Webtacular World Issue # 213, December 31, 2017 NEW YEAR EDITION

Greetings Webtaculators! I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year, and that the next year is better than this one. On to the stories of the year.

STORY OF THE YEAR
What: Trump
Why: Because regardless of your thoughts on the man, the current president has undoubtedly changed the direction of the U.S., and the discussion surrounding every other major event of this year. Mass shootings, Nazis, health care, taxes, national disasters, national parks, international relations, immigration – you name it, and the discussion inevitably involved a singular entity’s understanding (or lack thereof) of any of these events.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE YEAR
What: Bitcoin
Why: Because the impact of a nascent currency cannot be overstated.

LAW THING OF THE YEAR
What: Travel Ban
Why: Because no other policy enacted by the Trump administration showed just how willing the administration was to buck any sense of useful policy for something that FELT useful. I think it is the epitome of the type of thinking that will drive political discourse for the next 3 years.

SCIENCE THING OF THE YEAR
What: No Neutrality
Why: Because net neutrality is dead. Long live net neutrality

SPORTS THING OF THE YEAR
What: Take A Knee
Why: Because the political awakening of the NFL, in combination with people finally realizing that football players are literally killing themselves for our entertainment, brought down one of the surest bets of entertainment and Americana.

MOVIE THING OF THE YEAR
What: #MeToo
Why: Because the fallout in the entertainment world from women coming forward after the Weinstein accusations blew open the doors on sexual harassment.

MUSIC THING OF THE YEAR
What: Damn
Why: Because Kendrick made a statement that has continued to resonate throughout the year.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE YEAR
What: A Year In Review
Why: Because pictures matter.

LITERATURE THING OF THE YEAR
What: Books
Why: Because having 2 hours a day where you’re stuck on a train actively avoiding any sort of contact with the writhing masses surrounding you leads to having a TON of time to read. I know for certain I read 26 books since the end of July (thank you Kindle), so I’m assuming I read about 60 for the entire year. This is a massive improvement from the year that I took off from reading, and I can happily say that I fell in love with literature again.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE YEAR
What: Zelda
Why: Because after revisiting Hyrule for the downloadable content, I can still safely say Breath of the Wild remains one of the greatest video games I have ever played. Also, my cat is named Zelda, and when she’s not tearing up the carpet, she’s pretty ok too.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE YEAR (∞)
What: DJ Earworm; PatriotHole; New Year’s
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE YEAR
What: More Time With People I Love
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 # 212, December 24, 2017

Greetings Webtaculators! Hope everyone is enjoying their Christmas Eve with friends and family. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Taxes
Why: Because fewer taxes sound good! Except when the majority of those cuts go to those who already have plenty, the tax code does not get any more simple, and the cuts cannot currently pay for themselves, which means a large cut to government programs in the near future. Furthermore, f you think business are going to use those funds to reinvest in their employees, lower prices, or redevelop their infrastructure, you’re kidding yourself. Since I’m currently watching the Muppet’s Christmas Carol, this seems appropriate.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Shake It Up
Why: Because Bitcoin crashed, but also apparently sort of recovered? Who knows. Also, Eric Schmidt is stepping down from leading Alphabet. Another notable departure is John Schnatter, AKA Papa John, for basically trying to fight the NFL.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What:  The Future Of The Judiciary
Why: Because one of the main pillars of society is slowly eroding away due to internal and external choices.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: IFO
Why: Because the Falcon 9 looked pretty cool flying over California.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (Long watch)
What: A Cog In The Machine
Why: Because following Isaiah Thomas, one of the top players in the NBA, as he’s traded from his franchise without prior knowledge shows just how little control players have over their own lives.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Sequels You Didn’t Know You Needed
Why: Because Jumanji had no business being remade, but somehow they made it work.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Shady’s Back, For Better Or For Worse
Why: Because it has taken Eminem 20 years to realize that people actually listen to his words, but it is probably too late to matter.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. look)
What: Time’s Best Photos
Why: Because a lot happened this year.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (15 min. read)
What: Forget VR, Here’s AR
Why: Because the Magic Leap is a real thing now.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Jingle Rock Bell; 50 Best Podcasts; C3PO’s Nightmare
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: A Merry Christmas And A Happy New Year
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 211, December 17, 2017

