Webtacular World Issue # 359, February 28, 2021

Greetings Webtaculators! I’m not sure I have much to say this week – although plenty of things keep happening, whether its the Senate parliamentarian (once again, I am constantly befuddled by the amount I don’t know about how the government works – why hasn’t this position been important for literally anything else the Senate has / has not done in the past number of years?) deciding that a $15.00 minimum wage can’t be part of the COVID Relief Plan, journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed by Saudi agents on behalf of Saudi royalty, and Conservatives brought literal “Golden Calves” to CPAC in the form of a gold be-shorted Trump. At the same time, none of this seems as urgent as news over the past four years did (or past four weeks, for that matter [HEY! The insurgency in Congress happened less than two months ago! Man, that was CRAZY! At least everything totally is OK!]), because all of this is within the realm of normalcy, regardless of those things not being particularly great.  On to the news, as “normal” as it may be.

STORY OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Time To Pay
Why: Because the Manhattan district attorney finally got access to Trump’s tax records.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: The Push For $15
Why: Because America’s failure to maintain a livable minimum wage across the country is one of the major factors explaining how the U.S. has reached levels of economic inequality at a rapidly growing rate.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Net Neutrality Is Back On The Table
Why: Because net neutrality is one of the most important cornerstones of a truly open internet.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Bye Bye Fry’s
Why: Because Fry’s was one of those stores that gave tangibility and access to being able to purchase and build your own tech. Ordering online for these sorts of things is fine if you already know what you are doing, but the closure of larger hobbyist shops like this may make it harder to tinker with electronics.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: [Insert Tiger Woods Driver Joke Here, Even Though It’s Tasteless And Not Funny]
Why: Because Tiger Woods was seriously hurt in a car crash this past week. Fox Business takes the very useful and necessary question as to whether this was a good or bad thing for the makers of the car he was driving.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Golden Globes, I Guess
Why: Because good movies won, but the controversies surrounding the event won’t (and shouldn’t) go away.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Goodbye, Daft Punk
Why: Because in the Summer of 2001, I spent a month in Salamanca, Spain. More importantly, Daft Punk’s album Discovery came out earlier that spring. That meant instead of doing Spanish Homework, I got to spend almost every night as a teenager in Europe living essentially on my own for the first time in my life closing down clubs to the song “One More Time.” I don’t know if I ever have felt as Alive as I have dancing with a group of young, drunk Spanish people scream-singing “music’s got me feeling so free” during the song’s breakdown at 2 AM. To this day, it remains one of my favorite songs ever.  To say that this duo influenced my musical taste would be a massive understatement. I guess they helped me feel Human After All. Thanks for the (Random Access) Memories.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: More Books To Read
Why: Because people seem to keep writing the damned things.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Time To Go A-Vikinging!
Why: Because most survival games get boring quickly due to a lack of real purpose. Valheim fixes that by giving you an actual quest to fulfill.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Epilogue; The Daft Punk ExperienceInterstella 5555; Electroma
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: A Time Machine Solely For The Purpose Of Seeing The Alive Tour At The Greek Theater.
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 358, February 21, 2021

Greetings Webtaculators. The United States is about to reach 500,000 COVID deaths. Almost a year ago, Dr. Fauci and the CDC were estimating 100,000 to 240,000 people could die – a number we reached in November. As of today, more people are dying daily than did during the summer peak. COVID is still far from over. Please get the vaccine if you can. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Texas Freezes Over
Why: Because Texas’ “go it alone” strategy failed its citizens completely. After a week of freezing temperatures and limited electricity, the state now has to fix its water supply. However, since Texas continues to vote people like Ted Cruz (who remains one of the worst humans alive – in the last two months, he helped instigate an attempted over throw of the United States, and then fled across the boarder to Mexico to avoid dealing with his state’s massive infrastructure problem) into office, things will not change.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Avoided Costs
Why: Because Texas had ample warnings and time to ensure its infrastructure could survive intact. Americans apparently hate planning for foreseeable events.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: No News Is Some News
Why: Because Australia implemented a law that would force tech companies to pay for Australian news content (read Rupert Murdoch owned companies). Facebook decided not to pay, and removed Australians’ ability to post links. Maybe Facebook should implement this over here?

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: TO THE MOON MARS!
Why: Because NASA successfully landed a rover on Mars to search for signs of life. [Takes massive bong rip] WHAT IF WE’RE ACTUALLY THE ALIENS????

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Changing Of The Guard
Why: Because Naomi Osaka won the Australian Open. She blew past Serena Williams, who herself had blown past her competition. Both of these highlights are well worth watching. It is amazing how much better at tennis Naomi was than everyone else.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. watch)
What: MOOOORTAL KOOOMBAAAAT
Why: Because video game movies are BACK, BABY! This is the silliest looking thing ever. It is perfect.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK ()
What: The Evolving Landscape Of Rights
Why: Because Taylor Swift is re-recording her entire catalogue, De La Soul went on a cartoon to widen their cause in their decades long fight with their original record label, and Metallica’s BlizzConline Twitch stream had to replace live performance music with nonsense to make sure streamers wouldn’t get strikes against their accounts.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: MARS!
Why: Because Mars is cool.

