Webtacular World Issue #12 February 23, 2014

Goodbye Olympics! Hello Netflix binging!

STORY OF THE WEEK (7 min. read)
What: Ukrainian President Removed From Power
Why: Because this has been a very tumultuous turn of events in the last few weeks surrounding what began as peaceful protest against the government for economic decisions distancing Ukraine from the E.U. towards Russia and turned into a bloody battle over a public square.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. watch)
What: Sexanomics
Why: Because what initially starts as a catchy video about the supply and demand of sexual relationships between modern men and women quickly becomes a work of investigative journalism.

LONGFORM TIME!!!!!
I initially found this video via Metafilter, which if you’re not familiar with, you can think of as a Reddit for adults. These type of quick explanation videos have been making the rounds for a number of years, one of the most popular you may have seen being the work of C. G. P. Grey. The videos generally use text of the words spoken interspersed and with cartoons or some other artistic form in order to educate viewers about some relatively complex subject. They can be very useful in this regard, since they can effectively convey lots of material into a simple, easy to digest format. However, this format can also lend itself to oversimplification, or, in a potentially more detrimental case, factual manipulation, as is the case here.

As the video started, I was immediately hit with the feeling that something was off. For example, the first facts given were that marriage in the U.S. were at a historic low (fair), immediately followed by the fact that online dating site revenues were at an all time high (Huh? Of course they should be- the technology that has developed to utilize these services have grown along with the decrease in social stigma to actually meet someone online, why are these two facts related to each other?) The video continues with assertions about reasons for people having sex (men: pleasure; women: emotional bonding and relationship security), how women are the “gatekeepers” of their sexuality which has an explicit cost, which then inexplicably changes the cost to a meaning of potential for children, and then, most ridiculously, setting up the example of pesticides wreaking havoc on the “natural systems” in comparison with the effects of birth control. To sum up, the video finds that sex is “cheap” compared to previous eras because of the advent of birth control,which causes an imbalance between the women who want to get married and guys who only want to have sex, with the added value judgement that this is a “very bad thing.” By this point, I needed to figure out exactly why this video was made, and more importantly, who made it.

It turns out that the video was made by The Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture. This is a relatively new think tank based in Texas. What is most notable about the company is that one of its preeminent members is Mark Regnerus, who is most famous for publishing a study finding that gay parents were less successful at raising children in comparison to heterosexual couples, and then having that study thoroughly torn apart. All of this greatly leads to the possibility of this video as not economic at all, and more of a thinly veiled political message.

Moral of the story- don’t believe everything that you read or watch on the internet.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (7 min. listen/ read)
What: The End Of Solitary Confinement
Why: Because even though some people have done terrible things, that does not mean they should be treated as less than human.

GETTING OLD THING OF THE WEEK (7 min. read)
What: Aging Gracefully
Why: Because as getting old starts to become a reality, you might as well have some advice from an expert.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: First Openly Gay Athlete Goes To…
Why: Because after all the media hype about football draft rankings, a team just goes and re-signs a guy who had been in the league for years before publicly coming out. I’m sure everything is going to be Completely Different. (Someone needs to invent a sarcasm font).

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: Bill Murray: Reviewed
Why: Because Bill Murray continues to have one of the most enjoyable on screen presences of any current actor, even if not all of his choices make sense.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. watch/ listen)
What: Pomplamoose Does Pharrell
Why: Because even though Pomplamoose has been around for a while, they always seem to find ways to stay in the forefront of what can only be called the Youtube music genre.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. look)
What: Kiev On Fire
Why: Because the pictures make the story that much more real.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: Kurt Vonnegut’s Thesis Was Rejected. So It Goes.
Why: Because even some of America’s greatest writers were not that great at English.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. watch)
What: Congratulations! You Scored Only 500!
Why: Because people are still setting record runs of a game that is as old as I am.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK
What: Springy Goats; Anti Pixar; Chewbuacchus
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: $3700 Millennium Falcon Lego Set
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

Webtacularly yours,

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

Webtacular World Issue #11 February 16, 2014

In this Special Presidents’ Day Weekend Edition, this week’s Webtacular World will avoid any mention of presidents besides those already mentioned. Enjoy your Bonus Sunday!

STORY OF THE WEEK (15 min. read)
What: California’s Drought
Why: Because while Climate Change deniers think shifts in global weather patterns aren’t happening due to the East Coast’s 3rd major snowstorm in the last few days, the changes that are occurring around the world are historic.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Time Warner Comcast Xfinity NBC
Why: Because your favorite internet/ cable/ content creator/ consumer support provider is about to become an even bigger nightmare.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Stand Your Ground And Open Fire
Why: Because I think the way Americans worships the 2nd Amendment is a huge problem, and laws like this need to change if the U.S. wants to be taken seriously and treat all of its citizens with respect. We are better than this.Inline image 1.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (5 min.)
What: MOTHER FUCKING CURLING
Why: Because Curling is the best sport of the Olympics, hands down.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (4 hrs. watch)
What: RoboCop and Toy Story, Sweded
Why: Because these homemade versions are arguably better than the originals.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Wow, Something Actually Interesting About Wuthering Heights
Why: Because even though I hate this book with the fiery passion of a dozen vengeful Heathcliffs, it still is a literary classic, and deserves some respect.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. watch, 4 min. read)
What: The Beatles Turn 50
Why: Because the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus.”

