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 Kredit 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™

Webtacular World Issue # 319, January 26, 2020

Greetings Webtaculators! I am still not used to this whole 2020 thing – it still feels too much like the future. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Against The Truth
Why: Because Republicans just cannot stop lying.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Tragedy Of The Commons
Why: Because Trump’s treatment of environmental regulations rob the future of what is theirs.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Robbing Peter To Pay Paul
Why: Because the First Amendment apparently means absolutely nothing.

HEALTH THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: The Coronavirus Is Here
Why: Because this is the most serious global health epidemic in a long time.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: RIP Kobe
Why: Because basketball legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash today.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Engage
Why: Because Jean-Luc Picard, the fearless Captain of the Starship Enterprise, is back, boldly going where no one has gone before.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Grammys
Why: Because Billie Eilish won everything. The show was not without its own controversy this year.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Quid Pro Quo
Why: Because Bolton says that Trump tied the Ukraine aid to digging up dirt on Biden. Again, this is blatant attack against the core principles of American democracy.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: At Least Your Boss Isn’t Kylo Ren; Kobe’s Best; Terry Jones’ Best
Why: Because Internet.

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

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

Webtacular World Issue # 318, January 20, 2020

Greetings Webtaculators! I hope everyone had a good long weekend. Here’s a reminder of why many of us didn’t have to work today. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: A Times Divided
Why: Because the NY Times chose both Warren and Kolbuchar as its presidential nominee endorsements. This is sort of indicative of the entire Democratic party, which is mostly divided about whether it should lean pragmatically centrist to reunite the country, or assume Republicans are a complete lost cause and do a massive course correction and elect someone much more liberal. The Washington Post essentially laughed at the unhelpful indecisiveness.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Falling Into Debt Forever
Why: Because the way in which the economy treats different people’s failure to be responsible with is highly dependent on how much money they had to lose. If it’s a only a little, you could have your entire life destroyed.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: This Is Not A Legal Brief
Why: Because there are hardly any actual legal arguments in the document, and plays extremely loosely with known facts.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: What They Know About You
Why: Because it turns out it’s pretty much everything.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Super Bowl Baby!
Why: Because the Niners are back!

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Five Decades Of Soundtracking Scrolling Text
Why: Because the strangest thing about the last Star Wars movie is that it will also be John Williams’ last Star Wars score.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: All Gooped Up
Why: Because you should not watch The Goop Lab on Netflix. It will make you more stupid, and potentially dangerous.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: In Your Head
Why: Because the transformation from listening to music primarily through speakers to headphones has changed the way sound engineers produce the final product.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. look)
What: Take Your Pick
Why: Because its amazing that delivering articles of impeachment seems like such a quaint thing to happen.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Even More Books You Wont Get Around To
Why: Because I have no idea how the publishing world can support this many stories. I barely made a dent in my list of books last year, and now it just feels like I’ve missed out on everything.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (15 min. look)
What: What Does Best Even Mean?
Why: Because a breakdown of the best games according to metacritic (a review cite aggregator) has shown that as the gaming industry and its critics have grown, there is no real way to define “best” anymore. Hell, look at the Golden Globes this year – was 1917 really “better” than Once Upon A Time or Little Women? Who knows!

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Goldman Vs. Silverman; This Makes My Proposal Look Completely Inadequate; Learn Something, Maybe
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: A Future A Bit More In Line With MLK’s Dream
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 317, January 12, 2020

Greetings Webtaculators! Isn’t it great to learn that playing war kills people? I really wish stupid people were not in charge of the world. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Wagging The Dog So Hard It Falls Off Its Tail
Why: Because the constantly changing story for why Trump decided to murder someone half way around the world is not holding up to even the lightest amount of scrutiny. Thanks to his brash actions, an overly alert Iranian shot down a civilian plane. Good job everyone. Patriotism awards all around.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Failing Higher And Higher
Why: Because the rewards for people who destroy society are too high.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Barr At The Bar
Why: Because in another “just another day in the Trump administration,” the New York Bar asked Congress to investigate the US Attorney General for bias.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: The Future Is Meh
Why: Because nothing coming out of the biggest technological trade show is really groundbreaking anymore. Here are some of the best things. This was probably the worst.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (long read? [For some reason, ESPN has all stories as one continuous scroll. Who knows])
What: Bring It Back
Why: Because the Niners have a chance to be the best again.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: The Music Makes The Movie
Why: Because John Williams has been working on Star Wars movies for 50 years.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Watch And Listen
Why: Because the Watchmen soundtrack is really, really good. Also, RIP Neil Peart.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: It’s Good Being Furious
Why: Because a growing number of books are channeling women’s well deserved rage at the world.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: The Year In Games
Why: Because even though the sun is setting on two consoles, there still is a bunch of stuff coming out this year.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Obama’s Favorite Music; Obama’s Favorite Movies; Obama’s Favorite Books Pt. 1; Obama’s Favorite Books Pt. 2
Why: Because Internet, and I miss a President who has impeccable taste.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: I Want To Be A Pod Person
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 316, January 5, 2020

Greetings Webtaculators! Thanks for making it to 2020 with me. Who knows if we’re going to make it to 2021. Apologies in advance for starting the year off in such a bitter way. My back hurts, I am tired, and I am pissed off. If you want a much more positive version of Webtacular World, re-read the last issue. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: There Is No America With Trump
Why: Because Trump killed a foreign general without proper authorization. Yes, Suleimani was not a good person (arguably, no general should be considered “good” from the amount of blood they inevitably have on their hands, whether foreign people or their own citizens). Murdering him extra-judiciously is the most stupid thing Trump could have done. With Trump as the figurehead of America, America stands for nothing. He must be removed from office before can cause any more damage.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Trump Bombs More Than Just People
Why: Because his unprecidented open assassination of a foreign military personnel will most likely continue to drive global markets down.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Freedom Isn’t Free
Why: Because when the government doesn’t follow its own laws, America isn’t free either.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Bezel-less TVs!
Why: Because everything is shit, so why not watch the world burn to death without screen borders?

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: UnPatriotic
Why: Because the Patriots failed to make it past the wildcard round of playoffs this year.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Golden Globes
Why: Because Ricky Gervais closed the show by telling everyone there to fuck off. Ellen’s speech was good, at least.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (24 min. watch)
What: Nirvana, Reunited
Why: Because it’s really weird watching an audience sitting still watching the surviving members of what once was the biggest band in the world + St. Vincent and Beck (?) through their phones. Those 5 headbangers in front get it.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: The Floor Is Lava
Why: Because Australia is on fire.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Next Chapter
Why: Because these are books you should read on the history between the US and Iran. It’s already too late for the people who should have done their homework.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: A Decade Of Marginally Lessening Shittiness Towards The Marginalized
Why: Because as forward thinking the technology driving these games are, the dudes who were the focus of the industry sure took a long time to realize that its not all about them.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Go outside. It might not be here tomorrow.
Why: Because Internet Trump.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Well, peace in 2020 was worthless to ask for.
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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