Webtacular World Issue # 310, November 11, 2019

Greetings Webtaculators! I hope everyone was able to enjoy a long weekend capped by an 80 degree day filled with BBQ. Somehow, all of these patriotic holidays are starting to act more and more like each other, including the weather. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: What Is Democracy?
Why: Because its too early to understand exactly what happened in Bolivia, but it is in stark contrast to the slow meandering process of Trump’s impeachment.  In the US, the process sometimes seems to work, i.e. not gerrymandering and letting people vote, but also, sometimes not (see also George W. Bush).

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: We Don’t Work
Why: Because apparently it’s really hard to disrupt businesses needs for work spaces.  You know what seems to actually work, while also freeing up space? A four-day work week.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: The Other Side Of Justice
Why: Because it is a huge deal that a non-prosecutor won the election for District Attorney in San Francisco.

TECH / HEALTH THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Fitgle Just Doesn’t Have A Good Ring To It
Why: Because it really is something that we have all decided to pay for the benefit of giving massive companies all of our health information.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (GO SPORTS)
What: No Sports This Week
Why: Because Deadspin is dead, so I have no idea what’s going on anymore. Actually, it turns out I really don’t care about football, and early season basketball minus a functioning Warriors team means I definitively have no sports. Well, I would have hockey, but like I said, Deadspin is dead, and hockey coverage is trash. The Niners / Seahawks game was good to watch, I guess? (UPDATE: It wasn’t. The Niners lost. Sports are still dumb.)

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The New King
Why: Because the movie version Stephen King’s novel The Shining never needed a sequel, except for the fact that all of his novels somehow tie into the Dark Tower universe, and Mike Flanagan, the director, somehow managed to expand appropriately on a classic.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. reads)
What: Watch The Watchmen, Follow The Golden Compass
Why: Because both of HBO’s new shows are really good so far – Watchmen is a really interesting take on what the world became after the events of the graphic novel (and is way better than the movie version), while His Dark Materials is an excellent take adaptation of the novel (and again, is way better than the movie version).

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Return Of Gang Starr
Why: Because DJ Premier’s beats are basically the main reason I love hip-hop.

ART THING OF THE WEEK (3  min. read)
What: Greta Is Watching
Why: Because now I get to feel bad about my role in destroying the world just around the corner from my work.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Being Anonymous In This Context Doesn’t Help Anyone
Why: Because the author of Warning sure seems more like a cash-in than a real attempt at doing anything for the U.S.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Gooigi
Why: Because Mario’s habitually under-rated brother gets briefly gets the spotlight. Also, Luigi gets a duplicate called Gooigi. Keep on being weird, Nintendo.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: The Most Important Games Of The 2010s (Not Bad); The Best Movies Of The Decade (Arguably Wrong); Best Books Of The Decade (Mostly No).
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: A Giant Mural Of Me Somewhere In San Francisco
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 309, November 3, 2019

Greetings Webtaculators! Not sure that any of you need a reminder because everything self-corrects now, but just in case, set your clocks back – welcome to the darkness. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: On The Road To Impeachment
Why: Because people are fed up with Trump, and are continuously showing it.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Twitter Bans Political Ads
Why: Because I don’t know what it means that a platform for saying whatever bullshit people want takes a stand on certain people saying bullshit, but I guess it’s a start?

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Don’t Breath
Why: Because it turns out breathalyzers aren’t actually as good at detecting the amount of alcohol in a person as they claim to be.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What:  What The Title Of The Article Says
Why: Because daylight savings IS hot garbage. Give me my daytime back, damnit.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Good Writing Dies Again
Why: Because much of the Internet (this newsletter included) is not really doing much of the hard work that it takes to break a story, start a trend, or really understand the nuances of a subject matter to write in a smart and entertaining way. At this rate, I won’t have anywhere to actually get my knowledge from. Thanks for putting politics into sports, Deadspin. You will be missed.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: He Won’t Be Back
Why: Because no one saw the new Terminator, even though I thought it seemed like it was poised to be decent from the reviews.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Lights Out, Guerrilla Radio, Turn That Shit Up
Why: Because Rage Against The Machine is reuniting. Protest music is back.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: Learn How To Shoot
Why: Because we all take photographs, so why not take them well?

