I have ever experienced. Everything was on time, there were no lost bags, and Air France gets additional bonus points for treating alcohol like a normal beverage, in that it’s provided free of charge. It would have been absolutely stress free save for the fact that I did the last thing a new husband should ever do – I lost my wedding ring on the plane.

As someone who is relatively new to finger adornment, getting used to wearing something that is a physical symbol of your everlasting love takes some time. My personal ring wearing situation is quite unique in that my left ring finger veers about 20 degrees to the right at the second joint from some unknown childhood injury. This is further compounded by the fact that my finger’s circumference continuously varying between the size of a fat sausage to bone thin. Basically, I learned that my left hand is now not usable to do normal things, since as I was in the middle of packing up all the books and headphones for the landing, I noticed that the ring was missing from my finger. Instead of quietly dealing with this minor problem on my own, I quickly raised my hand, showed it to Meagan, pointed to the naked finger, and said “My ring is gone.” If you ever really want to freak your significant other, you should totally repeat those exact steps. We both started tearing apart our section of the plane, and luckily for me, I was able to find it buried in the bottom of one of my bags. I will soon be getting my ring resized to basically be a vise for my finger.

With the drama out of the way, I could resume my quest to enjoy Italy in the way I intended – eat and drink my way through it. Basically, my goal was to be in a continuous state of consumption until I pass out from fullness. Italy has so far been almost overeager to comply with this request. Breakfast has been starting for us around 10 AM with a plate of cheese, bread, and sliced meats, along with the best cappuccino I have ever tasted. At around Noon, we will have lunch, which as far as I can tell, is just first dinner. You know how Italian restaurants in the U.S. will say things like “Primi” and “Secondi,”on the menus, as though you should be expected to eat both pasta and a steak in the same meal? Well, essentially, they do. For roughly 10 Euro, you can get a giant plate of Tagliatelle followed immediately with a plate of grilled lemon chicken. Oh. This also usually includes a glass of wine. Because Italy. Of course, you could always do a panini, but that seems against the spirit of this trip. So far, this has been followed up by desert, usually either tiramisu or gelato, and then immediately by nap time. Dinners are usually a repeat of this around 7-9 PM, just with larger portions and a bottle or 2 instead of a glass. Basically, food heaven.

Don’t worry though! Eating is not the only thing we have done! We spent our first three days in Florence. The first day we took ourselves on a “let’s get lost” tour of the city. It’s small enough where you can walk everywhere, but because the Medicis were terrible city planners, it really doesn’t follow any sort of rhyme or reason to any of its streets. For example, there are red and black versions of the same address which are different places. You basically walk in a direction, until you run into some sort of plaza, where you may be able to identify one of the many beautiful churches which can act as a beacon. Then you proceed until you need to reorient yourself again. It’s fun. I promise.

The second day we spent gazing upon some of the most unbelievable art in existence, including Michelangelo’s Statue of David in the Galleria dell’Accademia and Botticelli’s Birth of Venus in the Uffizi Gallery. The thing about many of these works of art that was most surprising to me is their scale and size. A stamp-sized reprint in a 6th grade textbook really doesn’t do them any justice. David is 17 feet tall, and basically entirely proportional. It’s amazing.

Yesterday, we traveled out to the Tuscan country side to our Villa. And by traveled, I mean I drove a tiny Alpha Romeo through those same streets that were in no way designed for vehicular navigation. I managed to avoid other cars that take lanes as suggestions rather than the law, tourists who think they’re invincible, and mopeds, which basically are the only thing that make sense to drive here. We are situated on top of a small hill surrounded by idyllic farmland that is somehow still green. Whelp, time to get cooking. I’ll up with you all next week. Ciao! On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: Give Me My Jack!
Why: Because Apple was “courageous” and removed the audio jack and are selling $140 wireless ear buds in the newest version of its flagship device. I’m still getting one (eventually), but people are mad. Hilariously.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Who Will Defend The Defenders?
Why: Because Public Defense in the United States is slowly deteriorating. The amazing people who do this work need more support.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. watch)
What: Concussion Season’s Back!
Why: Because Cam Newton got absolutely hammered in the Panther’s opening game against the Broncos. It’s going to be a great season!

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Your Next Favorite Movie Performance
Why: Because the Venice Film festival has done a pretty good job at predicting oscar winners.

TV THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: 50 Years Of Going Boldly
Why: Because Star Trek is one of the most influential shows ever.

FOOD THING OF THE WEEK (20 min. read)
What: Hot Chicken
Why: Because this is an amazing piece of writing on a delicious cultural phenomenon. Look for the $15 version in the hipster neighborhood of your local city soon.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (long lessons)
What: How To Take Pictures
Why: Because you carry a pretty powerful camera around in your pocket, so you should probably understand how to use it well.

