Webtacular World Issue # 203, October 22, 2017

Greetings Webtaculators! The best thing about this week was that it had the lowest amount of Trump driven news in a while. Sure, I guess he disrespected yet another military family, regarding the death of a soldier in Niger (why US forces were killed in Niger [which is here] is a country US soldiers really have no business being killed in, and is a whole different problem that will probably not be answered any time soon). This is especially strange considering he just finished spending a few weeks yelling at the NFL about disrespecting the military and proposing mandatory flag worship to show respect, but whatever. The man obviously contains multitudes. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Remembering What Presidential Means
Why: Because while our current version went golfing, (definitely for his 31st time, and likely for his 59th), our five living past presidents got together to do a fundraiser for all of the US’ hurricane victims.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: Economics 101
Why: Because theoretically, people should be willing to pay whatever the price the market will bear for a given product. In the real world, people will riot.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Do The Math
Why: Because I realize that a bunch of lawyers went to law school because they hated math, but it is not an excuse not to utilize quantitative data where it is available.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: The Power Of #
Why: Because the #MeToo movement has been one of the most powerful ways for women to explicitly communicate just how widespread sexual harassment is. It is an extremely brave thing to do. The absolutely insane part is that there are apologists who just do not get it. For my own part, I am sorry, I support you, and I will do better.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Sports Day
Why: Because all the sports were on the television. Sadly, the Dodgers are going to the World Series.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (39 min. listen)
What: Rare Feeling
Why: Because I know that I already posted about Twain a few weeks ago, but Mt.’s album just came out, and I’ve been letting it take me to another place on continuous repeat. This is essential music.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: A Return To Daemons
Why: Because I spent the last few weeks re-reading His Dark Materials in preparation for the release of The Book of Dust, Phillip Pullman’s followup trilogy. Revisiting these as an adult has given me a much greater appreciation to the themes of free will and spirituality that are presented in the first novels, and I’m glad that someone is still speaking to children in such a direct manner.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: A Walk Through South Park
Why: Because the kids of South Park are still in 4th grade, even though the rest of us have grown up.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Only The Best; More Twain; HA-HA, Nelson’s A Girl!
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Vinyl Rare Feeling
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 # 202, October 15, 2017

 

Greetings Webtaculators. We just can’t catch a break this year, can we? As most of you are aware, the areas of Sonoma and Napa Counties in California are engulfed in flames. I grew up in the county immediately south of Sonoma and Napa, and currently live close by in the East Bay. The national news coverage has mostly focused on the “wine country” aspect of this disaster, but Napa and Sonoma, especially the parts that were hit hardest, consist of working class homes, schools, and communities. I have many friends and colleagues who no longer have homes, because they burned to the ground. I have been living in a surreal haze for the past week, coming home every day under a setting blood red sun due to the smoke saturated sky.  If you can help, please feel free to donate here. If you’re reading this and have been affected by the fires and need help, please feel free to reach out. I will gladly bring meals, donate necessities, or help out in any way I can. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: Tubbs Fire
Why: Because this is what global warming looks like – unprecedented floods and fires.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Destabilizing The Health Market For Fun
Why: Because Trump is opening up the healthcare market to low-premium policies. While this sounds good in theory (I’m healthy! Why should I pay a lot of money for something I don’t need?), it really means that when, let’s say you, I don’t know, have a freak brain issue that sends you to the emergency room and requires multiple visits to specialists, multiple MRIs, a spinal tap, and plenty of drugs, you can bet that your cheap coverage will not pay for most of it. Have fun in forever debt. Oh – that’s not even mentioning people with pre-existing conditions – but you don’t have to worry about them, because they will be dead. In other health related news, Republican Senators teamed up with drug companies to kill Americans with opioids. If I sound angry, that’s because I am.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (Long read)
What: The Case Against Trump
Why: Because the Brookings Institute compiled 100+ pages of information regarding what is currently known about Trump’s potential obstruction of justice.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: VR Round 2
Why: Because people hate wires (see phones without wires).

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: I Believe That We Will… Oh. Shit. Nevermind.
Why: Because America is definitely far from #1 in the only sport that the entire world seems to agree is the most important sport. Here’s who you should root for in the World Cup instead.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Good
Why: Because the fallout from Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment is only just beginning.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. watch)
What: Protest Song
Why: Because Marshall Mathers spits hot fire. For something non-political, check out the new St. Vincent or Beck. Both are very good escapes.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. look)
What: What The Apocalypse Looks Like
Why: Because the fires are still not under control.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. look)
What: Good Books
Why: Because the National Book Awards people know a good book when they read one.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: The Ethics Of Orc Murder
Why: Because the new Lord of the Rings game is really fun, aside from the troubling premise that your character enslaves members of a fictional race for the purpose of making them kill each other for your entertainment and profit. Or you can just spend your time killing Kumail Nanjiani.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Line Of The Mountain KingTake On Me; Walk Off
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Rain
Why: Because The North Bay deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 201, October 8, 2017

