Webtacular World Issue # 252, September 30, 2018

Greetings Webtaculators. This week was another doozy. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (8 hr. watch. Please watch the whole thing. It is important.)
What: Kavanaugh’s Hearing
Why: Because Kavanaugh swears to god he didn’t do it. That settles that!

Everything about the hearing process (transcript here) has been disheartening to watch. This circus demonstrated EXACTLY why people don’t come forward with sexual assault allegations – it is immediately a “he said – she said” situation, with a good dash of “who’s to say what really happened?” thrown in the mix. Dr. Ford came across as a credible person who had experienced sexual assault. Kavanaugh came across as someone who expertly avoided answering simple yes or no questions with stories about how good of a person he was and is. Lindsey Graham came across as someone who should immediately go light himself on fire and then throw himself in front of a bus. It is unlikely that the outcome of this will change any of the Senators’ minds as to whether Kavanaugh did or did not sexually assault Dr. Ford, and whether the Senate will affirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Everything is still awful, and I bet that’s what most people were expecting.

What I bet most people were not expecting was Kavanaugh’s hard turn towards the politicization of his nomination. Kavanaugh is right – his reputation will be forever tarnished, but not for his perceived unfairness of being accused of sexual misconduct. Allegations aside, his choice of demeanor in his response to these allegations was appalling. I can understand someone being angry at this situation (this is true regardless whether he is guilty or innocent), but due to the direction Kavanaugh directed this anger, specifically, at the Democrats involved with the nomination process, I no longer think that he will perform his job as a judge in an impartial way. His partisanship was displayed in full force. I have never heard of a job interview where the interviewee calls half of the people on their hiring panel part of a conspiracy against the interviewee, and yet still expects for the panel to hire them. This is even more heinous when the job generally demands impartiality. That line clearly no longer exists.

I do not know how we go on from here. Once again, I am extremely disturbed by the continued dismantling of American institutions by those in charge with their stewardship, and continuously grow more and more fearful of our future.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Market Manipulation
Why: Because Tesla apparently is not too big to fail yet.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: California Goes At It Alone
Why: Because Net Neutrality is still an important part of the Internet, and it’s not quite dead yet. Of course, Jeff Sessions wants it dead.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Oculus Quest
Why: Because VR without tethers is better.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Gritty
Why: Because this is the mascot we deserve.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Some Trailers
Why: Because trailers are still fun.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: Weezy V
Why: Because Lil Wayne released his newest album after a long time in the making.

COMEDY THING OF THE WEEK (7 min. read)
What: Dad Jokes
Why: Because laughing, even at bad jokes, is good for you.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Vroom
Why: Because the latest Forza Horizon lets you chase around sheep in the English countryside.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Seal Slap; Google Is 20; Pop Up; I Like Beer
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Oculus Quest
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 # 251, September 23, 2018

Greetings Webtaculators! It’s late and I’m tired. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Off The Rails
Why: Because Republican Senators tried to force a vote on Brett Kavanaugh before yet another allegation of “sexual misconduct” (I’m sorry, but forcing someone to touch your dick is not “sexual misconduct,” it’s sexual assault) could make its way to the news cycle. This makes Republican Senators complicit in trying to cover up yet another allegation of sexual assault. This is especially important because Brett Kavanaugh is against birth control and abortion (even though he doesn’t know the difference between the two). These allegations, if true, make his beliefs against women’s body autonomy that much starker – not only are women’s bodies not their own for them to do what they want with them, but they are for him to do what he wants with them. He is not fit for being allowed to be a Justice on the Supreme Court.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Tit For Tariff
Why: Because China and the US are imposing billions of dollars of tariffs on trade with each other. This is bad for everyone.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (long read / listen)
What: Rock The Amendments
Why: Because law is generally not fun. This album tries hard to make it enjoyable.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Military Astrophysics Complex
Why: Because many of the things we use today like GPS, global communications, and microprocessors only because widely available to civilians after development for military purposes. It’s weird that we only really care to innovate when we are threatened with our own self destruction.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Tiger
Why: Because Tiger Woods won his first major golf tournament in 5 years.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Joker
Why: Because its amazing that some of our best actors continuously seek to portray a comic book character.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Meh-mmys
Why: Because no one watches TV on a schedule anymore.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Top 200 Of The 80s
Why: Because Michael Ian Black isn’t telling us why these albums are great.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Best Of The Century
Why: Because the 21st century is young, but there has been a ton of good literature.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Farewell To Telltale
Why: Because the studio known for making critically acclaimed games about existing properties such as Batman, Boarderlands, and most famously, The Walking Dead, is closing.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Who Is Tony Hawk?; Poppins; The Room
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: A Better Supreme Court Justice Pick.
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 250, September 16, 2018

Greetings Webtaculators! Manafort flipped. He plead guilty to conspiring against the United States, which, while not legally “treason,” sure is about as close as you can get colloquially for someone who was in charge of heading Trump’s presidential campaign. Also, you now have read 250 (or so) of these. That’s kind of a lot. Thanks for sticking around. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: The World Is Drowning
Why: Because unprecedented flooding is occurring in the Carolinas, Hong Kong is being destroyed by wind and water after Typhoon Mangkhut decimated the Philippines. But don’t worry, rising water is not our problem. Also, Lindsey Graham voted against Hurricane Sandy relief for New York in 2013, and Hurricane Harvey relief last year. One bright light in all of this is that the world (and California) has not entirely given up on trying to fix itself.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: School Is Expensive
Why: Because like other basic needs most other countries have figured out how to do well and affordably, American college costs are quickly running away from most peoples’ reach.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: No Means No, Kavanaugh
Why: Because this liar and probable attempted sexual assaulter should not be a Supreme Court Justice – one sexual harasser on the bench is already one too many.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Power
Why: Because access to safe, reliable energy is something we take for granted. It is especially important to remember that the reason why we need to keep investing in our own infrastructure is because it can go horribly wrong.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Lighting
Why: Because a person just maintained a 4:38 mile pace for 26.2 miles, and beat the previous record by over a minute. That is insane.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Movies You Should See (But Probably Won’t)
Why: Because there are just too many things to watch.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Macca’s #1 Again
Why: Because Paul McCartney’s new album is his first number 1 album in decades.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. look)
What: Our Future
Why: Because storms like these are becoming more prevalent.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: OVER-RATED
Why: Because many books you were forced to read in high school really aren’t really all that great, aside from giving historical context to a particular point in time.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Serial Is Back; Derpy Animals; OK
Why: Because Internet.