DESIGNER THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Clothes Should Fit People
Why: Because Tim Gunn of Project Runway fame makes the case that clothes need to be designed for how people actually look.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (15 min. read)
What: PS4 Pro
Why: Because video game consoles are slowly becoming actual PCs. Also, Mario is coming to the iPhone.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Choo Choo!; Crappy Robots Are CrappyIf Only The Movies Were This Fun; Drugs Are Bad
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Hot Chicken
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

Webtacularly yours,
Brian
Managing Editor, Webtacular World
The Internet You Didn’t Know You Needed™

Webtacular World Issue # 144, September 4, 2016 SUPER SPECIAL WEDDING EDITION

Greetings Webtaculators! Sorry for the early release of today’s edition. I hate depriving people of their only Midnight Sunday news source. I have a good reason though. I PROMISE. At the end of the day, I am officially off the market (not really; I mean, I’ve been off the market since I started dating Meagan almost 4 years ago) – I’M GETTING MARRIED!!!!!  I’m thrilled I get to celebrate with so many of our family and close friends, whether in person or with your thoughts from wherever you may be. I feel like the luckiest person in the world getting to be her spouse, and I cannot wait to see what the next chapter of my life brings with her as my family. I love you Meagan🙂

0192977ee137188f08bbb7e62ba94a897a491e69b8On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: RIP Waco Kid
Why: Because Gene Wilder was one of the most talented comedic performers in cinema. His family’s statement is particularly touching. He will be missed.

WEDDING THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Weddiquatte
Why: Because throwing a wedding makes you think about all sorts of things that you never have to at any other point in your life. Like, what is a charger? Or this conversation.14089265_10104349457030075_5808310025405354464_n

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Newsflash! High Cost Living Is Bad
Why: Because high priced real estate causes a ton of problems. Go figure.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Voting Restoration
Why: Because North Carolina specifically targeted African Americans’ ability to vote.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Internet Goes Boom
Why: Because a SpaceX rocket that was carrying a Facebook satellite to deliver free Internet to Africa caught on fire during its launch.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. watch)
What: The Runs
Why: Because most runners experience this at least once in their lives. It is not fun. (I realize this is the second scatological post I’ve made in the last two weeks. I am sorry)

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: Shitty Penis Breath Kids
Why: Because the trend of kids to speak like, well, kids, quickly came and went in the 80s. At least the trend is seeing a reemergence with the success of Stranger Things. Imagine if Harry Potter went around calling everyone wankers. Actually, that would be hilarious. I demand Rated R Harry Potter.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Animals Know How To Be Human
Why: Because Glass Animals’ new album, How to Be a Human Being, is amazing. You really should listen to it.

FOOD THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: SPAMALOT
Why: Because Spam, basically, cheap processed pork parts in salt, remains a growing staple of food, and has continued to thrive way past its shelf life.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: Subversive Cheese And Other Stories
Why: Because The Stinky Cheese Man was one of the first books that introduced me to absurdity for its own sake. I might have learned those lessons a little too well.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Gaming On A Crappy Laptop
Why: Because one of the problems with gaming on a computer is the constant need to upgrade components to be able to run games. This guy is attempting to figure out how to still make games playable, regardless of graphical fidelity.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: YTMD RIP; Mascots; How To Talk To Strangers; Doom Allen
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Just Wish Us Luck And Happiness. Or Any Of These Houses.
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

Webtacularly yours,
Brian
Managing Editor, Webtacular World
The Internet You Didn’t Know You Needed™

Webtacular World Issue # 143, August 28, 2016

Greetings Webtaculators! It was officially the most San Francisco summer ever, and I couldn’t have been happier. Nothing quite like needing a jacket in the middle of August when the rest of California and most of the U.S. is either figuratively or literally on fire. This also means that the year is almost in it’s last quarter- let’s hope that the madness that 2016 has been so far turns itself around. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: EpiPen
Why: Because pharmaceutical companies once again make the case that maybe a market valuation on something that saves lives might not be the best way to go when monopolies are involved.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (20 min. read)
What: Busted Draft
Why: Because Draft Kings and Fan Duel basically had all the commercial time for sports last year – now not so much.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Everybody Poops
Why: Because the whole question of whether transgendered individuals can use the whatever bathroom that fits their gender identity is ridiculous – of course they should be able to.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Protest And Sports
Why: Because athletes, especially African American ones, have continuously been a visible and vocal part of political discourse. What Kaep is doing is really no different than what Muhammad Ali or Tommie Smith and John Carlos, or the WNBA or even Dwyane Wade, more recently have been doing. Also, football is back.

MOVIE THING OF T HE WEEK (11 min. watch)
What: Why So Serious?
Why: Because The Joker remains one of the best villains ever to be on film.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Top 100 Shows Ever
Why: Because that what the Hollywood Reporter is attempting to do, but as far as I’m concerned, it messed up in the bottom 20 by putting True Blood higher up than either Scrubs or It’s Always Sunny… so obviously they’ve made some questionable choices as to the ordering.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Brit’s Back
Why: Because her new album (which I have admittedly listened way too much of over this weekend) is as quintessentially Britney as possible: it is immaculately produced, but also has absurd qualities, like the sound of can being opened repeatedly as a part of the drum track on “Do You Want To Come Over,” or the fact that one of the songs is basically how she’s singing about being a stripper. It also has the problem where it is unclear who exactly Britney even is anymore – she goes full Gwen Stefani on one song, and then sings what could be a Beiber song on another track preceding it, and tries her hardest to sound like Beyonce on the one where she’s singing about stripping. It’s insane, and I can’t stop listening. I have a problem. Also apparently the VMA’s were on tonight, but who cares about those anymore?

