Webtacular World Issue # 139, July 31, 2016

Greetings Webtaculators! This week wasn’t terrible! Besides Turkey spiraling quickly towards a dictatorship, the release of hacked emails, and continued violence both locally and around the world – really, all in all, not bad! Good job humanity, you’re doing ok, I guess!

In other updates:

Aaron Van Boer, and Daniel Gruver and I have been training to compete in the 2016 Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon this August in San Francisco in honor of our close friend, Elizabeth “EB” Forst. I first met EB when I first started doing triathlons 8 years ago with SF’s Team In Training program. Her amazing personality and outgoing nature quickly made her one of my fast friends. However, EB is currently in recovery from a severe spinal cord injury. I hope you will support this great cause and contribute to our our fundraising goal of $5,000. Here is her story……….

EB suffered a life-changing C4/5 spinal cord injury after a swimming pool diving accident. She is currently paralyzed from the chest down. She spent three weeks in the ICU at the Carolina Medical Center in Charlotte NC and and is currently rehabilitating at the Craig Hospital in Denver. She lives in an apartment in the Denver Metro area, and spends six days a week focusing her efforts on physical and occupational therapy. EB is unable to live independently and depends on the care of CNAs and family caretakers.

Prior to her injury, EB had just returned from a three month stint in Southeast Asia where she received advanced yoga and craniosacral training to augment her practice as a physical therapist. EB has spent her entire career as an independent contractor working in hospitals around the country as a doctor of physical therapy. She has worked with injured patients of all kinds, helping them recover from their injuries and improving their quality of life. Now EB is working hard on her own rehab, and there’s a long road to recovery. In spite of the many struggles she now faces, EB remains strong and hopeful she will be able to return to a productive life in her community through the love and support of her family and friends.

As you can imagine, the care she needs is very expensive. EB has many uninsured injury-related expenses such as: ongoing rehabilitation therapy and equipment, co-pays and deductibles, modified transportation, and home modifications. This is why she needs your help.

Sadly, due to my own recent medical situation, I will no longer be participating in the upcoming tri (I imagine getting a severe migraine while swimming in the Bay would not end up well). I will, however, be competing in a future event to be determinedIf y, so don’t let my lack of participation in this event prevent you from helping out. if you would like to make a donation to help support EB’s recovery, or to learn more about the progress EB is making in her rehabilitation, please follow this link:  https://www.youcaring.com/eb-forst-579518.

Also, if you would like to cheer my friends with me while they throw themselves willingly into shark-infested waters, the triathlon will be held on August 21 at 7am. A great vantage point to catch most of the action is from the Marina Green in San Francisco. Details on the triathlon can be found here:  http://www.alcatraztri.tricalifornia.com/

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Thanks,
Brian

On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: National Conventions: A Comparison
Why: Because I don’t know how you reconcile the different America’s presented in these two speeches (Clinton, Trump).

Here’s what my awesome fiance thinks about all of this:

“‘America is already great. America is already strong. And I promise you, our strength, our greatness, does not depend on Donald Trump.

In fact, it doesn’t depend on any one person. And that, in the end, may be the biggest difference in this election – the meaning of our democracy.’ –President Obama Democratic National Convention, 7/27/16

I am not someone to get political on social media. I lean very slightly left of center. My mother is a lifelong Democrat, and my dad is a life long Republican and my brother and I grew up listening to their impassioned debates about the economy, education policy, foreign policy, and the benefits and pit falls of big government.

… Mr. Trump wants to present himself as your Messiah. He claims he wants to “make America great again” but that is an easy, if fairly stupid platitude. America IS great – it’s not perfect, but it is great. In fact we are at some of the “greatestness” ( to coin a Trumpism that he will probably use between now and November) that we have ever been. Just to fact check – crime rates are at an historic low: http://www.factcheck.org/…/07/dueling-claims-on-crime-trend/, teen pregnancies are lower than they have been since at least 2006:http://www.cdc.gov/…/pr…/reduced-disparities-birth-rates.htm, &http://www.pewresearch.org/…/why-is-the-teen-birth-rate-fa…/) private sector jobs have risen by 14.8% since 2006: https://www.whitehouse.gov/…/07/08/employment-situation-june) the US economy has continued to strengthen since 2009: https://www.treasury.gov/…/Docu…/20120502_EconomicGrowth.pdf, and has surpassed competitive nations like Japan, Germany, and France: http://www.latimes.com/…/la-fi-recession-economy-20140622-s….

What you need to know is The Donald isn’t in it for you, me, his employees, minorities, women, any of our democratic allies, or anyone whose last name isn’t “Trump”. The Donald isn’t in it for democracy, he is no great defender of The Constitution – you don’t renege on key alliances and foundational promises with other NATO member states made by the executive branch (which we already called upon to uphold these same promises in the wake of September 11th when we decided to attack Iraq:http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_51978.htm, and to provide support in Afghanistan: http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_52060.htm) and you certainly don’t invite a former KGB officer to hack your democratically elected opponent if you care about the Constitution, America, and the American citizenry, or just basic rule of law.

