Webtacular World Issue # 181, May 21, 2017

Greetings Webtaculators! I really am waiting for the week where there is no Trump news. Sadly, this week was the opposite of that, as much as that is even possible, considering how entirely his presidency has tainted headlines this year. Might as well dive in now. Onto the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Trump
Why: Because it’s 2017. Also, TrumpTrump, Trump, and Trump. Please, stop. At least Roger Ailes isn’t here anymore to sexually harass more women.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Not Forgiven
Why: Because Trump is planning to end student loan forgiveness. Many of my friends who are current colleagues or past classmates will be directly affected by this if it goes through. These are brilliant people who have put their personal financial gains aside to help other Americans, who are actively relying upon the federal loan forgiveness to be able to afford to do their work. This would be a national disaster.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Special Prosecution For Special People
Why: Because Robert Muller was named as the special prosecutor in the Trump / Russia investigation.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: Bye Bye Internet
Why: Because net neutrality is going back to the drawing board, even though basically everyone but the FCC and cable industry wants it.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (15 min. read)
What: Cleveland Pulled A San Antonio
Why: Because Cleveland lost after being up by 20. I guess some of these games need to be close.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. look)
What: All The Pretentious Movies
Why: Because the Cannes Film Festival is happening.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Returning To Twin Peaks
Why: Because David Lynch’s beloved 90’s series is back.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Say Hello To Heaven
Why: Because Chris Cornell passed away this week. He was probably was my favorite rock singer, whether with Soundgarden, Temple Of The Dog, Audioslave, or on his own. I was lucky enough to see him perform Hunger Strike with Pearl Jam at Bridge School Benefit in 2014. He will be missed.

COMEDY THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: The Original Haters
Why: Because sometime people just need to be roasted.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: A Shitty Book By A Shitty Person
Why: Because when a review starts off with the sentence “IVANKA TRUMP HAS WRITTEN a book about female empowerment, and it is about as feminist as a swastika-shaped bikini wax,” you know you’re in for a review that will be way more entertaining than the thing it is destroying.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (15 min. watch)
What: Music Makes The Mario
Why: Because the music in games is arguably as important as the gameplay itself.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Romphim; Duck Ramp; PatriotHole; Fondoodler
Why: Because Internet.

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

THING YOU SHOULD NOT GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Romphim
Why: Because Brian does not deserve it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 180, May 14, 2017

Greetings Webtaculators! As a 30-something-year-old, Mother’s Day has started to take on a much different meaning than when I was young: instead of begrudgingly getting up early to “help” make a mediocre breakfast in bed for my own mom, I now get to celebrate many of my friends who have become parents themselves, remember and commemorate those mothers that are no longer with us, and, most importantly, truly appreciate my mom for all that she did to help shape me into the person I have become. Happy Mother’s day, everyone. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Comey Fired
Why: Because Trump has no idea what he’s doing, and in turn, is actively hurting America. A quick timeline – Comey releases information on Clinton emails, potentially affecting the outcome of the election; FBI investigates Russian involvement in the election; Comey fired (see above); letter and reason delivered; attached letter from Deputy AG Rosenstein doesn’t give clear reason; Spicer reiterates unclear reason from bushes; Trump changes reason (WATCH THIS ONE IF YOU CLICK ON ANY OF THEM – The amount of lies and nonsense that come out of Trump’s mouth in 13 minutes is insane); Sanders re-clarifies reasonTrump tweets; and truth, fact, and democracy go to die alone in the woods.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (20 min. read)
What: “Prime The Pump” – DJT*
Why: Because Trump did not invent the term *”prime the pump.” Remember when there was an uproar about Al Gore and the Internet? This is like that, but actually something he said, and actually a lie. However, there will be no impact since this will immediately be forgotten – Trump will inevitably claim something even crazier in a few days. Oh, Trump also proves that has no idea how economics works.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: MAPA: Make Americans Prisoners Again
Why: Because Jeff Sessions thinks the debunked policy of harsh mandatory minimum sentencing for drug cases will somehow work this time. To understand how wrong he is, here is the right wing Heritage Foundation writing in support of amending minimum sentencing, noting “the most pressing problem[] with mandatory minimums[ …is] severe sentences for relatively minor drug possession crimes.”

