Webtacular World Issue # 228, April 15, 2018

Greetings Webtaculators! Welcome again to another edition where all the news that happened over the last week is delivered in a succinct and digestible manner. According to The Guardian, I’m protecting your mental health. You’re welcome. Also, do your taxes, for real this time (final warning). On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: The Problem With Bombing Syria
Why: Because it’s really hard to understand what exactly is happening in Syria when a President who won partially because of his claim of being against intervention bombs Syria for chemical weapons usage… again. For those of you paying attention to dates, yes, this is an article from 2017, and yes, the U.S. lead a bombing campaign against Syria for using chemical weapons less than a year ago (I don’t blame you for not remembering – it’s been a year of too much news, and I don’t really recall any news source bringing up kinda important point, but I guess they don’t remember either). It obviously worked wonders the first time.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Zuck Goes To Washington
Why: Because Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, a giant company with access to a lot of our information, had to spend two days in Washington assuring a bunch of elderly people that everything is going to be fine. To be perfectly clear, everyone who uses Facebook should understand that the misappropriation of data in this case isn’t their fault – it’s Cambridge Analytica’s, regardless of Mark Zuckerberg taking the blame for it. Yes, Facebook has plenty of problems, and their business as it exists is invasive, but you probably should have known that. Facebook’s terms of service and Data primer spell out what they sell, and were things that you acknowledged that you read when you signed up (you read them, didn’t you?). I know, legalese and terms are boring, but it might pay to actually start reading these things.

Finally, it’s great that Congress is finally looking like it cares about privacy and data leaks, because it sure as shit didn’t when Equifax, a giant company with access to a lot of our information that actually matters for things like personal loan rates or the ability to qualify to buy a house, had to spend way less time explaining essentially that they are too big to fail for completely failing to protect our information even though that is one of the core parts of their job. While you can still be mad at Facebook, take a good long think about why you’re more upset about the company that lets you post pictures of you on vacation versus the one that determines your financial future without your knowledge.

POLITICAL THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Bye Bye Ry Guy
Why: Because Paul Ryan is a coward who failed to do what he said he was going to, and left the government broke(n).

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Playoffs!
Why: Because baseball doesn’t officially exist for another few months or so.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Rock Rampage
Why: Because the Dwayne Johnson finally figured out how to sell fun dumb movies again. This one happens to be based on a video game where the entire premise is a monkey, a lizard, and a wolf punch a bunch of buildings, and that’s about it. There must be a reason why Hollywood can’t make a good video game movie.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. listen)
What: Sky Full Of Songs
Why: Because Florence + The Machine still kills it. Also, Bey slayed Coachella.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: This Is What Propaganda Looks Like
Why: Because Mike Pence was not in Washington when the Trump decided to drop bombs on Syria.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Shots Fired
Why: Because Former FBI Director James Comey’s book is finally coming out. Read the transcript regarding the his George Stephanopoulos interview – you’ll hopefully never have to hear a former head of FBI call a sitting President “morally unfit” again.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: Mad Dads
Why: Because God of War’s Kratos, previously seen being an angry ashen man who killed every single Greek god in some truly brutal ways, somehow managed to find a little bit of heart, and now is rampaging through Norse Mythology. Good times. As for real people, Billy Mitchell, best known for his role in The King of Kong, just was stripped of all of his video game high score records.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Raccoons Are Funnier In French; West Rolled; A Legacy Of Trauma
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Airstream, Because Houses Are Expensive
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 # 227, April 8, 2018

Greetings Webtaculators! Remember to do your taxes. On to the news.

P.S. Errol, read Rachel’s emails.

