Webtacular World Issue # 245, August 12, 2018

Greetings Webtaculators. I personally had a good week, but it’s always important to put it in context of what is happening in around our country and our world. I think it is very important to tamper the feelings of good fortune and happiness a little, lest we forget that everything is not OK. It is far too easy to say “everything is fine” in your situation while the world literally burns around you. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: One Year Later
Why: Because little has changed. White supremacy is and will continue to be a loud voice as long as our leaders continue to find it politically useful to support them. I said it last time, and I will say it again – fuck Nazis, and fuck Nazi enablers.

In other news regarding our leadership, apparently its just fine and dandy if un-elected people with no specific skill, knowledge, experience, or oversight shape our national policies. This is what actual corruption is, and I still can’t believe 40% of the public is still OK with this.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: The Swamp Keeps Floating Up
Why: Because the Secretary of Commerce is being sued for stealing money from his business partners. If Ross is not the epitome of what the Trump appointee for being in charge of “promot[ing] job creation and economic growth by ensuring fair and reciprocal trade, providing the data necessary to support commerce and constitutional democracy, and fostering innovation by setting standards and conducting foundational research and development” in the U.S. would be, I do not know who is.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: How To Regulate Uber
Why: Because, weirdly enough, it turns out transportation services can be regulated like transportation services.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: “Leaping” Into A Home Maybe Near You
Why: Because the Magic Leap is supposed to bring augmented reality into our lives. It seems to not quite hit the mark, but still be impressive nonetheless.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Co-Ed
Why: Because I know women who could (and did) kick my ass on Wednesday night soccer. I also know a bunch of women (and men!) who were intimidated, mostly unintentionally, by Friday softball.

Sports are one of those things that I was always innately OK to good at. I was always faster than average, have very good hand-eye coordination (aside from my eyesight being atrocious), played competitive sports through college, etc. Because of this, I always found sports and sport-adjacent activities like PE or recess wall ball very fun, in a way that I came to understand that can be attributed directly to my finding them relatively easy.

MOST people do not find these things easy. MANY people find our found these same activities to be terrifying – between a combination of lack of confidence, whether real or internalized, immediate performance analysis by your peers, body image issues, and pecking order determinations, that is a completely normal and rational conclusion to come to. I am still amazed that athletic performance and ability drives so much of our society when most of us spend all day sitting at a computer. No comments on someone’s typing speed or Excel skills in quite the same way that they are awed by a colleague’s drive off the 10th tee at a charity event, or someone’s finish time for friendly bike / run race up a mountain. I am continuing to try to be more thoughtful about these types of interactions. I suggest you give it some thought as well.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Popularity Contest
Why: Because this is the category that Black Panther will win, and it sucks.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (long watch)
What: Play
Why: Because this is why Dave Grohl remains one of my favorite artists – he truly loves what he does, and spends time and money making sure that others have the opportunity to love music themselves.

Also, my favorite festival, Outside Lands, is happening this weekend, which is why you’re getting an earlier version of Webtacular than normal.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Bad Thinking
Why: Because this is the same problem I have with Jordan Peterson – it’s essentially a middle / high school level of argument that falls on its face in any sort of real world application, but because it is so simple to understand, it is very easy for people to find appealing. It is a problem that I believe a “marketplace of ideas” cannot solve – there is no metric for determining a “good” or “bad” idea. You can see the outcome now from Alex Jones’ banishment from certain platforms, but not Twitter, or Trump’s continued attack on the press. I have no solution, but it remains a growing problem.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Good Idea, Bad Execution
Why: Because We Happy Few comes close to achieving its goal, but not quite.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Zuck Review; How To De-Smoke Your House; Found Him
Why: Because Internet.

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

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

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Webtacular World Issue # 244, August 5, 2018

Greetings Webtaculators! Continuing from my story of the week from last week, California really is on fire. I was up in Tahoe this weekend, and the entire drive up Interstate 80 from the Bay Area to Tahoe is blanketed in smoke. It is not good. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: “No Collusion”
Why: Because there was collusion, and Trump just admitted it while throwing his son under the bus. He had a hell of a bad week – from having no idea how his tariffs actually work, to wrongly attributing CA wildfires to a lack of water resources, to freezing car gas millage goals,  calling LeBron James stupid after he opened up a public school for children in Arkon.
In the rest of the world, Maduro claims he survived a drone assassination attempt, and Bangladeshi students are being attacked by the government for protesting over safer transportation infrastructure.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: One TRILLION Dollars… Muhahahaha
Why: Because Apple became the first company with a market cap of over $1 trillion.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: How Voter Suppression Works
Why: Because this is an especially big deal this year where Beto O’Rorke is trailing incumbent Senator Ted Cruz by a few percentage points.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: 3D Printed Murder Tools
Why: Because there is no other practical use for a building something that breaks after firing a few rounds.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Other Ohio School Story
Why: Because it sure seems like Urban Meyer had knowledge of and ignored the fact that one of his coaches was abusing his wife.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: The One Hundred Best Episodes Of This Century
Why: Because The Ringer made a ridiculous list that somehow has Lost as their number one even though we all know how dumb that show turned out to be.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: The Hot 100 Turns 60
Why: Because it’s hard to say whether the Hot 100 is even particularly relevant to the way people listen to music anymore. When a Chainsmokers’ song beats out the Beatles’ “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” in rankings, you know something is wrong.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. look)
What: Pretty
Why: Because that’s what these photographs are.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Keeping Up With The Kids
Why: Because I can only assume the quality of children’s literature in recent years has gotten better. Maybe I should check one of these out.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The NFL Can Do No Right
Why: Because the yearly edition of Madden is coming out soon, and it is already embroiled in controversy due to the fact that the game bleeps out “Colin Kaepernick” in an included song.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: SPACE FORCE!; How Not To Cook Steak; Hash Pipe
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Randy Moss’ Tie
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 243, July 29, 2018

