Webtacular World Issue # 360, March 14, 2021

Greetings Webtaculators! Like that one show said, “time is a flat circle,” and so here we are, again, one year later. Luckily, we have the 360th issue of Webtacular to also help out with this metaphor – neat!

This weekend marks exactly one year since I started working remotely full time due to COVID. This was undoubtedly the most tumultuous and uncertain period of time in my life. Over the last year, we faced political upheaval, wildfires threatening our home, and a massive economic downturn. My wife and I also got to experience parenthood for the first time, but without the network of familial and friend support we were expecting to be able to rely on. With the increasingly positive news about vaccine effectiveness and availability, COVID’s days are hopefully numbered, and we can all return to a better version of normalcy soon.

But not all things stay the same – last week also marked my final day at the Public Advocates Office at the California Public Utilities Commission – spending the one year anniversary of leaving the office by leaving the organization completely is not something I ever anticipated doing, but here we are. For a bit of background – the CPUC regulates utilities in California – think PG&E, certain telecommunication companies, and water companies. The CPUC essentially acts as the vaunted “invisible hand” of these markets, due to these service providers being natural monopolies. The Public Advocates Office is charged with protecting Californian electric, water, and telecommunications utility ratepayers in an increasingly evolving regulatory landscape. I am incredibly proud of the work my colleagues and I have accomplished over the last decade, whether it was trying to increase California broadband capabilities, keep water rates low, or boost the adoption of distributed energy resources at a reasonable cost, even as the challenge of keeping California going continues to rise.

This also the first time in 20 years(!) where I will not be working in San Francisco. Growing up, I always had the idea in my head this is where I had to end up – its eclectic collection of endless possibilities crammed into a dense, hilly, gorgeous place was the only thing that made sense to me. It’s sad to leave, but it’s time.

So – here’s to new beginnings and new adventures. Hopefully the future holds good things for all of us.

On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: We’ll Never Be ROOOOYYYYAAAALLLLS
Why: Because the crown family is slightly racist! Whoda thunk?

REAL STORY OF THE WEEK(5 min. read)
What: Relief
Why: Because the massive $1.9 trillion COVID benefit funding was passed by the Democrats. Republicans once again failed to do much of anything to help Americans.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: The Senate Is Broken
Why: Because nothing wastes money and time like a Republican lawmakers.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: More Vaccines, Please
Why: Because the U.S. rollout of its vaccination plan is finally picking up pace. This is terrific.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (some reading)
What: All Stars and Retirees
Why: Because the NBA All-Star game happened when no one really wanted to play, and Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints pulled an anti Brady and actually will be hanging up his cleats. Oh. Also, a WHOLE BUNCH OF RACISM, because of course.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Eddie’s Back
Why: Because some types of nostalgia are OK. The first one is still entirely entertaining.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK ()
What: The Grammys
Why: Because all art must be a competition for some reason. The voters did a pretty good job this time, even though Phoebe Bridgers didn’t win anything.

ART THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: WTF are NFTs
Why: Because tech ruins everything good.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Not Canceling Culture, One Rhyme At A Time
Why: Because a publisher who owns the rights to a group of books deciding to no longer publish a small hand-full of those books for problematic imagery that doesn’t really fly today is not censorship.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Do Some Loops
Why: Because is playing a game that sort of plays itself actually playing a game?

BIRD THINGS OF THE WEEK (read and watch! they’re about birds, damnit!)
What: BIRDS! BIRDS! BIRDS!
Why: Because Spring is here, along with daylight saving time, so I guess a bunch of people are obsessed about birds all of a sudden.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: SBC, Drug Kingpin; Jake And His Camcorder; How To Be An Intellectual; The Truth About Camo
Why: Because Internet.

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

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

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