Webtacular World Issue # 191, July 30, 2017

Greetings Webtaculators! To be completely honest, I sure can’t stand all the winning Trump is doing right now: dismantling Obamacare (fail), manning a functioning Executive branch (fail and fail), making smart statements about policing while making sure our military remains strong (fail and fail), and having no real international problems to deal with (failed and failed). Yup. Nothing but winning.
Also, with apologies to Meagan, I spent way too much time on the MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK this time around, so, if you want something completely non-political to think about or be mad at me for turning your attention to, spend some time with that. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: GOP Fails Ending Obamacare
Why: Because this is what happens when you elect people who run for government on the assumption that the government doesn’t do anything – nothing gets done. This is one of the largest Congressional failures in recent history, especially considering the GOP has a majority in all three branches. This is basically the equivalent of one of those pop flies in baseball that all three outfielders are in position to make the play, but then they all just stand there while the ball falls to the ground, and point and scream at each other about why no one caught it.

One of the most theatrical parts of the events leading up to the no-vote was the return of John McCain. I’m reluctant to give him credit for anything, due to the fact that he was one of the reasons why a vote was even necessary in the first place. An even bigger problem with this story is that as a Senator from Arizona (a state that LOVES its Medicare due to its large Baby Boomer voting base), McCain risked very little to vote no on this issue. The people who actually risked something were Senators Susan Collins from Maine and Lisa Murkowski from Alaska. Both women have actively been voting against the poorly vetted health bills pushed by their party, while facing attacks from their colleagues and president. They deserve as many accolades as possible for literally saving the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Model 3 Is Here
Why: Because the first Tesla for the masses arrived.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: The F(u)CC
Why: Because Ajit Pai can’t adequately explain why net neutrality is bad for business, even though that is the argument he is using to destroy it.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. look)
What: This Is Your Brain On Football
Why: Because apparently smashing your head into other people’s heads for a living is not good for your brain.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: 💩
Why: Because the Emoji Movie had the honor of achieving a 0 Freshness rating at Rotten Tomatoes at its release. It is now a little above 0, but I blame that on one of the reviewers mistakenly watching paint dry. Go see Atomic Blonde instead.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Arcade Smolder
Why: Because the newest Arcade Fire album scored lower on Pitchfork than the newest Coldplay album. I think that this means that indie music is dead. What this also means is that in order to see how we got to Coldplay + Chainsmokers somehow being a thing (that actually is better than parts of the Arcade Fire album [Spin agrees], to be completely honest) I went ahead and listened to every single major album released by Coldplay in chronological order. Here are my thoughts.

Parachutes
Score: 3 Pensive Chris Martins out of 5
My Favorite Song: Don’t Panic
Song You Are Probably Sick Of: Yellow
Remember when Coldplay was mostly pianos and falsetto? Well, now you do. World, meet Coldplay. Coldplay, world.

A Rush Of Blood To The Head
Score: 3.5 Thom Yorkes / snitraM sirhC out of 5
My Favorite Song: The Scientist
Song You Are Probably Sick Of: Clocks
This album was the closest Coldplay came to actually being the “next Radiohead.”

X & Y
Score: 3 Chris Martins Standing In An Arena out of 5
My Favorite Song: Til Kingdom Come
Song You Are Probably Sick Of: Fix You
Coldplay found out that a large amount of additional sound production could go a long way. This is the first sign that they would make EDM music in 10 years.

Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends / Prospekt’s March
Score: 4 Triumphant Chris Martins out of 5
My Favorite Songs: Viva La Vida / Strawberry Swing
Song You Are Probably Sick Of: Lost!
This is far and away my favorite Coldplay album. Martin actually wrote lyrics with meaning, the sound was a brave progression to something new without losing what a Coldplay song was supposed to sound like, and the sister EP Prospekt’s March actually took ideas from the main album and expanded upon them in a clear way. Aside from the mix up with guitar god Joe Satriani, this is a good album. Good job Coldplay.

Mylo Xyloto
Score: 2.5 Dancing Chris Martins out of 5
My Favorite Song: Hurts Like Heaven
Songs You Are Probably Sick Of: Paradise / Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall
Coldplay took all of the things that made Viva La Vida interesting, and then did too much of it. Coldplay, meet dance music. Dance music, Coldplay.