Greetings Webtaculators. This week was bad. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Stop. Shooting. People.
Why: Because last weekend, as I was finishing up the previous edition of Webtacular World, I saw a tweet about a potential shooter in Las Vegas. I did not go to bed until around 3AM, and am not even sure how much I actually slept. I was too busy trying to make sense of the fact that a cowardly, wealthy white man decided to amass an arsenal and then unload hundreds of rounds into a concert. Over the following days, and after the first deluge of misinformation, I felt a continued numbness for a country that still widely thinks that someone’s ability to own weapons capable of such destruction are somehow paramount to their freedom. But I’ve already been through my thoughts on this before. So let’s just look on the bright side, right? Hey, at least mass shootings are profitable. Who cares that our country has a deep sickness regarding our actual care for each other? We should just roll over, give up, and accept these sort of things as the new normal, after we tweet our “warmest condolences,” of course. Nothing can be done to fix this, don’t politicize this, but still go to Vegas and party and drink and gamble and shoot your fears away. Everything will be just fine.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Do Not Pass Go, Equifax
Why: Because the Monopoly Man is the best thing to happen to protesting in a while.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Kennedy Question
Why: Because a lot of the way our future elections will be determined will be based on this gerrymandering case.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Get Your Politics Out Of My Sports
Why: Because this administration is full of stupid children. Pence wasted $250,000 of taxpayer money for this bullshit.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: A Movie Titan’s Downfall
Why: Because much like the shooting, I am no longer surprised by the behavior of “powerful” men.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: RIP Tom
Why: Because I am lucky that I was able to see Tom Petty perform multiple times. He was truly one of the greats.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: Scary Book Covers For Scary Times
Why: Because all of the art in Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark is terrifying.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Pay To Win
Why: Because a number of modern games are relying on people buying in game items in a gambling-type fashion in order to make their character perform better.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Fan 1, Dude 0; Hot Wings 1, Terry Crews 0; Goose 1, Farmer 0; Rick And Morty 1, Customers, 0.
Why: Because Internet.

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

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

Webtacular World Issue # 200, October 1, 2017

Greetings Webtaculators. Thanks for sticking around for 200 weeks of the news I think is important (at least I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person who’s reading these… Hello? Is anyone else out there? [Crickets]). Well, at least I’m keeping myself entertained, busy, and out of trouble. I think it’s fitting that something I partially started as a method of procrastination for doing other useful things has become something that requires me to not to procrastinate in order to get done. I’m sure there’s a perfect Yiddish or German word out there that describes that exact situation, but sadly I don’t know it yet (there’s probably a Yiddish or German word for not knowing the perfect word for a situation, too). Anyways, here’s to hopefully a few hundred more of these, because why not? On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (10 min. reads)
What: Something Is Wrong With Democracy
Why: Because right now we have a President of supposedly one of the most democratic societies in the world throwing a tantrum as a part of that society in dire need of assistance, and all he can think to do is offer them a participation trophy, while at the same time undercutting his staff who are trying to avoid nuclear war. Meanwhile, in Europe, the Catalan independence movement voted in referendum to separate themselves from Spain, which violently opposed the vote.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Tax Me
Why: Because cutting taxes for people who don’t need tax cuts will not help the United States, regardless of how hard you want to believe trickle down economics is actually a thing that works. Also, stop arguing that people in the U.S. pay in more taxes than people in other countries. It’s wrong.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Fly Into The Fired Zone
Why:Also, disgraced former Heath Secretary for using over $1,000,000 of taxpayer funded money for using private jets.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Real Rocket Man
Why: Because why should’t we be able to take a rocket to New York?

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (don’t read)
What: No Sports News Today
Why: Because all of my teams suck and basketball is bad and baseball is bad and football is bad football is bad and football is bad and football is bad.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: The Real Darkest Timeline
Why: Because it’s good to remember that great science fiction can always be worse than reality. Annihilation looks pretty good, too.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: New Sounds
Why: Because I’m mostly excited for new St. Vincent, especially if it continues to sound what she’s released so far.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: Go Somewhere, Shoot Something
Why: Because a few of my friends have just got back from amazing trips where they have taken amazing pictures, and it makes me want to go to those places and take pictures, but I can’t because I have to work, so I’ll just look at these.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (15 min. read)
What: The Death Of A Playboy
Why: Because people claim to have read Playboy for the articles.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: Longing For SNEStalgia
Why: Because the old stuff is good. So is the new old stuff.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: All Night Long; SNL’s Back; Back Again
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Super Lazy Bike Wheel
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 199, September 24, 2017