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Ransom
Why: Because a NSA created backdoor into computer systems created havoc throughout the world. This is only going to get worse.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (15 min. read)
What: How About Some Footie?
Why: Because Australian Rules Football is an amazing sport.  I know, I know, basketball is happening, but there will be plenty more of that soon.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Still No Directorial King Arthur
Why: Because besides the Disney version or the Monty Python version, no one, not even Guy Ritchie, can make a good King Arthur movie.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Returning To The Drive In
Why: Because At The Drive In was once one of the most exciting sounds in rock. It’s too bad that it no longer is.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Past And The Future
Why: Because a group of white people with torches never was a good thing, and never will be.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: On Craft
Why: Because writers of color don’t often get to discuss how to write. Maybe if they did, it might put an end to books like this becoming best sellers. The only reason I know that The Last Patriot exists is because I was blatantly reading it over the shoulder of the person sitting next to me on a recent flight. If you’re going to read garbage like this in public, I am perfectly OK with making you feel uncomfortable about your terrible choice in literature.

BEER THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: The Value Of Beer
Why: Because depending on your definition of “value,” selling a labor of love to a conglomerate may be a good thing. My friends at the Rare Barrel believe differently.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. watch)
What: The Modern Game You Remember From The 90s
Why: Because Strafe completely understands how video games used to be marketed, but also understand that not everything about those times were awesome, which is.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Congratulations, Graduates!; Customs; Spicy Science; Spicy Spicer
Why: Because Internet.

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

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

Webtacular World Issue # 179, May 7, 2017

Greetings Webtaculators! Summer weather is officially here, at least in California. I know this because I got sunburned for the first time in a while by sitting outside for 2 hours. Serves me right, I guess. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (3 min. read [or longer, to learn French first])
What: Vive La France
Why: Because Macron’s resounding victory was a much needed assurance that the entire Western World has not fallen to people like this. What is also interesting is that much like the U.S. election, Macron faced his own version of Clinton’s email leak. Unlike Clinton, the fallout did not cost him the Presidency. C’est la vie.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Big Data
Why: Because data is now the official driver of economic growth.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Non Health Care
Why: Because things like cancer and being pregnant will be considered pre-existing conditions. Pro life, indeed.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: What’s The Matter With Boston
Why: Because for a “liberal” city, there sure is way too much racism going on.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Childe Roland To The Dark Tower Came
Why: Because one of my favorite book series is now a movie. Hopefully they pull it off.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. play)
What: Testing, Testing
Why: Because this quiz covers things you may want to listen to, if don’t already know them.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Brian Reads Better Books Update
Why: Because I am currently in the middle of the Patternist Series, a group of novels by Octavia E. Butler, depicting a society of humans selectively bred to control supernatural traits. The novels directly tackle racism, slavery, and sex in a stark manner, and examines the propensity of humanity to try to exert control over itself. In a genre that distinctly lacks many female or POC voices, Butler’s perspective is truly a unique and mesmerizing sci fi experience. Keep the reading suggestions coming.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Prey: Or Why I’m Now Afraid Of Coffee Cups
Why: Because the newest space horror game in the tradition of System Shock understands how to make the player feel vulnerable.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: The Oatmeal Gets Real; Spocko; What Not To Get Mom
Why: Because Internet.

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

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

Webtacular World Issue # 178, April 30, 2017

Greetings Webtaculators! Well, the Trump Presidency officially turned one hundred days old. In his mind, the hundred day marker is stupid, but he’s also doing tremendously, so Trump gave a speech, and then went golfing. The press threw a different sort of party, which the President declined to attend (SAD!) because, well, to put it nicely, his first 100 days have been sort of a mixed bag. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Kickstarting The News
Why: Because the creator of everyone’s favorite citation site now is going to use the same method to tell us what is actually going on in the world. I can’t wait to see how this works out…