Ghost Stories
Score: 1 Very Sad Chris Martin out of 5
My Least Unfavorite Song: Midnight
Song You Probably Forgot But Will Dislike Immediately Upon Rehearing: Magic
Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow, purveyor of modern day snake oils, “consciously uncoupled.” Chris Martin was sad. Chris Martin made this album. Please don’t make Chris Martin sad again.

A Head Full Of Dreams / Kaleidoscope
Score: 2 Left Shark Chris Martins out of 5
My Favorite Song: Birds
Song You Are Probably Sick Of: Adventure Of A Lifetime / Hymn For The Weekend / Something Just Like This (Tokyo Remix)
Well, Chris Martin got happy again, so Coldplay said fuck it, fully embraced its pop side, complete with dancing monkeys, a track of Obama singing and speaking, a song about drinking, a performance at the Super Bowl with Bey and Bruno Mars, and an earnest attempt to learn to have fun again. So enjoy the EDMification of Coldplay. Who knows; maybe in the next album, they’ll return to their light piano ballads while dreaming of super-stardom. Until then, we get this.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: 200 Years Of Thoreau
Why: Because there are often times in my life where I wish I could flee to a small hut and write about my thoughts on the world, but I guess I’ll just keep on spending Sunday evenings smashing away a keyboard extolling the virtues and vices of pretty ok bands. On the bright side, it’s not like I really would want people to make pilgrimages to the East Bay anyway.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Light My Pyre
Why: Because everyone loves some sports with their interactive novel, right?

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Butternut Squash Is Not Cheese; Scaramucci The Law Student; Fan-TasticSomeone Should Tell Trump What The “T” In LGBT Stands For
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Tesla Model 3
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 # 190, July 23, 2017

Greetings Webtaculators! Well, it’s been another crazy week in Washington. Republicans can’t pass a healthcare bill, Spicey is gone, “The Mooch” (are you serious?) is here, Sessions also met with the Russians, and Trump is seriously looking into a previously absurd legal hypo as to whether or not a president has the power to pardon themselves. Good grief. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (2-5 min. read)
What: Pick And Choose Any Of The Above Links
Why: Because I can’t choose just one.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: Pardon Me?
Why: Because this should be a dumb question that doesn’t need to be answered, but now it’s one that actually matters somehow. Also, OJ is free again.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. watch)
What: Solar Eclipse Of The Heart
Why: Because the sun is going to hide for a bit, and that is really neat.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Yay Bicycles!
Why: Because cycling is really, really hard.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Heroic Retreat
Why: Because Dunkirk might be one of the best war films.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. watch)
What: Strangerer Things
Why: Because this good TV. This, however, is not good TV.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: In The End It Mattered
Why: Because Chester Bennington, lead singer for the band Linkin Park, committed suicide. The band has established a suicide prevention page in his memory.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: Why Not To Read Jane Austen
Why: Because I’m not sure that a group of students has ever “clamored for Austen,” but I guess teachers have insight into this sort of thing?

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Kids And Squids And Squids And Kids
Why: Because Splatoon 2 is a ridiculous game about kid squids that is way more fun than it should be.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Wow!; How To Beer; Bring Back Crazy Crab
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: An Adult Sized Land Speeder
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 189, July 16, 2017

Greetings Webtaculators! Even though it’s the middle of summer, winter is finally here. The one thing that Game of Thrones reminds me of is that regardless how bad our government currently is, at least we aren’t being attacked by White Walkers with giants. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Just A Kid
Why: Because even though he’s a Jr., Donald Trump Jr. is a full grown man who is fully responsible for his actions.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Disney Wars
Why: Because this is the real reason Disney bought Star Wars. Also, this is why Disney is also developing a Pandora World; you know, from that awesome 3D movie, Avatar?

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: A Lower Bar
Why: Because at this rate, maybe in a few years a person can become a lawyer in California just by accurately bubbling in their name.

