Webtacular World Issue # 34, July 27, 2014

A ceasefire counts as something good, right? The other news remains way happier.

STORY OF THE WEEK (15 min. read)
What: No Chance For Peace
Why: Because it seems that no matter how close these two groups come to some sort of agreement, there will always be some part of both that are unwilling to make any concession.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: My Pension Is Going To Be Just Fine
Why: Because it obviously isn’t.

FOOD LAW THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read; 14 min. listen)
What: I Obviously Started Davis Way Too Late; Burrito = Sammich
Why: Because if I could have received credit for the amount I drank in undergrad (or burrito sammiches I ate), I would have graduated 3 years early.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (7 min. read)
What: I’ll Just Do This Later
Why: Because Webtacular World would not exist but for my extreme procrastination skills. Also, the Internet told me I procrastinate.

EDUCATION THING OF THE WEEK (15 min.read)
What: Not Another Math Article!!!
Why: Because maybe I would have enjoyed math more if I didn’t just have to do speed drills all the time. Stupid 7*8.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: Street Ball Is Dead
Why: Because sports are so big, that talent is no longer allowed to develop organically. At least the BBC can tell me which sport I was built to play.

FOOD THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: Food Prediction Is The Reason Why You Even Know What Kale Is
Why: Because these people also are the reason why all menus look like this, and why asking for a veggie burger doesn’t just mean you get lettuce between two buns.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (multi-article read)
What:  Movie Pitch: It’s A Romance Film… And Comedy… In The Same Movie. Genius.
Why: Because Grantland (of all places) actually covers a lot of ground with these articles, explaining in the process how you and your significant other won’t be completely bored while watching the movie that the other one really wants to see.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (30 min. listen)
What: Weird Al’s #1!
Why: Because it is unbelievable that a parody album seems to be the only music America can agree on anymore. Also, Weird Al is awesome.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. watch)
What: How To Write A Story
Why: Because then you can tweet about that awesome novel you’re totally writing…

COMIC THING OF THE WEEK
What: Comic Con
Why: Because an industry that described my childhood nerdiness now is the biggest player in entertainment today. Also, you can now get access to thousands of Marvel comics for $0.99 to play catch up.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK
What: You Want Maps? I Got Maps; And Flags Too; Kids Have It So Easy; The Sociology Of Screaming Girls
Why: Because Internet.

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

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

Webtacular World Issue # 33, July 20, 2014

Well, this week was generally terrible. Hopefully the lighter articles will alleviate some of the more somber stories.

STORY OF THE WEEK
What: War. What Is It Good For?
Why: Because with the escalation of the situation in Israel/Palestine, I’d like to share some of my own thoughts with you all.

*Begin Depressing Rant – feel free to skip*

I spent about two weeks in Israel during the late winter of 2012, and although this does not give me any sort of authority with which to speak on the matter, it did give me a relatively more personal reason to begin re-thinking about the issues in the Middle East other than my undergraduate focus on Political Science with an emphasis on Middle Eastern studies, and an intrinsic tie to Israel through the random happenstance that I was adopted by a Jewish American family.

War is generally a awful endeavor that countries, states, and other entities often feel they must wage in order to get what they want when talking and diplomacy fail. In the Palestine-Israel relationship, diplomacy once again took a back seat to good old fashioned biblical eye-for-an-eye bloodletting. To recap the most recent development: members of Hamas, Palestine’s elected political body, kidnapped and killed three Jewish teenagers. In retaliation, a number of Jewish youth kidnaped, tortured, and killed a Palestinian teenager. Hamas, in retaliation, started shooting rockets at Israel. Israel, in retaliation, started bombarding Hamas rocket sites, which were inconveniently close to locations where non-combatants live, work, and play. Hamas, in retaliation to collateral damage (the polite way of noting the deaths of numerous children by the bombardment), broke several short term humanitarian-based ceasefires, and started sending scouts through tunnels into Israel. Israel, in retaliation, instituted ground war, with troop incursions into Gaza.

You may have noticed I used the term “in retaliation” more than was probably necessary. However, this is the sole logic that I can deduce for  either side acting in the manner it does. Politically, Israel has a very large right-wing voting block that continuously drives the government to act in a “strong” manner, meaning that the military is deployed in many situations where it might not be internationally prudent to do so. Hamas, in a similar light, has a stated belief that Israel as a country should and does not exist as a legitimate entity, and therefore must be obliterated. To make matters more complicated, organizations such as Hamas do provide very real and tangible benefits to the local population, even while they continue to commit terrorist acts, for lack of a better descriptor, against Israeli citizens. This leaves the Palestinians as a group stuck in a terrible situation – be on the receiving end of militarily unmatchable force, while being unrecognized as a people by international bodies, and further serving as a proxy force by its political representatives and neighboring countries (who do not have any love of Israel either, but would rather not get involved in a direct conflict).

This cyclical perpetuation of violence has existed almost since Israel’s formation as a state. Violence occurs, families get torn apart, friends and relatives and country men swear vengeance in the name of protection, the governing bodies drive the point home, and the violence continues. Every time this happens, it merely begets a new generation of individuals on both sides who re-entrench themselves in the idea that peace is impossible. Whether someone’s friend  was killed by Israeli shelling, Another lived through incessant bombardment by Hamas rockets that are less deadly only because Israel has spent an unbelievable amount of money on a rocket defense system, there is the universal belief that someone on the opposing side would rather that they and everyone they know were dead, merely because they live on an opposite side of a wall. Yes, this is a little hyperbolic and simplified, but as far as a general break down of a deeply complex issue pertaining to history, religion, thousand year manifest destinies, and modern international politics, I have not been able to think of this truly senseless cycle of violence in any other way. I don’t personally think that either side is correct in their actions, but, at the same time, I completely understand why both sides chose those choices. Until something drastically changes, I do not see this cycle stopping any time soon. If any of you have any other thoughts or comments, feel free to reply.