COMEDY THING OF THE WEEK (7 min. read)
What: RIP Sid Caesar
Why: Because he was the definitive comedian of the last century.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. look)
What: NYC Subway in 1981
Why: Because even though it is grimy, it still is beautiful.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Flappy Bird Is Still Dead; Long Live Flappy Bird
Why: Because Flappy Bird apparently is a phoenix that will always rise from its own ashes.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK
What: Cat Wants To Party; The Fox Says Beowulf; The Death Star’s Destruction Was Totally Not My Fault
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Beer Me – Available At One Of These Locations, Maybe.
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

Webtacularly yours,

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

Webtacular World Issue #10 February 9, 2014

Sorry for the late release- I forgot how to internet because the world suddenly got wet. Also, I’m wondering when you will be delivering the rest of the THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEKS, since apparently someone is listening to my requests.

STORY OF THE WEEK (15 min. read)
What: The Winter Olympics Is (Are?) Here!
Why: Because it’s the Winter Olympics! In Со́чи, Россия! Coverage of the Games has been mainly negative, but, as they say, in Mother Russia, Olympics win you!

BUSINESS THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Pharmacies Trending Away From Selling Cigarettes
Why: Because it is important that stores that exist to keep people healthy start acting like it.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Starbucks Is Dumb, And So Is Copyright Law
Why: Because I can’t believe that someone is dumb enough to think this is parody, and someone needs a new lawyer.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: How To Stop Worrying And Love The Vagina
Why: Because too many people don’t know how we work as humans, and we should really start figuring that out.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (7 min. read/watch)
What: Top NFL Prospect Comes Out
Why: Because I thought the NFL was done being in the headlines, but this is actually for a good reason.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: 95% Fresh
Why: Because I am so excited to see this.

TV THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. watch)
What: This Guy Is Replacing This Guy
Why: Because it’s about damn time.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. look)
What: NYC Before And After Bike Lanes
Why: Because a lot of the Big Apple has converted to bike friendliness, and it seems to be working.

WRITING THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: How To Be Funny According To The NY Times
Why: Because the person who wrote is not that funny, even though he is trying to be, which is sort of funny on a meta level.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Flappy Bird Stops Flapping
Why: Because Flappy Bird is one of the most successful gaming apps in the last few months, but success often comes at a high price.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK ()
What: What The Hell Is Shona?Wow. Much DogeLuge You Long TimeI Love Behaving Aggressively Towards Clams
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: All It Needs Is Some Sharks With Lasers, And A Bunch Of These
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

Webtacularly yours,

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

Webtacular World Issue # 9 February 2, 2014

This edition is out a little early today because I am scheduled to yell at a TV for a few hours this afternoon to encourage 22 people to give each other concussions. Enjoy!

STORY OF THE WEEK (20 min. read)
What: Good News Everyone! The State Of Our Union Is Still Strong.
Why: Because Obama gave his SOTU, and while it may have seemed pretty cookie cutter, he did say he would use the power of the Executive Branch to its fullest in areas where Congress proved to be unwilling to cooperate. And Joe Biden.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Capitalism Is Not Democratic
Why: Because this is one of the first actually academic studies that proposes capitalism and democracy, which have historically been necessarily tied together, may not be as compatible when democratic issues veer more towards equality.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: The Fight Over Education
Why: Because teachers unions are the oft-vilified reason for the US’s struggling school system, and this is just the beginning.

DRUG THING OF THE WEEK (15 min. read)
What: The Real Problem With Designer Drugs
Why: Because the effort to control substances is potentially making them uncontrollably dangerous.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Black Holes Aren’t As Black Holey As Smart People Thought They Were
Why: Because it is very rare when a world renowned astrophysicist alters his own original findings on something of this magnitude.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: Breaking Madden Super Bowl
Why: Because the Super Bowl is worthless without the 49ers in it, so this at least makes the matchup entertaining.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. look)
What: A Location You Can’t Refuse
Why: Because it is cool to see how much has changed and how much remains the same.

LAST MINUTE UPDATE: RIP Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (20 min. watch)
What: Music’s Best (?)
Why: Because the Grammys are trying really hard to stay relevant, but also aren’t quite doing their job right, and haven’t been for quite a while.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (potentially very long read, short download)
What: Lot’s Of Words From Some Of The Year’s Best New Authors
Why: Because reading is good for you, so here are some free things to read.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (5 min read. 8 min. watch)
What: GoPro Is Now A Media Production Company
Why: Because GoPro is lending its cameras to individuals to produce films like this.

FOOD THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Your Olive Oil Is Probably Sleeping Around
Why: Because most extra virgin olive oil in the U.S. is not actually extra virgin olive oil.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK
What: GIFs Of The Year; The Voyager Can Use Negative Numbers; Where’d The Music Go?; Man > Baby.
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Some Rain Would Be Nice
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

Webtacularly yours,

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