Greetings Webtaculators! Trump seems to have disappeared from the news after the bombshell of his lawyer turning on him and deciding to bail out the poor farmers who are being destroyed by his incredibly stupid tariffs. Let’s see how else the world decided to fall apart. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: California Is On Fire Again
Why: Because anyone who says global warming isn’t a real should be dropped into the middle of Shasta County right now.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: How To Lose 100 Billion Dollars In One Day
Why: Because Facebook suffered the biggest single day loss in the US stock market history.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Good Job Judges
Why: Because the 9th Circuit just voted that “open carrying” of firearms is legal.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: The Biggest Battery Of Them All
Why: Because there is a plan to turn the entire Hoover Dam into a pump storage mechanism for utilizing over-generation from solar and wind farms.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: BICYCLES!
Why: Because I didn’t talk enough about the Tour De France this year.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Oakland Renaissance
Why: Because along with Sorry To Bother You, Blindspotting is a film that would not exist but for The Town.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: The Carr Fire
Why: Because this is what hell on earth looks like.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: The Lost Pages of Malcolm X
Why: Because Malcolm X’s autobiography just got a little longer.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Why Do So Many Terrible People Play Video Games?
Why: Because anonymous people telling you that you are terrible in a game is actually one of the nicer things that people say.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Catch A WaveGo To Jail; The No Reserve (What?!) Vations Of Narnia
Why: Because Internet.

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

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

Webtacular World Issue # 242, July 23, 2018

Greetings Webtaculators! Looks like someone let a cranky sleepy boy get access to his cell phone after midnight again. Why did we allow such a “stable genius” to get access to nukes again? Oh, right. Emails. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (read)
What: Oh. OhhOhhhh. Ohhhhhh.
Why: Because the current administration is swimming in Russian collusion, especially after Trump’s disastrous meeting with Putin.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Time To Close The Office
Why: Because not being able to get away and actually do work is one of the worst things about open office plans.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Whoops
Why: Because the president should probably be smart enough to hire a lawyer that isn’t secretly recording him.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: Bias In The Code
Why: Because many AI systems are inherently as flawed as the humans that originally coded them. This is a problem.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Take A Knee, NFL
Why: Because this whole thing is stupid.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Old Pedophile Jokes And Disney Do Not Mix
Why: Because the one of the originators of “Pizzagate” managed to organize right-wing twitter users to let Disney know that James Gunn, the writer/director of Guardians of the Galaxy, one of its most successful franchises, used to make awful jokes on an up and coming internet platform, which Gunn had previously apologized for and stopped doing prior to becoming a Disney employee. Yes, Gunn’s Twitter problem is different and objectively less bad than the Rosanne Barr debacle, but that takes nuance to understand, which people apparently don’t have time for any more.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Seriously Funny
Why: Because Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette brings to light the defensive nature of comedians. Watching this in combination with the HBO’s Robin Williams documentary Come Inside My Mind show just how much of an act comedy can be.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Internet
Why: Because a group that named itself after a modern technology sounds like it’s from the same era when people first started using it. It’s good.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. look)
What: Comic Con 2018
Why: Because photos of people dressing up are always fun.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Hit The Road
Why: Because if you decide to stuff yourself into a car and get lost during the summer, you might bring something to read.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Someone’s Sky
Why: Because No Man’s Sky promised the universe and delivered… not that. It is still trying, though.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: That’s enough Internet this week. Go outside or something.
Why: Because Internet.

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

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

Webtacular World Issue # 241, July 15, 2018

Greetings Webtaculators! I bought a house. house
On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Oh, So Russians Did Hack The Elections
Why: Because interference in another country’s elections is essentially an act of war. To bad Trump is too busy weakening our relationship with the US’ allies while being a jolly old friend to the leader of the country that attacked us.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Bad CEO
Why: Because Elon Musk and “Papa” John Schattner probably should talk a little less after this week.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Kavano
Why: Because Trump’s reality show ended up picking Brett Kavanaugh, a person who previously clerked for Justice Kennedy.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Amazon Prime Day Is On Monday
Why: Because consumerism is all that’s left.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Vive Le France
Why: Because this game had it all – own goals, keeper flubs, rocket shots, and of course, video reviews, Fortnite dances, and anti-Russian pitch invaders. What a tourney.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: The Missions Are Still Impossible
Why: Because Tom Cruise is still somehow making excellent action movies. If you want something different, maybe try Eighth Grade.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. watch)
What: Arm The Children
Why: Because Sacha Baron Cohen (aka Borat, aka Ali G) is back again, this time making our elected leaders look even more insane than we thought they were.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: A Happier Childish
Why: Because Donald Glover makes fine summer love jams as well.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: Photographer Of The Year
Why: Because good photos are good.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: A Literate President
Why: Because I miss these lists.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: ¡Golazo!Baby Trump Balloon; Speed Tuba
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: House Stuff… Like Plant Or Something?
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 240, July 8, 2018