I don’t see how a party of Reagan – who hated the USSR and the despotic versions of communism that sprung up around the world – can see anything of themselves or anything worthy of support in “The Donald”.

Donald Trump has no political or elected experience, he is a dangerous narcissist who has continuously displayed contempt for women, minorities, the working class, and our allies in trade and democracy.”

I’m a lucky guy.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Tax Hell
Why: Because being a tax havens rarely provide as much benefit to citizens of that country as the idea promises.

LAW / PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: So Maybe Copyright Law Is Broken, After All
Why: Because a photographer is suing Getty Images for charging her for the use of her own photograph that is in the public domain.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Sol(ar) Plane
Why: Because a plane relying on nothing but the sun for power just finished a flight around the world. Even though it took 2 years, that still is impressive.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Olympians Wear Sunscreen!
Why: Because these are some of the most stupid questions I ever heard someone ask about athletes. And that’s saying something.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: Top 1000
Why: Because Edgar Wright has made some pretty damn good movies that reference many others, so he probably knows a thing or two about what movies you should watch.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Putting The Music Back In MTV
Why: Because MTV is launching a new channel that is going to show reruns of old favorites like Daria and actual music videos.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: The ? 100
Why: Because depending where you look, the hottest song might be something that the radio has never played.

FOOD THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: Single Slices
Why: Because American Cheese is both horrifying and delicious.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: The NX
Why: Because even after Pokemon Go, Nintendo still needs to recapture some of the magic it’s capable of producing.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: People Are Crazy; Space Jam 3; Bill’s Balloons
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Bill’s Balloon
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 138, July 24, 2016

Greetings Webtaculators. So this is probably one of the few times where Webtacular World probably knows less about what went on than all of you. Due to an unfortunately timed series of severe migraines (one of which sent me to the ER), I spent basically the entire week in bed hopped up on medication to try to regain control of my brain. Luckily, I’m feeling much better now, but I really have little idea of what happened. So this is my best guess at the important things. Oh, I also managed to make it to my bachelor party, which may or may not have contributed to the lack knowledge. On to the news?

STORY OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: RNC DNC
Why: Because it sounds like run dmc. And this election year is a shitshow.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Yaboo!
Why: Because Verizon is going to buy Yahoo for 5 billion dollars, which is way lower than its earlier worth of $150 billion.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Ghost Law
Why: Because fake law is fun too.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: The Olympics Or Something
Why: Because this year’s is going to be just great…

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: MAAAATT DAAAAAMON
Why: Because his costars really seem to like him.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: MacGuffins
Why: Because without dumb things to drive plots, your favorite books wouldn’t have a story.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Inside Inside
Why: Because Inside is one of the most interesting games I have played in years.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Comicon Comics; PokeLaw; Too Many Pokemon
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: No More Migraines
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue #137, July 17, 2016

Greetings Webtaculators. I wanted this week’s edition to start off differently – I really did. I don’t enjoy writing about the bad things in the world that are happening on a seemingly increasing basis. I mean, statistically, humanity is in a better place than it has been. However, with the increase of access to information, everything feels personal. Moreover, because this information is now delivered in an almost instantaneous manner and in such a large amount, the associated analysis of these events often arrives way after the event is already history. Remember Brexit? Remember the Panama Papers? Remember the Oregon Bundy Militia?All of these these things happened this year, but it probably doesn’t feel like it. It also doesn’t help that what actually is reported as fact is more likely not to be, all because we can communicate without needing to think first (see, e.g., Trump tweets [or don’t]). Hopefully, good news starts coming our way soon. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: France And Turkey And Baton Rouge, AGAIN
Why: Because are the stories that represent a growing sense of helplessness and malaise in the world. There are still many things we do not understand about why these events happened, but what will remain is the immediate feeling of sadness or fear for those in Nice or the bemused thoughts of how Turkey had yet another coup? or the “not again” feeling of hopelessness in Louisiana.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (7 min. watch)
What: Brexit, A Recap
Why: Because I still can’t believe this actually happened.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (long listen)
What: Justice In Your Ears
Why: Because Radiolab does a deep dive into how the 9* Justices actually shape the U.S. Or you can read them, if that’s more of your jam.
*Well, 8 until Congress gets its act together.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: Where Is My Jetpack, Damnit?
Why: Because the future from the past should be here by now.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (15 min. read)
What: Knuckle Balls
Why: Because the physics behind one of the coolest looking ball motions in sports is finally explained.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (long watch)
What: Top Movies From Top Actors
Why: Because figuring out what movies people who are in them like is a good way to find good movies.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (long read/listen)
What: Half Way There
Why: Because NPR released it’s list of top 100 tracks from the year so far.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Photography In Public
Why: Because aside from news, taking public photographs of people, while although legal, can often be done in a way that leaves people uneasy. Here’s how to do it right.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Nintendo Is On A Tear
Why: Because aside from taking over the world with Pokemon, Nintendo is also releasing a mini original NES pre-loaded with 30 games for 60 bucks.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Game Of Thrones In Less Than 10 Minutes; Kylo Real Talk; Totally Accurate Battles
Why: Because Internet.

