Webtacular World Issue # 322, February 23, 2020

Greetings Webtaculators! Sorry for missing last week’s – I was too busy being sick to write about how America is falling apart. Luckily, I’m all better! I’m not sure I can say the same about the US, though. Oh good, far-right violence in Germany. That’s never gone badly before. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: Democrats At Bernie’s
Why: Because Bernie Sanders became the first presidential candidate ever to win the popular vote in the first three states in a competitive primary for either party.  Some people find this terrifying.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Buying Your Karma
Why: Because Intuit, the tax software company, is buying Credit Karma, your friendly phone app that gives you your credit score whenever you don’t want it, for $7 billion.

“They would have all of this rich information, and they would basically be an ad network,” he said. “You’re almost forced to advertise with them.”

When your taxes are also pivoting to ads, something is entirely wrong.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (must reads)
What: The Law Is Failing Us
Why: Because between Bill Barr’s absolute nonsense, Trump’s interference with ongoing legal matters, Trump’s interference with past legal matters, and the Supreme Court being called out by its own member for bending over backwards for the executive branch, it doesn’t seem like there’s much to keep faith in.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Leave Rockets To The Astronauts
Why: Because a flat-Earther took the term too literally when his homemade rocket crashed with him in it. When Newton and Darwin team up, the results often aren’t good.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Miracle On Ice (And Of Knees) 
Why: Because a 42 year old Zamboni driver started in his first NHL game as a goalie after the the Hurricanes lost their actual goalies to injuries. Maybe I still can go pro in something!

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Sonic Boom
Why: Because the new Sonic movie did way better than expected. Also, this was the second successful video game based movie in a row that did well, so my guess is that video game movies will be the next thing to take over after Marvel and DC run their IPs into the ground.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Beautiful Grime
Why: Because Miss Anthropocene, Grimes’ new album, is both something to reckon with. How else do you get an album with both banjos and dark Enya?

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (quick look)
What: Let’s Check In With The World
Why: Because it seems like there are at least a few OK things happening.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: The Parable Of The Now
Why: Because Octavia Butler, one of the most preeminent African American science fiction writers of the last century, seemed a little tuned in to where we are in 2020.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Only In Dreams
Why: Because Dreams is essentially a tool where you can create whatever you want. To say it is the most ambitious game in a long time would not be an understatement.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Just A Tribute; Mr. Music; How To Beat A Billionaire
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Anything From The Toy Fair
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World # 321, February 9, 2020

Greetings Webtaculators. Democracy is dead. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Congress Acquits Trump
Why: Because Congress conducted a trial against the very foundation of our country. The power given to Congress by the Constitution explicitly states “The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.”  “Try” is the imperative word here. To try someone in the United States is to hold a trial. The basis of a trial is the presentation of evidence to determine whether or not something has happened. In this case, Trump was being tried for two reasons – one, that he abused the power of the presidency, and two, that he obstructed congress in their ability to gather all information surrounding Trump’s potential misdeeds. Some of that evidence should have come from the direct testimony of people with personal knowledge of Trump’s doings. Instead, 51 Senators failed to allow one of the basic tenants of American Law to occur in one of the most important trials in American history.  These 51 men and women have destroyed the promise of America.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Affordability And The Economy
Why: Because the ability for people to afford things has not really improved.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: If Not Them Then Who?
Why: Because it is looking more and more like no one has the ability to actually bring a suit against Trump because only a majority of Congress has the ability to bring a lawsuit.

TECHNOLOGY THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: Clusterfuck In Iowa
Why: Because technology helped destroy the final argument that Iowa should have any business firing the opening salvo for presidential elections.  Technology is good for solving certain problems, but it is specifically weak at security.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Pro Am
Why: Because I was in Monterey this weekend, but failed to hang out with Bill Murray.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: And The Oscar Goes To
Why: Because The Parasite won best movie, which is the first foreign language film to do so.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Father Of All Pop Punk
Why: Because Green Day returned with an enjoyable, concise album doing what they do.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (3 second look)
What: Tear It Up
Why: Because this singular action made the contents of the speech irrelevant. However, because the world is a stupid place, it also turned the discussion to allowing people to question whether tearing a copy of the State Of The Union is illegal (it isn’t), and for the right to immediately create a faked video that implies Pelosi tore up the speech when Trump was applauding minorities (which is not true).