Greetings Webtaculators! One of the best thing about getting to celebrate friends’ weddings is being integrated into other cultures’ celebrations. Congrats Mo & Fizza! On to the news.

mofizza

STORY OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: The Most Media Story
Why: Because even when the world is falling apart, people still love stories about kids stuck in caves. Hope is addicting.

U.S. STORY OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Pruitt Blew It
Why: Because one of the worst things to happen to the environment is finally out of the office he was in charge of. The only bad thing is that his successor could be just as bad, but actually competent. Don’t worry, though – global warming still totally is not a thing.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: 1, 2, 3, 4, I Declare A Trade War
Why: Because Trump will hurt America’s economy.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Trump’s Picks
Why: Because it is so dumb that Trump is treating the next Federalist Society approved Justice choice as a reality TV show.

EDUCATION THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Bye Bye Diversity
Why: Because affirmative action is so much more than an attempt to fix our obvious racial issues – it brings together all walks of life together on America’s campuses.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: The World’s Biggest Stage
Why: Because England somehow won in PKs.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Sorry To Bother You
Why: Because the world needs more surreal comedy about the terrors of the modern work place.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: Warping Away
Why: Because Drake.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. look)
What: Fireworks Around America
Why: Because nothing is more American than explosions.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: Addicted
Why: Because most video game addiction seems to be a symptom of other larger problems.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: On A Boat; The Neymar; 360 Roller Coaster
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: A bigger stomach so I can eat all of the Pakistani food.
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 239, July 1, 2018

I don’t have the words for this week, but I’ll try. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (Read each of these cases, and the dissents)
What: The Supreme Court Of Injustice
Why: Because in three 5-4 rulings, the Supreme Court rolled back protections on the Establishment Clause and effectively allowed de facto religious animus to determine wholesale entry into the United States, turned every state into a “right to work” state, and allowed crisis pregnancy centers, businesses that lie to the public about being full pre-natal health care providers, to continue to lie to women about their rights and access to abortion. If that were not enough, Justice Kennedy announced his retirement effective July 31, giving Trump his second Supreme Court Justice pick. This is the long term damage that most voters who voted for Clinton, regardless of her not being the “best” candidate, understood about what could happen if Trump became president. Now we get to deal with those consequences. What a shameful week to celebrate “freedom.”

STORY OF THE NIGHT (2 min. read)
What: Mexico Goes Left
Why: Because Mexico, the country that Trump has been publicly degrading since he found out what Twitter was, just elected Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador by a wide margin.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Escalation
Why: Because Trump is seriously considering to leave the World Trade Organization. Here’s how Trump’s current trade policies are affecting his constituents.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (Read each of these cases)
What: Unprecedented
Why: Because you will notice that the First Amendment, [Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances], is the linchpin to each of the major cases ruled on by the Supreme Court this week. Each of these rulings greatly alters the historical development and understanding of the First Amendment, I would highly suggest starting with a few precedents for these cases as well: the recent Masterpiece Cakeshop, which essentially came to the opposite conclusion regarding what it takes to taint a ruling against a particular religion, Korematsu, which was overturned by the court as it ruled to ban countries based on a racism, Abood, which directly ruled that states’ unions do not violate an individual’s free speech rights,  and finally, Roe v. Wade, which establishes women’s clear right to abortion.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: Built On Their Backs
Why: Because the world’s ever growing appetite for new technology is destroying the poor.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: LA-Bron
Why: Because the King is going to the home of the (hockey) Kings. Also, the World Cup already shed most of the top teams from the competition.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: Del Toro
Why: Because I have never been disappointed in a Benicio Del Toro performance.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (listen)
What: Anything But Happy
Why: Because if you need some powerful introspection, listen to the new Florence + The Machine. If you need to sad dance, listen to the new Gorillaz. If you need to drown the world out in noise, listen to the new Nine Inch Nails.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. look)
What: Resist
Why: Because this still is not normal.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: Resist Some More
Why: Because the world of words is rich with the ideas of how to effectuate change.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Gamers Doing Good
Why: Because the Summer Games Done Quick, a speed running charity event, raised over $2 million for Doctors Without Boarders over the weekend.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Simpsons / Futurama, But In The Past; Dog Loves Haircuts; The Good Kind Of Flying Robots
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: A Sweep Of The 2018 Elections And A Packed Court After The 2018 Elections
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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