STORY OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Weapons Of Mass Destruction
Why: Because actual chemical attacks are being committed in whatever version of a proxy war Syria is currently in. Weird how our current President wants to withdraw troops (I could have sworn the U.S. was all about running guns blazing into Middle Eastern countries that were a threat…) The fact that the U.S. and Russia’s relationship is deteriorating at a rapid rate is not any help to the situation either.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Toys Were Us
Why: Because essentially Bain & Co. saw this commercial and took it literally. Then they broke it.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (long legalese read)
What: The Cost Of Silence
Why: Because that’s how much Bill Reilly paid Rebecca Diamond to drop her sexual harassment claim. Yup. Nothing there.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: How To Redesign The Web
Why: Because Reddit underwent its first large redesign in over 10 years, which is forever in internet time.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (long reads)
What: Racism Is Bad
Why: Because Deadspin did two particularly well done deep dives into racism and sports – one dealing with Lacrosse and the other with Basketball. Both are worth your time.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Revisiting The 80s
Why: Because Molly Ringwald discusses some of the problems with some of her breakout movies, like Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club in light of the #MeToo movement.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Rainbow Kitten Surprise… Surprises
Why: Because their new album, How To: Friend, Love, Freefall is excellent, and their video for Hide is extremely powerful. Definitely looking forward to seeing these guys at Outside Lands.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (short look)
What: Trump Tower Fire
Why: Because symbolism.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: The Forever Game That Wasn’t
Why: Because the original was supposed to last 10 years. It didn’t. The sequel’s player-base seems to have disappeared even faster.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Star Wars; Sorta Star Wars; Definitely Not Star Wars
Why: Because Internet.

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

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

Webtacular World Issue # 226, April 1, 2018. TRIFECTA EDITION

Greetings Webtaculators! Regardless of our differences, we can all agree that this weekend had too many holidays featuring dead sons (some who stay dead, some who came back from the dead, and some who never were dead [see second story]). I hope everyone enjoyed drinking too much wine, collecting too many rabbit eggs, playing too many practical jokes, doing some combination of the three, or doing something completely unrelated to any of them. Finally, this is the time of year where I usually find a bunch of fun Peeps related material, but since this is the worst timeline, the only thing that I could find was this. Fun is dead. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: That’s The Spirit!
Why: Because nothing says “I’m a Christian” like threatening immigrants (again). This capped off another stunning week where Trump fired even more of his super capable Executive Branch. At least he finally acted on the Russian spy poisoning. And, because we no longer care what happens in the Middle East, apparently 15 (or more?) Palestinians were killed while protesting at the Israel – Gaza boarder (Ed. note – the lack of actual facts I have been able to find on this one is very troubling. I do not know how in this day and age it is impossible for a 30,000+  person demonstration to go uncovered as a live event. The stories seem to hyperbolize that it was completely the Israelis’ fault or it was completely the Gazans’ fault – in most cases, if there’s anything we know about the history between the two, nothing is ever this simple. In this case, however, the burden falls on Israel, regardless of the importance of boarder security: 1,500 people can not get injured due to a live fire situation without justification, and Israel has done a terrible job so far of providing anything better than a “Sacramento Cop” explanation. Moreover, if maintaining security was Israel’s main goal, Israel has already lost control of that narrative, which is why it’s probably the best option to just not shoot at non-soldiers in the first place. But don’t worry, because Jared Kushner is going to fix this right up.)

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: More Strikes For More Pay
Why: Because it’s almost like unions are helping teachers organize in a way that gets them results.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: All About The Census
Why: Because the problem with just counting “citizens” is that it vastly under-represents the number of people actually living in a particular state. This has major implications for everything from allocated Congressional seats to district sizes to available funding.

NEWS THING OF THE WEEK (1 min. 30 sec. watch)
What: The Present Is Terrifying
Why: Because normally I’d throw in all the fun April Fools day stuff in here, but since it appears everything is lying to us anyway, it doesn’t seem so fun anymore.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: BEISBOL IS BACK!
Why: Because at least for now the Giants are tied with the Dodgers. And, even with rule changes, it’s not quite over yet. Also, the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship game was great.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Are You Ready?
Why: Because Steven Spielberg turned a very mediocre book into box office gold.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Music In The Park
Why: Because Outside Lands is coming back this August with Janet Jackson in tow.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: God Damn It Sean Penn
Why: Because you should definitely not read his book.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: A Far Cry From Meaning
Why: Because setting an open-world, first person shooter in a version of rural Montana taken over by a Christian fundamentalist doomsday prepper cult, but then turning the rest of the game around that into a non-serious slapstick comedy kind of misses the mark.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: 23 And Your Car; Net Rogan; Sidekicks
Why: Because Internet (this is seriously depressing).

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

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