HEALTH THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Trumpharm
Why: Because if a healthcare plan is offering fewer services, then let’s at least be honest with what we should call it.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: GOAT
Why: Because Roger Federer won his 8th title at Wimbledon at age 35. I also spent Sunday standing on grass, but I was drinking in a park.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: The Zombie Master
Why: Because George A. Romero, creator of Night of the Living Dead passed away.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Game Of Thrones Is Back
Why: Because winter is here. Also, the next Dr. Who will be a woman. Finally.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Second Chance?
Why: Because SoundCloud, one of the biggest online platforms for music distribution, is in trouble, unless Chance the Rapper saved it.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: EVO 2017
Why: Because the biggest fighting game tournament in the world just took place over the weekend. The precision it takes to be good at any of these games is mind boggling.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Daft Trump; Softly Singing Madness; Feast Of Thrones; Haka Time
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: A Stay In A Galaxy Far, Far Away
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 188, July 9, 2017

Greetings Webtaculators! Trump did something nice for once! I mean, he still managed to make the U.S. look ridiculous on the international stage and do pretty much everything else wrong, but at least he picked up that guy’s hat. I’ll take what I can get at this point. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Let’s All Go To Germany!
Why: Because the G20 Summit happened. Trump assured us that Russia didn’t impact the election after speaking with Putin, Ivanka pretended to be her dad, protesters protested, and everyone but the U.S. talked about climate change. Great success!

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: The Potential Future Of Automobiles Is Here
Why: Because Tesla’s affordable luxury is almost in the common person’s reach.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (20 min. read)
What: Getting Warmer
Why: Because the Earth will be very hot very soon. At least the courts are trying to protect us, even if the EPA isn’t.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (short/long look, depending on how much you like cycling)
What: Le Tour!
Why: Because this year’s race has already been nuts.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (15 min. read)
What: How To Make A Space Opera Without A Studio
Why: Because you basically have to be Luc Besson to do it.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: More New Old Things
Why: Because when a band that includes both Feist and Metric releases a new album, you know it’s good. Also, they made this song, which is still one of my favorites.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. look)
What: Step One: Get A Plane
Why: Because politicians don’t often get caught messing up this badly. Speaking of planes, this is why propellers look so strange when you take a picture of them.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: America: The Novel
Why: Because stories are often a reflection of where they take place.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (1 min. read)
What: Gaming For Good
Why: Because a bunch of really good video game players raised almost $2 million for Doctors Without Boarders by playing games quickly. Not bad.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Future FootballChristie On A Beach; Sabotage
Why: Because Internet.

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

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

Webtacular World Issue # 187, July 2, 2017

Greetings Webtaculators! The year is half way done. Yay! Here’s a tip – never travel on the Saturday of one of the busiest holidays of the year, because it may take you 7 hours to drive about 200 miles. I hope everyone has a safe and happy 4th of July weekend. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (no min. read)
What: Technically, Trump Tweeting
Why: Because I’m tired of this nonsense.  I’m not going to link to it, or spend much more time talking about it, because it shouldn’t be happening.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The iPhone’s Decade
Why: Because the iPhone changed the way we live. I remember thinking how dumb it was that you couldn’t just press buttons to dial a number. Oops.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Banned
Why: Because after being denied by multiple courts, the Supreme Court allowed Trump’s Muslim travel ban to partially go into effect until it hears the case in the fall. In slightly better (international) legal news, Germany finally got around to legalizing gay marriage.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Coming Full Circle
Why: Because before serving as the FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler was a lobbyist for the Cable industry. It is extremely rare for a individual to be brave enough to evolve their thinking on their life’s work.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: The Death Of Boxing
Why: Because Pacquiao lost a fight that most people, aside from the judges, scored him winning. Also, Steph Curry just made a ton of money.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: The Best So Far
Why: Because movies are good. Here are some more good movies.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (long read / listen)
What: The Best So Far
Why: Because music is good. Here is some more good music.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: The Reading List Of The Future Leaders Of The U.S.
Why: Because apparently schools still make college kids read things.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: SNES Classic
Why: Because this time the system includes Star Fox 2, which was never actually released until now.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Go Potato Go; We Get The Job Done; Oh my goodness. Freedom!
Why: Because Internet.

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

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