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Learn How To Write
Why: Because we all write, so why not write well?

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Stranded
Why: Because Death Stranding is ART, important, and may only be fun if you’re in the right headspace.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: 1983; No More Funbags; The Most Important Websites Ever
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: A Good Sports Blog That Doesn’t Pretend That Sorts Are The Most Important Thing In The World, And That Acknowledges That Sometimes Politics Happens In Things That You Would Rather That Politics Didn’t Happen In
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 308, October 29, 2019

Greetings Webtaculators! Sorry again for the delay. It’s mildly hard to pay attention to what’s going on in general when your county is on fire. Let’s just pretend that it is still the weekend, and the last two days didn’t happen yet.  On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Something Big!
Why: Because only Trump could turn something that was supposed to be a success into a barely avoided unmitigated disaster. Also, wasn’t killing Bin Laden supposed to end ISIS in the first place?

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Presidential Spitefulness
Why: Because personal vendettas aren’t supposed to drive government procurement, but it’s really hard to say that didn’t happen here.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Impeachment Hearings Are OK
Why: Because some people like to sue just for the sake of suing.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Up In Flames
Why: Because much of California was, and continues to be, covered in fire. It is not fun. Also, it is becoming increasingly clear that many of these companies that promise to deliver service have failed immensely at their sole purpose.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Boo This Man
Why: Because Trump went to a baseball game, which is essentially the first time he has gone to a large gathering of people that wasn’t hand picked to enjoy his presence. It did not go well for him.

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

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Oh Kanye…
Why: Because I have never heard of a version of Jesus who cares about an individual’s tax rate and appreciates being compared to Chick-fil-A. Hot trash.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: Apocalyptic
Why: because nothing shows the end of the world like watching it burn.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Revealing A Monster
Why: Because Ronan Farrow’s depiction of the Weinstein story, and more importantly about the women who lived it, is a good read.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Fallout In Space
Why: Because The Outer Worlds is one of the finest first person RPGs to come out in a very long time. Also, the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare does the interesting thing of making you realize that the war that was depicted in the 2007 iteration of that game, is the same war that is being depicted 12 years later.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Comedy, Part 6; Comedy, 90; Comedy, 00
Why: Because Internet.

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

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

Webtacular World Issue # 307, October 20, 2019

Greetings Webtaculators! Since today was likely the last day of Northern California summer that I have free this year, I made the most of it and went for a bike ride. Hopefully, you all were able to do something that you enjoy doing this weekend. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (2 min. watch)
What: Quid Pro Quo
Why: Because Mulvaney admitted that Trump withheld military aid from Ukraine to pressure Kiev to investigate our 2016 election, which Trump has continuously denied. Who knew that a phrase that most people under the age of 40 learned from The Lion King would be so important in non-lion politics?

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Profit Off Of Chaos
Why: Because people made billions of dollars by trading immediately before global trade deals were announced.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (7 min. read)
What: Right To Vote
Why: Because a judge just temporarily struck down a law that would strip ex-felons who cannot pay their fines or fees of their right to vote. Unrelated, Rest in peace, Representative Cummings.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Women In Space
Why: Because this was the first spacewalk conducted by multiple women. No, that does mean that it was the first woman to conduct a spacewalk, Trump.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Walk Offs Are Fun
Why: Because speaking of space, the Astros are heading back to the World Series against D.C. after a 5’6″ tall dude crushed a ball to the moon.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Moar Zombies
Why: Because it’s almost Halloween, and if you liked the first Zombieland, chances are you will like this one too.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (30 min. watch)
What: Tay Tay And A Tiny Desk
Why: Because Taylor Swift performed at NPR, and it was interesting seeing how her songwriting process works.