Greetings Webtaculators! This was one of those weeks where too much happened, which is sort of ridiculous to say, since that’s how this whole year felt. Between events that the entire U.S. experienced (election impossibilities, Net Neutrality’s defeat, a Star Wars release, etc.), and personal endeavors (three baby showers, four holiday parties, and a Star Wars release), I have no idea how anybody got anything important done. But here we are. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: Alabama Is (Just Barely) OK
Why: Because Doug Jones defeated kid coveting, racist, Constitution-hating Roy Moore in an election that will have far fetching ramifications in the near future.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Disney Buys The World
Why: Because a small part of me is glad that the Marvel Universe is finally under one roof, but is also terrified that Disney now almost owns everything I watch. That’s probably not such a good thing.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: It Was Fun While It Lasted
Why: Because there is no reason this happened but for greed and consolidation of an industry. Here’s a decent breakdown of how this will effect data heavy industries, like video games. Feel free to expand this to digital learning, streaming services, research, and potentially being able to find this website in the future.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Racist, Sexist Old Men Own Sports Teams
Why: Because how this hasn’t happened sooner I have no idea.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Star Wars Did Well
Why: Because it’s Star Wars, even if some fans aren’t giving it the same praise as the critics did (I would link, but there are minor spoilers, and I promised my wife I wouldn’t say anything about it). Go see it. It’s good.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: The Best
Why: Because this was an extremely weird year in music for me. Personally, I usually find a few albums that I listen to repeatedly, and add them to my ever growing list of things I will continue to listen to. That didn’t really happen for me this year, even with undeniably great things like DAMN. and Sleep Well Beast, to more personally flavored favorite albums like american dream, RainbowConcrete and Gold, Now That The Light Is Fading, and Hug of Thunder. They were more things to listen a few times, and then leave behind. To be perfectly honest, my absolute favorite music that I still can’t get out of my head are things made by friends, from Rare Feeling to The Panther in the Room to House Is A Tunnel to Party Trick to Bedroom Amateur. Maybe it’s because when so much in the world is feeling crazy, knowing that people who I know and like are doing what they love and finding success at it makes me feel like everything is going to be fine.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. look)
What: Oh Hey Look At These Dummies!
Why: Because animals are hilarious to look at.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: Even More Bests
Why: Because you probably could have read a single book instead of read all the best of lists I’ve been posting.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Top 10
Why: Because 2017 was a hell of a year in gaming. My personal top 10 are Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Nier: Automata, Resident Evil 7Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, Prey, Splatoon 2NiohDestiny 2, and Assassin’s Creed Origins.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Best Bad Restaurant; All I Want For Christmas Is Foo; Hate Hate Hate
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Useless Expensive Holiday Things
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 210, December 10, 2017

Greetings Webtaculators! Welcome to the month of Christmas. California remains on fire. When will this year end. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Yerusalayim
Why: Because as a Jew, I assume Trump’s announcement  was supposed to sound inspirational. As a human being, it is a forfeiture of moderation, and a potential for a declaration of war. It is a statement that there will not be peace in the Middle East. Trump also broke during the announcement. I wish this was funny, but this is a head of state unable to articluate the word “Jerusalem” in a coherent manner. That’s not OK.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: All Of The Coins
Why: Because as of this posting, a bitcoin is worth $16860.08. Feel free to feel bad if you didn’t buy in with your friend in 2011 for less than a dollar.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: Let Them Eat Cake
Why: Because the First Amendment defense of “cake art” is troubling. This is especially true if speech protection destroys the basis for equality protections.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Exploitation
Why: Because email spoofs are becoming much more difficult to identify. As a state government employee, these sorts of attacks occur on a daily basis. They are also becoming much more sophisticated, to the point where even calling a colleague might not be enough of a preventative measure to stop access to confidential information.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Whoops
Why: Because Russia is cheating at more than politics. On another note, what about chess? Oh, the robots are winning. Nevermind.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. watch)
What: All Of The Films
Why: Because Star Wars is better than them all.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (26 min. listen)
What: The Future
Why: Because I know I inundate this site with personal music suggestions more than a reasonably non-biased news source should. However, beyond having a REALLY good taste in music, I also happen to know people who make REALLY good music. Give it a listen. If I’m right, you’re listening to the future of rap. If I’m wrong, well, you got to hear a riff off a good Missy Elliott song.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. look)
What: Modernity
Why: Because humanity finds beauty in lines.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: A Selection
Why: Because even if you have a problem with the NYT, they still do more literary analysis for the common man than any other American publication.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: How To Make The Best Game Better
Why: Because you just have to give the protagonist a motorcycle. Or just make a new Mega Man.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: UBI; Get Ready; Naughty Is An Understatement
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Any 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 # 209, December 3, 2017

Greetings Webtaculators. This week, Congress decided it is not working for America. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Un-American
Why: Because the Senate Republicans barely passed a sweeping tax bill that will add $1.5 trillion in debt (there goes their debt ceiling concerns), will create a higher burden for the middle and lower classes in the long run, and will gut health insurance for millions of Americans. To top it off, Flynn plead guilty to lying to the FBI, and Trump all but admitted to knowing that Flynn lied. I am furious.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Pharminsurance
Why: Because CVS is buying Aetna for $69 billion. Remind me again why businesses need a tax break.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: Guilty
Why: Because Flynn plead guilty to lying to the FBI, and Trump all but admitted to knowing that Flynn lied.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: College Football, Everyone
Why: Because Alabama, which did not play for its Division Championship, somehow made it into the playoffs.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Success At Failure
Why: Because The Disaster Artist is a really good movie about The Room – a really bad one. Seriously, it’s awful.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: U2, Again
Why: Because at least this time they didn’t force it onto your phone.

ART THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. watch)
What: Go To The Museum Without Leaving Your Couch
Why: Because NY MOMA is showing how museums prepare installations.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: How To Buy A Book
Why: Because buying books for other people is hard.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: 500 Best
Why: Because 100 best is just not enough.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Our Leader; Modern Trivia; Dissonance
Why: Because Internet.

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

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