SPEECH THING OF THE WEEK (long watch)
What: Look At All Those Regional Accents!
Why: Because American English is all over the place.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Diablicious
Why: Because Blizzard is re-making Diablo II, the purest form of “click on the pixels until they die” that has ever been made.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: All Your Base Are 20, And You Are Old; Masterclasses All The Way Down; Day In The Life Of Boat
Why: Because Internet.

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

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

Webtacular World Issue # 357, February 15, 2021

Greetings Webtaculators. I’m not going to spend any more time than Trump’s defense team did discussing America’s failure to punish a terrorist for leading an attack against a branch of the US government. America is broken, because most Republican officials are also traitors, and continuously put their no-platform party above country. Also important to note, there has been a drastic uptick in racist attacks against people of Asian descent in the United States, which would in no way have anything to do with idiots referring COVID as the completely inappropriate term “Kung Flu” for a year. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Trump Acquitted In Senate
Why: Because Republican Senators couldn’t or wouldn’t do their jobs. The attorneys representing Trump barely did theirs.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: Now We’re Cookin’ With Gas, But Why?
Why: Because gas stoves are probably awful for humanity.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Britney’s Back (For Some Reason)
Why: Because Britney Spears is back in the news for trying to free herself from her conservatorship. Britney doesn’t want to be so overprotected.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: The Effects Of Climate Change
Why: Because for a state that was floating the idea of secession a few weeks ago, Texas sure is going to need a lot of federal socialism to help with this. And yes, this is entirely related to global warming even though snow is cold. “Weather” and “Climate” are two very different things

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: STICK TO SPORTS
Why: Because the NBA failed to just let people play some net ball and instead have to mandate the very important reminder that some of the games take place in the United States of America. Just let them ball

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Non-Americans Also Go To Space
Why: Because the prevalence of space stories are full of mostly white people who speak English (except for the non-humans) becomes more and more ridiculous the more you think about it.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (short reads)
What: Remembering Some Innovators
Why: Because Johnny Pacheco, who was largely responsible for introducing the US to people like Celia Cruz and Cuban salsa, and Chick Corea, a pioneer of Jazz Fusion, both passed away this week. Even if you don’t know their names or recognize their music, their influence touched many people you have heard of.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: Some Photographers
Why: Because since everyone has a camera in their pocket now, it is harder than ever to be recognized for actual photography talent. Here are some people to follow.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Revisiting Some Books
Why: Because the NY Times has been reviewing books for a long time, so they looked at some of their best reviews written by some of America’s best writers.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: Grab A Friend!
Why: Because couch co-op is still a fun thing to do, even if it’s harder than ever to do that. Also, the newest-old Mario game just came out on the Switch. It is very good, as Mario games tend to be.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Am I Cat Or Am I Lawyer?; Am I Link Or Am I Bevis?; Am I COVID Or Am I Death Star?
Why: Because Internet.

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

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

Webtacular World # 356, February 7, 2021

Greetings Webtaculators! Well, that was underwhelming. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: One Month
Why: Because that’s how long it has been since our previous President lead an insurrection against the government. At this point, Trump’s failure has already put the US in terrible shape to address other countries’ democracy issues (See Myanmar and Haiti) with any sort of authority.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Bye Bezos
Why: Because the wealthiest / second wealthiest man in the world is stepping back from leading Amazon.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: The Defense States Its Case
Why: Because President Trump must be held accountable for his actions against the United States.

MAP THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: The Election
Why: Because the NY Times breaks down exactly how most parts of the US voted in the 2020 election. Zooming in to see how an 8 square block in San Francisco has the same number of votes as a few hundred square mile section of Wyoming is something that really brings the whole idea of what it means to be American into focus.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: YAWN
Why: Because the Rom Bradowskis and a rapist beat the KC Chiefs in the COVID Bowl a lot to a little.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: CAGE/OFF
Why: Because Nic Cage seems to have stopped aging in the late Nineties, and also has become further out there with his career choices.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: 25 Years Of Foo
Why: Because Dave Grohl and Co. have cranked out their 10th album that was supposed to support a worldwide van tour and a celebration of their 25th year as a band. For obvious reasons, that didn’t happen. As you may have noticed, Webtacular has a soft spot for this band that started when I found the “Color and The Shape” while digging through a college music store bin in 1999. They have a consistency and drive that is unparalleled in modern music – and produce some of the most fun rock shows that I have ever seen over multiple decades. I, for one, am stoked for the day that I can see them perform live again.

Also, since this album is the furthest thing from music discovery that I probably have ever shared, give The Weather Station’s “Ignorance” a listen. It’s good stuff.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (short look)
What: Great Job, America
Why: Because we are just awful at stopping COVID.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: The Black Kids
Why: Because I got to listen to the author speak about this book last week, and one of the things that struck me (rightfully) is that one of the reasons she wrote this story is to fight against the prejudice that many people have (EVEN WELL MEANING PEOPLE WHO WOULD NEVER DESCRIBE THEMSELVES AS RACIST!) when thinking of “Black” stories as only ones involving poverty. Read it.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Google Shutters Stadia’s Dev Team
Why: Because Stadia was striving to be an Xbox or PS5 competitor, in that it would develop its own games for its “system.” However, while it still remains a very good way to play games cheaply *IF YOU HAVE GOOD INTERNET*, it’s use case just got smaller.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: GoldenEye As You’ve Never Seen It Before; The Princess Bride As You’ve Never Seen It Before; Big Bird As You’ve Never Seen It Before
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Better Super Bowl Commercials
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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