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Cloud Strikes Again
Why: Because Nvidia, a GPU company, just rolled out its version of cloud gaming which essentially lets you play any game you already own over a broadband connection.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Cats At The Oscars; The Next Disney Movie; Making Hollywood
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Hydrogen Powered Superyacht, So I Can Flee Like Bill Gates
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 320, February 2, 2020

Welcome to the most palindromic day in modern history.  I’m personally still relatively bummed that the 49ers didn’t pull off the win, but it truly is inspirational seeing once in a lifetime talent like Patrick Mahomes lead his team to a Super Bowl. I am explicitly talking about sports up here because what has happened to the beacons of global democratic systems in the is last week is too heart wrenching for me to bear.  On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Failure Of American Democracy
Why: Because aside from Britain throwing itself in the proverbial gut’a (the English are now nothing but an amalgamation of Tiny Tim, Oliver Twist, and Bert from Mary Poppins), the United States Senate failed to perform its constitutionally mandated duties, and assured the world that we are nothing but a sham government. The Senate just destroyed America as it was promised, but we are all too defeated / reliant / poor / complacent to do anything about it. SAUPER BAWL BAYBEEEEE!!!!!

Also, because this week was not stupid enough, the United States and Israel had a “mission accomplished” moment when they unilaterally declared a peace agreement without Palestine’s involvement.  As a small aside and disclaimer, I am a Jewish American who extensively studied Middle Eastern politics, and am both pro Israel and pro United States. That being said, this is announcement is atrocious, and is mockery of the whole concept of peace.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Promises Are Nothing Without Results
Why: Because like much of the Trump presidency, gains are underwhelming compared to the promises made.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: How Is Dershowitz A “Legal Scholar” Again?
Why: Because as someone who allegedly passed Constitutional Law at one point in my scholastic career, I can safely say I wouldn’t have if I made any of the arguments this “great legal mind“, who once stood for representation for defendants, made during his defense of Trump. May the worst lawyer win, I guess.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Destruction Of Science In Democracy
Why: Because once again, Trump has ruined the ability of the government to be a trusted source of facts.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Super Bowl Chief
Why: Because Kansas City is not in fucking Kansas, you fucking moron. I cannot believe this is real, and yet here we are.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (30 sec. watch)
What: Top Gun
Why: Because this was the first commercial of the Super Bowl.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (15 min. watch)
What: Las Super Mujeres
Why: Because J Lo and Shakira killed it at the half time show. it was a uniquely American, Latina, and sexy as hell performance put on by two incredible women over the age when trying to be those three things simultaneously is often impossible. I’m sure people were pissed that there were at least two songs they couldn’t understand.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. look)
What: The Future Is Now
Why: Because in context, these pictures would not have made sense four decades ago, so that’s good enough for progress, I guess.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: The Opposite Of The Half Time Performance
Why: Because writing about cultures that are not your own require an insane amount of patience and respect. I learned this lesson super early in my own life, but apparently I should have been paid seven figures before making my mistake.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. watch)
What: Who Watches The Watch Dogs?
Why: Because the BBC interviewed the game-makers of Watch Dogs: Legion in the game itself.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Middle Aged White Lady; Drum For Fun; Why  Bach Is Interesting, (And, How To Appreciate Modern Classical Music)
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Well, you didn’t get me a Niners win, so I guess I’ll just wait till next year. It’s OK though, we weren’t sure what city the parade was going to be held in anyway. It’s better than not knowing what state the team plays in, though.
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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