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. look)
What: National Parks Turn 100
Why: Because the establishment of our National Parks was perhaps the best idea our government ever had.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: The Wii U, In Retrospect
Why: Because hopefully Nintendo won’t have as big of a misstep with its next console.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Norm; Bad Chickin’; Bad FX Are Bad
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: This Political System (AKA Rap Battles And Flag Fights)
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

Webtacularly yours,
Brian
Managing Editor, Webtacular World
The Internet You Didn’t Know You Needed™

Webtacular World Issue # 142, August 21, 2016

Greetings Webtaculators! I would like to start with a sincere thank you to those of you who helped us support my good friend, EB Forst. Together, we raised over $5,000 for an individual who truly makes the world a brighter place through her presence, and we could not be more grateful for you all.

Raceon to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: USA # 1! USA # 1!
Why: Because as Melo put it, even though there are problems within our nation, we still kick ass at winning medals. For Brazil, they won basically the only thing they wanted to.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (17 min. watch)
What: Sub(prime)compact
Why: Because you would think that companies would have learned that selling things to people who cannot realistically repay loans that are taken freely given is a bad idea. Sadly, they have not.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (1 min. read)
What: Breaking Private Prisons
Why: Because the U.S. Justice Department finally is fazing out private prisons.

NEWS THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: Bye, Gawker
Why: Because Univision is shutting down the largest part of Gawker Media in it’s purchase of the company after it filed for bankruptcy.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Ben Huh?
Why: Because Ben Hur, which apparently is out now, absolutely bombed. It presents a larger trend of studios having a hard time selling faith based movies to the general public.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (long listen)
What: Endless / Blonde
Why: Because Frank Ocean dominated this weekend in music.

ART THING OF THE WEEK (1 hr. 30 min. watch)
What: How To Art
Why: Because you will most likely never have enough money to do it appropriately.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: … The Olympics?
Why: Because Tokyo 2020.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: My Gold Medal Sport; Tour De Trump (NSFW); Chicken In Pants
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Trip To The Olympics (because you still haven’t gotten me a gold medal.😦 ).
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

Webtacularly yours,
Brian
Managing Editor, Webtacular World
The Internet You Didn’t Know You Needed™

Webtacular World Issue # 141, August 14, 2016

Greetings Webtaculators! The 2016 Olympics is in full swing, Obama is making book and day and night song lists, and the kids are going back to school. Must be the end of Summer, but I could have sworn it just started or something. Oh well! On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Firsts And Lasts
Why: Because this Olympics feels like a turning point – we have the last performances of some of the heroes of sports that many of us have grown up watching in Phelps, Walsh Jennings, and Bolt who have performed amazingly, as well as a bunch of newer competitors (Ledecky, the Simones, Fiji Sevens, these Irish guys, and a whole host of other new folks winning for the first time) getting us all ready to be cheering them on for Tokyo. It almost seems like this Olympics is actually going well, until you remember that stuff like this happens in Rio regularly.

JOURNALISM THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: All That’s Fit To Print
Why: Because these are 100 articles or so that you should read.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: To Let A Murderer Go
Why: Because recently it seems that when the media do actual investigative journalism into legal cases, people actually get a fair shot.

AUTO THING OF THE WEEK (17 min. watch)
What: An Unusually Poignant Review Of The PT Cruiser
Why: Because this review is worth watching for understanding what cars mean to the US.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Suicide Method
Why: Because Jared Leto really didn’t need to method act this particular rendition of the Joker. Also, it’s as good of a band name as anything I’ve ever come up with.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (15 min. read)
What: The Day Rock Died
Why: Because I still like alternative music way more than I probably should.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Everyone’s Sky
Why: Because No Man’s Sky is a game with an unbelievable amount of possibility is a pretty good barometer of the current landscape of video games in general – a small team has made an enormously complex game that doesn’t quite live up to the hype that people thought was going to be delivered, along with broken street dates, day 1 patches, and general Twitter based hatred. Sounds about right.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Food Is Friend; Christoph Waltz Is The Best; Spaceplan
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Usain Bolt’s Legs, Michael Phelp’s Torso, Kevin Durant’s Arms,  Simone Biles’ Execution, and Nijat Rahimov’s Moves
Why: Because Brian deserves it, and you didn’t get me a gold medal last week, so now I have to go and get my own.

Webtacularly yours,
Brian
Managing Editor, Webtacular World
The Internet You Didn’t Know You Needed™