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

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

Webtacular World Issue # 136, July 10, 2016

Greetings Webtaculators. I have to apologize – the last few weeks have been filled with some pretty heavy and sad news, and I regret to inform you that this week is not any better. Our interconnected world has the very new effect (at least in terms of human history) of having individual thoughts and actions magnified and amplified at a speed so fast that there rarely is time to digest and comprehend what actually is happening.

This week, a two separate instances of what blatantly appears to be police executing black men was projected in real time across our televisions and phones. A few days later, an unhinged former army vet killed multiple police officers who were actually correctly policing a protest against their very existence. These actions highlight a center-point of an insanely complex historical nexus between racism, police brutality, gun violence, escalation, economic disparity, and veterans affairs that I am not even going to attempt to unpack it. All I can say is that America is hurt.

BUT. What also happened this weekend was that I got to attend a wedding between two of my beautiful friends. One happens to be African American, and the other happens to be a second generation Latina. The ceremony took place in a Catholic church in a combination of Spanish and English. Friends and family from indescribably diverse backgrounds spent the entire ceremony and reception laughing, dancing, and celebrating their love together. This is what gives me hope.

On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Alton Sterling; Philando Castile; The Dallas Police
Why: Because we need to remember those who are gone, so that we can learn how to not have it happen again.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: The Hustle
Why: Because if you think about it too hard, then you realize that before Uber was a global transportation app, it was just encouraging skirting local taxi regulations through a phone.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: How Not To Write A Legal Complaint
Why: Because this is what a dissenting opinion should look like.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: The Greatest
Why: Because Serena Williams won two Wimbledon Finals (Singles and Doubles) this past week.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (short read)
What: Bustin Ghosts
Why: Because the trailer had me convinced that this was going to be terrible. I am very pleasantly surprised.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The 90’s/00’s Are Alive, And I Am Old
Why: Between Blink-182, The Avalanches, RHCP, Radiohead, and Weezer, it’s like high school all over again. Also, Brohemian Rhapsody and I Built A Pool might be the best Blink songs in the last 15 years.

THEATER THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. watch)
What: The Final Curtain
Why: Because this is the closest you will ever get to see Lin Manuel perform as Hamilton.

VIDEO THING OF THE WEEK (long watch [NSFW])
What:Sterling. Castile.
Why: Because these videos are important.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Catch Them All
Why: Because this is why you will be seeing basically every 10-40 year old running around this week while staring at their phones.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Make Your Baby Clean; Choreography Is Hard; Some Call Me Rey
Why: Because Internet.

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

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

Webtacular World Issue #135, July 3, 2016

Happy 4th of July Weekend, Webtaculators! I hope everyone is enjoying their bonus weekend night. I know I am – I saw a bear, I hung out at a lake, and ate BBQ – basically did the most American thing you can do. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Death In The Middle East
Why: Because it often seems like we only pay attention to the fact that terrorism reaches even those people that many people assume causes it.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (15 min. read)
What: Payday Deduction
Why: Because payday lending is one of the many things that prevent poorer people from being able to get ahead.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Abortion Stays
Why: Because in the alternative, multiple states would have been allowed to limit access to the point that an abortion would essentially unavailable.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: An Icelandic Fairytale
Why: Because Iceland finally lost to France in one of the most unlikely Euro Cup appearances by a team in recent history.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: Meet The New Academy
Why: Because the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences just extended invitations for membership to a large new class, many of which are people of color. It’s about time.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Creating Great Artists
Why: Because music is an integral part of the human experience, even it’s hard to describe why.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: Homelessness, Examined
Why: Because a number of Bay Area news agencies have banded together to explore the current state of homelessness. One of my friends from high school was able to photograph some of it.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Good Night
Why: Because Elie Wiesel, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, voice of millions , and author of Night, died over the weekend.

RADIO THING OF THE WEEK (2 hr. 20 min. listen)
What: Leaving The Prairie
Why: Because I spent way too many Sundays listening to the travesties of Lake Woebegone as narrated by Garrison Keillor. At least he’s being replaced by a genius.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Tetris, The Trilogy
Why: Because this is Tetris. It does not need 3 movies.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Baby Work; Magic!; BBQing
Why: Because Internet.

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

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