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: Open Or Closed
Why: Because Trump’s dealing with one of the largest economic drivers in the world is probably going to have serious consequences for the U.S.’ stature.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Elon Musk Must Hates Traffic
Why: Because first he took away the necessity for a human to make bad decisions behind the wheel, and now he’s digging tunnels.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: “We Want Local Control Over Slaves! Err… Schools!”
Why: Because the South can’t seem to remember that it lost the Civil War, and is still trying its hardest to bring back the 1800’s.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. watch)
What: But Where Will I Get Deep Analytics On Off Season Football From Now?
Why: Because ESPN laid off a large part of its workforce this past week.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (15 min. read)
What: Yeah, Baby, Yeah!
Why: Because Austin Powers turns 20 this year, so of course now I feel old.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Oh Good, People Are Calling A Dystopian TV Show “Timely”
Why: Because at least bonnets are going to be back in fashion soon.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (7 min. read)
What: …And The End Of The World Has Its Playlist
Why: Because what better way to deliver the party than through a cartoon band?

FOOD THING OF THE WEEK (15 min. read)
What: A Better Way To Write About Food
Why: Because it is kind of funny how food needs to be “discovered” by a white guy in order to become fancy.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: Stories In Games
Why: Because a writer for The Atlantic recently claimed that games are better without them. I disagree.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Shootout Survivor; 300 in 90It’s Gonna Be May
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Bag Of Doritos
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 177, April 23, 2017

Greetings Webtaculators! Sometimes, you just need to head out into the woods with some friends to really appreciate how great the Earth is. Hope everyone had a great Earth Day, and that you were able to get outside at some point as well.

camping

And no, we have no idea who those kids (except for the baby) are either. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The French Connection
Why: Because France has put itself in the position to elect basically the French female version of Trump. France, please do not do this to yourself.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read, but only the first sentence is necessary. I won’t make you read the whole article this time.)
What: From The Horse’s Mouth
Why: Because Papa Bear is gone. This is one of the few times I’ll actually link to a Fox article, only because the article is ridiculous in how far out of its way it goes to defend Bill “Sexual Assault” O’Reilly for his ratings success. The rest of Fox News should just fire themselves and rid the world of their nonsense.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: This Is What You Get
Why: Because the first vote our new Supreme Court Justice cast put a man to death. “Pro-Life” indeed.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: March For Science
Why: Because facts matter. Here are more facts.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (20 min. read)
What: The Player’s Coach
Why: Because coaching is hard. And Steve Kerr is ridiculously good at it. Yes, it helps having some of the best basketball players ever on your side, but getting insanely talented (and highly paid) adults to listen to you and buy in to a program requires a complex interplay between personality, knowledge, and emotional IQ to succeed. Speaking of great athletes, Serena Williams apparently won the Australian Open WHILE PREGNANT. I guess technically that makes it a doubles match…

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (Long Read)
What: Best. Episodes. Ever.
Why: Because the Simpsons already did it.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Everything Old Is New Again
Why: Because Incubus almost makes me feel like a high schooler again, but then I remember that I just paid taxes and that I have to go to work tomorrow and go to the dry cleaners and god damn it I’m an adult I don’t have time for this nonsense.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Sex And Reading
Why: Because I’ll be honest – as a straight white cis male, I have a tendency to read books mostly written by straight white cis males, that focus on plots that mostly fail the Bechdel Test (I also really liked Infinite Jest, and yes, I even read every single footnote, and no, I have never forced cocaine into anyone, Jesus what is wrong with people?). This is a problem. Not because straight white cis male authors are inherently bad, it’s just that I (and you, dear Webtaculator!) would probably benefit from getting a wider view of what all people actually write, or maybe even get an idea of how people who have a different point of view actually think. Given, this is not an easy thing! That’s why I’m asking for suggestions of books that might be outside of my wheelhouse. I realize that this is not a revolutionary idea, and that I’m actually probably way late to this party, but I have to start somewhere and sometime, right? So why not now? And even though the NY Times suggests we read the things we hate, I will never finish Atlas Shrugged, so get that garbage out of here – it is OBJECTIVELY BAD (Get it? It’s an Rand-ian pun, because she’s an objectivist… oh never mind). But most other suggestions are welcome, and I plan on reporting back here once I finish a few of them. Thanks for being part of the Webtacular book club.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: The State Of Video Games
Why: Because I’m glad to find out that I’m still below the average age of game players. Also, this is why there are no more Classic Nintendos available.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Good Food/ Bad FoodThey Call Me Mellow Yellow; Many Good Internet Things
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: UPDATE FROM LAST WEEK – SNES Classic
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 176, April 16, 2017