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

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

Webtacular World Issue # 249, September 9, 2018

Greetings Webtaculators! Well, now we get to see what happens when people are more interested in short term gains, and fail to realize what happens when a political party focuses its energy on a singular goal – in this case, rolling back Roe v. Wade. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Kavanaugh
Why: Because there are many reasons Brett Kavanaugh should not be up for appointment to the Supreme Court at this point – Merrick Garland, a lack of recusal from Trump related cases, a lack of understanding of birth control, and, most importantly, probable perjury. Republicans, who don’t care about these things, will vote him in anyway. Although Democrats tried, finally, to do something, it will most likely be too little, too late. The repercussions will last throughout the remainder of my life.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Other Biggest Online Retailer
Why: Because the CEO of Alibaba, China’s largest company, is stepping down from his leadership role later this year.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: This Is Not Treason
Why: Because my Constitutional Law Professor says so. It is, however, one of the most ridiculous op-eds I have ever seen. The author should probably stop being a coward – if Trump is such a threat to our society, writing a nameless op-ed is hardly the way to go about protecting us.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The EVs Are Coming
Why: Because Ford is investing $11 billion into electric vehicles.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Tone
Why: Because Naomi Osaka’s win at the US Open was overshadowed by the controversy of how she won – Serena Williams was docked a set when she argued with the umpire regarding a call. When men argue, it’s “passionate” or “righteous.” When women do, it’s “hysterical” or “bitchy.” This is true even outside of sports.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. reads)
What: The 80s Monsters Are Invading 2018
Why: Because a new Predator and Halloween are ready to cause violence again.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: RIP Mac Miller
Why: Because yet another very popular up and coming rapper who you probably never listened to died from a drug overdose.

COMEDY THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Regretful Jokes
Why: Because jokes can go from being funny at one point to not quite that funny at another. Jokes are about context – and that context changes over time. Here are a bunch of comedians explaining why they no longer think certain jokes that may have gotten them the success that they currently have need to be repeated. More importantly, they are apologizing for them.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: FEAR
Why: Because Bob Woodward released one of the most scathing books on Trump so far.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: Look Out, Here Comes The Spider-Man
Why: Because the new Spider-Man videogame makes swinging through New York a very fun activity.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Prince Is Rolling In His Grave; Toy Story IRL; Good Football
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: My Supreme Court Prediction To Be Wrong
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 248, September 3, 2018

Greetings Webtaculators! Sorry for the late delivery – I had to make sure my brother made it to his wedding on time. Congrats Chet and Steph! I hope you both enjoyed your wedding as much as your guests did. I love you both very much. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Labor Day
Why: Because as the President derides the very people that today is supposed to be celebrating, a number of workers are deciding that the economy owes them something – in this case, Los Angeles and Washington State teachers voted to go on strike. In case you forgot what a union is and why they are essential to a functioning society, here is an easy to read digest from Teen Vogue to explain it to you.

BUSINESS THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: The Just Did It
Why: Because Nike made Colin Kaepernick the face of the 30th anniversary of their “Just Do It” tagline. By making this political (even though it is already entirely ridiculous that Kaepernick’s stance should be considered a problem), Nike probably saved a whole bunch of money by essentially letting news orgs advertise for them.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: An End To Bail
Why: Because forcing people to pay money to not be jailed has continuously made it harder for poor to avoid jail before a trial. Although California’s new system is not perfect, it is definitely a step in the right direction.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Oh Boy, Football…
Why: Because football is finally back. Yay.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min.read)
What: Trash
Why: Because now Gibson gets to “pretend” to be a racist. What a piece of garbage.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Shady’s Back, Back Again
Why: Because Eminem dropped a surprise new album on Friday. Apparently Em needs to be really pissed at someone to make decent music. Too bad some of his vocab hasn’t evolved.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: Burning Man
Why: Because the first result for me typing “burning man photos” into Google links to a Business Insider story. That should tell you all you need to know about the festival’s commercialization.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: American Muggles Turn 20
Why: Because the American edition of Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone came out 20 years ago, and the young adult literature was never the same.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: The Most JRPG
Why: Because Japanese Role Playing Games, AKA JRPGs, are a specific genre of video game that has been undergoing somewhat of a renaissance, especially in the United States. The Dragon Quest series is the quintessential JRPG series, and has maintained a steadfast reliance to well worn mechanics as series like Final Fantasy have tried to evolve with time. It seems like both strategies to reach new audiences has worked, especially in PC gaming.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: How?; Essential News; LEGO Bugatti
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: LEGO Bugatti
Why: Because Brian deserves it. Note – the one linked to here is a 1:8 scale of the one in the video. It has 3599 pieces. It costs $350.  The one in the video had over a million pieces, and apparently took over 10,000 hours to build. If we can assume the same ~10 cent per LEGO piece ratio for the model kit, that means the full size one from the video would cost over $100,000 in pieces alone, never mind the engineering required to build a full size working engine. I am pretty sure people would still buy it.

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