ART THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Revisiting NY MoMA
Why: Because the revamped museum is opening tomorrow with a focus on permanent exhibits.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. look)
What: Modern Horror
Why: Because people usually rely on other kinds of media to scare people now, so it’s interesting to look on how scary stories are written today.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. reads)
What: Stream Everything
Why: Because Google and Microsoft are racing each other to deliver console level gaming through any device. Microsoft’s Project xCloud is currently running a beta, and Google’s Stadia releases next month for early adopters. Hopefully your ISP doesn’t have data caps if you plan on using these services.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: All Of DOS; Gaming On Drugs; Applies To People Who Actually Went To Law School, Too
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: The Ability To Hit A Walk Off Home Run To Send My Team To The World Series
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 306, October 14, 2019

Greetings Webtaculators! Sorry about the delay – much like last week’s news, my weekend was too full of things to be able to get this out on time.  One of the things it was full of was food. One thing I learned you can do is make a reservation to a decent restaurant with a bunch of friends, and ask for the entire menu. It’s a surprisingly reasonably affordable way to get to try everything a place makes, as long as you have enough people. Highly recommended. The wait staff might hate you at the end, though, so remember to tip well. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: America The Weak
Why: Because the US just lost every ounce of credibility it had with its allies by immediately withdrawing forces from Syria to let Turkey forces murder the Kurdish people. Power vacuums are not something that works in international politics. This is the exact reason why we could never leave the Middle East after Saddam, and why we never should have gone in in the first place – once you take ownership of a problem, you cannot wash your hands of it. Trump has unilaterally made the world a more dangerous place, and is working to undo the minimal good any of these wars ever accomplished.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Eat The Rich
Why: Because the wealthy are taking more than ever at the expense of people who clearly do not have as much. You can afford more.

INTERNATIONAL THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. reads)
What: China Don’t Play
Why: Because sports and video games, two of America’s biggest leisurely pursuits, have shown that both are always political, regardless of what them and their players and viewers say.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: LBGTQ Rights Are Not About Bathrooms
Why: Because conservatives want you to think that the real problem is that that a dude can be a pervert and watch girls pee, instead of the real issue of whether or not someone can be fired simply because of who they love.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Northern California Went Dark
Why: Because power outages normally occur because something went wrong with the power system – a line went down; there was a natural disaster; the fuel source ran out. In this case PG&E preemptively cut power to about 800,000 customers, a nicer way of saying over two million people, because of the potential damage its systems might cause. Another way to put it to understand the magnitude of the outage – imagine if the population of the states of New Mexico, Nebraska, West Virginia, Idaho, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Maine, Montana, Rhode Island, Delaware, South Dakota, North Dakota, Alaska, Vermont, or Wyoming suddenly did not have power (don’t even get me started on how roughly 1/3 of the United States gets more representation in our federal government than a just a portion of the greater Bay Area gets). PG&E is at this juncture due to a number of reasons, including global warming, increasing utility expenses, under investment in infrastructure, and the inherent dangers of electricity, but this is obviously no long term answer to deal with this. As a modern first world society, we can, and must, do better.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. watch)
What: Sub 2
Why: Because a human being just ran a marathon in under two hours. Here’s how he did it. Also – in the time it took for you to watch the video, He would have run 2.5 miles. Ridiculous.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: What Is A Parasite?
Why: Because Bong Joon-ho made yet another great, unique movie.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Pitter Patter
Why: Because Letterkenny is back. I suggest you start from the beginning.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (long reads)
What: The Best Of The Teens
Why: Because Pitchfork released it’s top 100 tracks and albums of the last decade. It is interesting to see how much this decade represented a shift from indie to rap / pop, and how little albums seem to matter in recent years. One good trend is the top ten of both are dominated by women and people of color. Thanks streaming!