Greetings Webtaculators. This week was basically a repeat of the past, but somehow worse. More natural disasters, escalating saber rattling, potentially less health care, the rise of German Nationalism, and the President can only focus on American athletes participating in something that has absolutely nothing to do with their sports, and especially is nothing that a President dealing over multiple high level disasters should take the time to weigh in on. I have no idea how we got here, or where we are going, but I do know that nothing good is going to come of it. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (5 min. reads)
What: Devastation Of Different Types
Why: Because Mexico suffered a massive earthquake, and Puerto Rico (and other Atlantic islands) suffered greatly due to yet another hurricane.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Healthcare Minus Care
Why: Because this article highlights my main problem with a number of Republican policies – they are not so much an attempt to govern, as an attempt to “ungovern.” Given, one of the main bases for the Republican party is “small government.” However, this current plan hardly gives any regard to what states actually want – especially for the large amount that actually tried to comply with the ACA. Furthermore, ACA was based on a bipartisan effort, regardless of what people have been lead to believe.
Coming up with solutions to societal ills is difficult. This is why we have a full time Federal government in the first place. If a last ditch effort comprises a “slash, burn, and redistribute” solution, then that is no solution at all. I hope the constituents of Arizona, Maine, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania are smart enough to realize just how detrimental this gambit is, and that they understand that the Republican party is very close to voting to literally kill them.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Protest
Why: Because Trump attacked both the NBA and the NFL as entire institutions, in spite of the clarity of the reasons for the protests (no, this is not “disrespectful to the troops,” since the protests are explicitly about the lack of equality and justice for minorities, especially concerning local police forces who have been proven time and time again to not fairly and justly serve the communities they have sworn to protect). For those of you who are unaware, NFL players being present during the national anthem was not a thing until 2009.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: A Spy Like Me
Why: Because the second installment of Kingsman franchise is just fun and stupid enough to be successful.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (7 min. watch)
What: How To Base
Why: Because Flea is an absolute joy to watch.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. look)
What: Solidarity
Why: Because this action is unprecedented in sports on this scale.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Reviewing The Reviewers
Why: Because the NY Times Sunday Book Review had quite a dust up over the review of the book Blurred Lines. If anything, the only good that came out of this is that more people will be made aware of the continuing problems of college sexual assault, especially give the government’s current rollback of Obama era policies.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: Playerunknown
Why: Because Brendan Green created one of the biggest multiplayer games ever, and it basically came out of nowhere.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Fact Check; World Of Tomorrow; Liquid Sand
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: A Die Hard Christmas
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 198, September 17, 2017

Greetings Webtaculators! I was lucky enough to get to see tons (literally) of whales this weekend in Monterey. Whales are wonderful. I wish I could spend more time watching whales. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (multiple reads)
What: Tell Me If You’ve Heard This One Before
Why: A state is recovering from a giant hurricane, North Korea fired a missile, there was a terrorist attack in England, and Trump retweeted something stupid that would get anyone else fired.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. look)
What: One More Thing
Why: Because Apple is releasing its 10th year iteration of the iPhone.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: St. Louis In Tears
Why: Because both the judge and the officer involved in this outcome are a danger to society.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (long reads)
What: The Good And The Bad
Why: Because Cleveland’s win streak is impressive. However, the overarching conversation regarding identity of sports and their relationship, both past and present, with politics and racism that reflect broader American discourse is probably the bigger story of this year.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: The Emmys
Why: Because this was a year showed just how different TV is now than just a few years ago.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Rock On
Why: Because the Foo Fighters created another reliable Foo Fighter album in Concrete and Gold. Which means that it is excellent. If you get a chance, I highly recommend that you get out to see them live.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: What Happened In Her Words
Why: Because Hillary Clinton is releasing a book about the election. Regardless of your thoughts on the outcome, or whether you hate or love her, or even agree with her about why she lost, this still remains one of the closest looks into the mind of one of the most preeminent American politicians of the last few decades.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Oh Good, More Racism
Why: Because this is why I don’t play multiplayer games for the most part.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Emmys Opening; How To Make A Foo Fighters Album; How To Comedy
Why: Because Internet.

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

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

Webtacular World Issue # 197, September 10, 2017

Greetings Webtaculators! It is absolutely insane that one of the most damaging hurricanes in history becomes a distant history because even more damaging natural disasters occur in such a short time frame after. Here’s to hoping everyone in Florida stays safe. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Irma
Why: Because the unpredictability of this storm has made it especially dangerous.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Equifucks
Why: Because these data breaches are unacceptable, especially considering the amount of control credit agencies have over everyone’s day to day ability to do almost any sort of financial transaction.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: The Impacts Of DACA
Why: Because Trump officially notified the world via Twitter that he was ending DACA to force Congress to do something about it. This is why getting rid of it is a terrible idea, you know, if being unconscionably cruel to people isn’t a good enough reason to not get rid of it.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Nadal Is Back On Top
Why: Because at some point, him and Federer have to start losing these things, right?

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Everyone Can Float, Too
Why: Because It is the biggest movie release in September ever.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: Let’s Drink Wine, Be Sad, And Listen To The New The National Album
Why: Because Sleep Well Beast is another excellent The National album.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. look)
What: Hurricane Irma’s Devastation
Why: Because what happened to many of the small Atlantic islands is horrible.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: Reading It For The First Time
Why: Because Stephen King’s cocaine fueled clown nightmare is a definitely not an easy one.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: This Is Your Destiny
Why: Because the new Destiny is much like the old Destiny, but better. Except for the whole spend real money on armor color issue. People don’t seem to like that very much.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Best Of Last Year; Do What The Nice Robot Says; The Muppets Make Everything Better
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Another Meal At Gary Danko
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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