*Well that was depressing, but cathartic. Thanks for listening. Moving on.*

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Car Free In Helsinki
Why: Because this might actually be the way forward for transportation in our growing metropolitan areas.

STATE THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Rich Person Wants To Split California Into Six States
Why: Because sometimes venture capitalists really don’t understand how the world works, but because they have money, we have to listen to their terrible ideas that could potentially happen.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (20 min. read)
What: Prison. Is. Broken.
Why: Because a system that is heavy on the punishment side and light on the rehabilitation side is making the United States safer.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: One Small Step For (A) Man
Why: Because 45 years ago today, Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the Moon.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Nothing
Why: Because bad basketball, and high baseball, and moving sportscasters get to be stories this week.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Growing Up
Why: Because there is no reason why this should have worked as a film.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (7 min. read)
What: CDs Never Die, They Just Scratch Away
Why: Because there is no way that Offspring’s Smash or Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise can ever exist in any other format.

FOOD THING OF THE WEEK (20 min. watch)
What: This Or This Is How You Make The Best Fucking Burger
Why: Because you can also make the best fucking french fries with beef tallow, apparently.

COMEDY THING OF THE WEEK (7 min read)
What: The Ever Developing Mind Of Maria Bamford
Why: Because her Baby Jesus impression might be one of my favorite comedy bits ever.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (30-60 min. watch)
What: DOTA 2 On ESPN
Why: Because it’s big news when a video game tournament with a $10 mil. prize makes it on the leading sports network.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK
What: Just Don’t Ask Google Any More Stupid Questions, OK?; Viking Facebook; The Second Person Is The Worst Person; Can’t Stop Won’t Stop The Cheese Sticks (Because You Already Paid For All Of Them)
Why: Because Internet.

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

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

Webtacular World Issue # 32, July 13, 2014

What a World Cup. I’m going to miss my extended lunches cheering with hundreds of other likeminded folk at the Civic Center. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (15 min. read)
What: Freedom Isn’t Free
Why: Because much of the Snowden leaks have been either mundane or already known; this is not one of those things.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Mediocrity As A Selling Point
Why: Because why not do things just ok? Or You could just stop working 40 hour work weeks.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Science Is Finally Scientific
Why: Because deciding that there are not always two equal sides to a story is probably a good thing for humanity.

FOOD THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: How To Buffet
Why: Because now you can go to Vegas and at least come out ahead in one way even if you lose all your money at the craps table.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK
What: Aren’t. You. Glad. I. Didn’t. Say. Soccer?
Why: Because Germany defeated Argentina in extra time, bringing one of the most exciting World Cups in history to an end.

VEHICLE THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: The Life And Death Of The Station Wagon
Why: Because you haven’t lived until you have sat facing backwards out of a Volvo 200 Series.

COMMUNICATIONS THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: A Series Of Tubes
Why: Because the Internet and communication in general relies on New York way more that you probably realize.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK
What: Live Music Forever
Why: Because it’s better than wasting all of your money watching producers.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (15 min. read)
What: This Title Was Written In The Passive Voice, And That Is OK
Why: Because Law Review can shove it.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (7 min. watch)
What: The Game Boy Is Still The Best
Why: Because these dumb kids have no idea how good they have it.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK
What: Ladders Are Awesome; How To Forgive America; Water Is Super Important, Y’all; Cubicles Forever; Potermore Reveals What Harry’s Been Up To
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Pretty Much Anything Here
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 31, July 6, 2014

STORY OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: The Civil Rights Act Turns 50
Why: Because the Civil Rights Act was one of the last large society-changing laws that Congress passed.ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)

What: Why People Live Where They Do (3 min. read)
Why: Because this is why I still can’t find something reasonably affordable in San Francisco.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Hobby Lobby
Why: Because part of me still can’t believe that contraception is still somehow this misunderstood and difficult to obtain.

TECHNOLOGY THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The PC
Why: Because the thing you are using to read this now has changed quite drastically over the last decade.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (7 min. read)
What: Impossibly Good
Why: Because one person should not be this much better at something than his closest rivals.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. watch)
What: Bayism
Why: Because a widely panned movie series that somehow keeps getting worse is once again the #1 movie in the world.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. watch)
What: Pimps And Hos
Why: Because sometimes people in terrible personal situations make for the most interesting subjects

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. watch)
What: Phish For People Who Don’t Like Phish
Why: Because Phish is actually pretty good live.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read, 36 min. listen)
What: David Foster Wallace On Sadness
Why: Because one of the quintessential authors of our era explained why a nation that has everything still is not happy.

FOOD THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: The Best States By Food
Why: Because this should give all of you non-Californians an excuse to come visit.

GAME THING OF THE WEEK (1000 pg. read)
What: Dungeons And Dragons Version 5.0
Why: Because this is the original role playing game that influenced everything from Fallout to Farmville.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK ()
What: Hodor; A Very Expensive Potato Salad; The Night Crew Is The Right Crew
Why: Because Internet.

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

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

Webtacular World SPECIAL 4TH OF JULY EDITION

I hope you all have a webtacularly spectacular 4th!

4TH OF JULY THINGS OF THE WEEK
What: Flags Of Our Great Great Great Grandfathers; Land Of The Freeeeeeeeeeeee(breathe)eeeeeeeeeeee!America In spaceFireworks And You
Why: Because it’s the greatestsinglenation. in the world’s birthday, damnit, and you’re going to enjoy yourself. America. Fuck Ya.

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