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™

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