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: What We Have Wrought
Why: Because the violence you see here is directly on us.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Testament
Why: Because Offred story continues in only the way Atwood can tell it.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Killer App
Why: Because Asgard’s Wrath is the most fully realized VR game I have ever experienced.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: A Perfect Circle; Gritty Grouch; Breaking Bad, Bitch!
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Nike Vaporfly Next%
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 305, October 6, 2019

Greetings Webtaculators. I keep on waiting for Stupidgate to end, but somehow it keeps on getting stupider. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Any Of These Things Are An Appropriate Reason For Impeachment
Why: Because Trump keeps on asking foreign leaders (Boris Johnson, Xi Jinping, Scott Morrison, and Volodymyr Zelentzki, so far)to interfere in the US election.  Trump spent US taxpayer dollars exploring how expensive it would be to build a alligator moat behind the boarder wall.  There is also another whistle blower.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Play For Pay
Why: Because college athletes in California will be able to make money from their efforts in 2023.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Probably Say Goodbye To Roe v. Wade
Why: Because two men accused of sexual assault are poised to severely limit a woman’s right to abortion.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. watch)
What: BEWARE: ROBOT DOG
Why: Because those Boston Dynamics robots that have been around the Internet for a number of years, are finally for sale. Just what we needed.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Problem With Sports Journalism
Why: Because like most things these days, no one wants to pay for good content, so we get stuck with a massive decline of quality of writing, or just not giving good writers the ability to make a living wage. At least we still have Ray Ratto. Also, sorry to all the A’s fans. You deserved better this year.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Joke’s On You
Why: Because even though The Joker got dragged by critics, people don’t seem to care, and lead the movie to have the highest October opening.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Space Not Trucks
Why: Because Sturgill Simpson continues to buck his genre’s norms while he makes complex, synth and distortion heavy country music.

ART THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. watch)
What: GDP
Why: Because Banksy is opening a gallery in the form of a store.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Water Dancer
Why: Because Ta-Nehisi Coates, best known for his journalism, think pieces, and his comics, just published his first fiction. Of course it’s political.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Meet Your Destiny For Free
Why: Because Destiny 2 just got a massive upgrade after Bungie, the game’s devloper, bought back the rights to it’s game from Activision / Blizzard, and released the last base game and the last two years of expansions for free.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: 1979; Scotch Without The GlassDuck Wizard
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Something Else To Write About Besides Trump
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 304, September 29, 2019

Greetings Webtaculators. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: The Floodgates Are Open Wide
Why: Because the extreme amount of anti-American policy and dealings currently being uncovered in the rapid evolution of the Trump impeachment process is staggering. The highly questionable actions are being carried out by many members of the Executive branch, including the Department of Justice, non-government entities, like Giuliani, and lobbying groups like the NRA. What a time to be alive.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Tax Cuts For The Wealthy Don’t Work For Americans
Why: Because when combined with Trump’s international tariff crusade, 69.9% of Americans have lost money that they otherwise would have made. This is an aside from the people who actually rely on government assistance.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: It Is Legal For People To Immigrate To The US
Why: Because regardless of the Trump administration’s xenophobia, the courts sided with immigrants’ rights in multiple cases on Friday.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (long reads)
What: Attacking Our World
Why: Because the Trump Administration has set the EPA after California to try to limit it’s ability to curtail vehicle emissions while at the same time saying California is failing to meet air and water quality standards. The EPA is blatantly failing it’s duty to protect the environment and the people of the United States in taking up these causes.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Bye Bochy
Why: Because the guy who led the SF Giants to 3 miraculous even years of baseball is retiring.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: This Movie Already Exists In My Head
Why: Because Scorsese made a mob movie with essentially every heavy hitter who has ever been in one.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Kanye, I Guess
Why: Because Kanye West is a gospel rapper now, or something. Whatever. FYI, It’s no longer Sunday on the East Coast, so Kanye is late, again.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: The Failure Of Humanity To Protect Itself
Why: Because the proliferation of child sexual abuse online is only getting worse.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: When The Greats Are No Longer Great
Why: Because as taste and norms change, some of the best novels of the past no longer look as good as they once did.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (long reads)
What: Two Thoughts On Design
Why: Because the evolution of difficulty and non-player characters both have impacted how video games tell there stories, and how players are able to experience them.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: How To Skate; How To Make A Guitar; Why People Actually Want Self Driving Cars
Why: Because Internet.

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

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