Greetings Webtaculators! I hope that everyone had a very happy Easter! I got to spend the weekend in Portland, which turns out to be a pretty decent place. It also didn’t rain, which was a nice surprise, and no one got thrown off my plane, either! On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (multi-read)
What: Miscommunication
Why: Because, let’s just say that people and companies who are in charge of things basically have no idea how to do their jobs. Spicer, Trump, and  United, get your shit together.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Spiral Downward
Why: Because United’s stock got deservedly destroyed after the video of the airline removing a passenger.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: How About You Don’t Have Sex With Your Aide When You’re Married
Why: Because there is nothing like a gubernatorial sex scandal.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. look)
What: Playoffs!
Why: Because the Warriors have a pretty good chance of winning it all again.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. watch)
What: The Last Jedi
Why: Because Star Wars.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (1 hr. listen)
What: Damn.
Why: Because Kendrick Lamar’s latest album is fire. Oh, also, there’s new John Mayer, too, I guess.

ART THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Girl Vs. Bull
Why: Because it is an interesting question as to whether or not an artist has control over how their art is perceived, even when the answer is undeniably no.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: City Of Books
Why: Because Powell’s is an entire city block filled with everything fit for print. And probably some things that aren’t.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Down With The Rebellion
Why: Because the newest Battlefront lets you play as the Empire. Especially since you can’t buy any new Nintendo Classics.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Go Up; Spicy Is Back; The Peeps Are On Fire
Why: Because Internet.

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

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

Webtacular World Issue # 175, April 9, 2017

Greetings Webtaculators! Well, because our President seemingly has no real plan for running anything besides “do it differently than what other people say to do,” we might now be at … conflict? (definitely not war, because I don’t recall the Senate voting on whether or not we’re at war with anything, other than the vague notion of “terrorism,” or “drugs,” but then again, they’re busy trying to ruin the government on their own) with Syria. The lack of serious deliberation Trump takes on strikingly important matters is now in full view, but again, because SO MANY OTHER THINGS ARE HAPPENING, it is impossible to focus on just what the hell any of this means.

Here’s a broad statement that will probably hold true regarding what will happen: usually, brash actions taken by external actors within Middle Eastern countries tend to have decades-long consequences that are virtually unknowable. (See, e.g., Iraq, Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Yemen, and Afghanistan [yes, not technically the Middle East, but whatever, I doubt Trump understands that] for just a few examples.) Unsuccessfully bombing a foreign military installation of a country that is allied with a world super power, which, until Thursday, the U.S. was appearing to be way cozier to than made sense, and then throwing whatever good will was built up with those entities because a President saw sad pictures IS NOT SOMETHING THAT SHOULD HAPPEN, especially when there is no apparent plan. This would definitely be no way to run a business, and is most certainly no way to run a country. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: U.S. Bombs Syria
Why: Because see my rant above. Also, regarding the civilian chemical attack that was the impetus for the U.S.: Yes, chemical attacks by a government on its own population is an atrocious act, but bombing a single air base will not solve that problem.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Do Your Taxes
Why: Because you worked hard this year, and who knows! Maybe this will be the last time you have to struggle through it because Trump’s plan is the best plan. Oh wait, never mind.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Justice Gorsich
Why: Because after a year, at least we have 9 Justices again…

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: The iPad is 7, and Is an iPad
Why: Because for some reason, I own both a laptop and a desktop, but still not one of these revolutionary devices.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Golf Gets Exciting For One Day
Why: And no, not because Trump didn’t play again today, because of course he did.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Still Fast And Furious
Why: Because somehow the series hasn’t jumped the shark, even though there are now submarines and mind control in a series that started about street racing.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Jammin’
Why: Because Pearl Jam is in the Hall of Fame.

ART THING OF THE WEEK (quick look)
What: Reddit Made An Art
Why: Because this is what it looks like when a bunch of people color a bunch of pixels over time.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: How To Win A Hugo
Why: Because even dinosaurs need strippers, apparently.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The NeXt Box
Why: Because Microsoft is releasing a new console.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Steph Is Good At Everything; Put More Bands In Apartments (HT Tim); 10 Years Of Funny Or Die
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Not A Pepsi
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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