Webtacular World Issue # 368, May 9, 2021

Greetings Webtaculators! Happy Mother’s Day to all who are celebrating. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: No Herds Here
Why: Because Americans are such free thinkers that we will no longer be able to reach herd immunity. Thanks, idiots.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Doge A Bullet
Why: Because the meme crypto Dogecoin burned brightly for a while, but crashed back down like most things Elon Musk touches.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: What True Greatness Looks Like
Why: Because Cruz Reynoso, the first Latino member of the California Supreme Court, passed away this weekend.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Much More Than An Energizer
Why: Because energy electrification requires massive amounts of batteries. Here’s a refresher on how they work.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Non No-Hitter
Why: Because baseball’s attempt to make new rules is getting ridiculous.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: No Need To Get Back To Theaters Quite Yet
Why: Because Netflix seems to be trying its hardest to make sure it has enough good movies, like Mitchells vs. The Machines, to keep you at home.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (some reads)
What: New Things
Why: Because while I could spend time talking about the new Weezer and Coldplay (which are both better than they have any right being), I’d rather talk about newer artists I stumbled across – check out Ashe, Remember Sports, The Aces, and Argonaut & Wasp. It’s good stuff – the kids are all right.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK ()
What:
Why:

PODCAST THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Keep Being Anti-Racist
Why: Because you can get help doing this with Be Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi’s new podcast.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Even More Evil
Why: Because Resident Evil is back again, this time with a giant vampire lady who kidnapped the protagonist’s baby. What’s not to love? In other news about gaming news, three of the founding members of the long-running website Giant Bomb just left to pursue other things. Giant Bomb was one of the first gaming sites that understood that people wanted to watch videos of gameplay long before most other outlets understood how massive of a change the industry was going to face.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Opioids Are A Bastard; Musk On Parade; Way Too Much Star Wars
Why: Because Internet.

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

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

Webtacular World Issue # 367, May 2, 2021

Greetings Webtaculators! Welcome to the second May of 2020. However, thanks to the power of Science, we may get to leave this forever-year behind us soon. I just got my second shot of the Pfizer vaccine, and have never been happier to have been stabbed by a stranger. I hope you all can get vaccinated as well soon. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: History
Why: Because for the first time ever, two women appeared behind the President as Biden addressed Congress last week. Generally speaking, I hope America can meet all of the goals the President set.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Better, But Divergent
Why: Because I think the IMF’s forecast is correct – the important part to recognize is that COVID not only hit countries differently, but will have vastly different levels of recovery. This should be avoided as much as possible.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: How Big Are Schools’ Boundaries?
Why: Because like most things with technology, once simple definitions no longer quite fit in a world where your classroom is also your bedroom, and you can yell about your teacher to your whole school on a weekend.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (12 min. watch)
What: Friends In Space
Why: Because watching humans try to figure out moving around in space is hilarious.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Pobrecito Arron
Why: Because it looks like Arron Rodgers is stuck in Green Bay for the rest of his life.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: No One Watched The Oscars
Why: Because continuing from my joke last week, it turns out no one actually did watch. Viewership plummeted below 10 million for the first time EVER.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Dave Grohl Just Won’t Stop Making Things This Year
Why: Because I realize that I talk about the Foo Fighters a lot on this, but it’s only somewhat my fault – he dude just keeps on making / doing things, including this ridiculously stacked movie about the start of some of the largest bands in the last 50 years.

ART THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Return Of The Smithsonian
Why: Because the U.S.’ premier group of museums are reopening this month.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Revisiting Prisoner
Why: Because last week I got to listen to Jason Rezaian speak about his experience, and I am glad that is something I will (hopefully) never have to experience.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Live Die Repeat(al)
Why: Because Returnal is an extremely difficult but beautiful roguelite where failure is part of the game.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Don’t Climb Everest During A Global Pandemic; How To Be The Best TV Comedy Writer; Jeff Goldblum + D&D = Magic?
Why: Because Internet.

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

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

Webtacular World Issue # 366, April 25, 2021

Greetings Webtaculators! On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: The Approximation Of Justice
Why: Because Derek Chauvin was convicted. This is not the culmination of the end of police brutality against Black Americans (see the number of stories about people killed by police just last week), but it is an important turning point – police are no longer de facto immune from their actions while on the job. There is still much work to be done.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: It’s The Climate, Stupid
Why: Because there is a staggering cost associated with humanity’s inability to understand and deal with how current actions lead to destruction in the not-so-far future. At least we’re finally trying again.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Who Polices The Policemen?
Why: Because AG Garland is investigating the Minneapolis PD.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Out Of The Frying Pan
Why: Because just as we’re all getting ready to emerge from our COVID nightmare, those of us who live in California are about to be living in drought conditions. Hooray…

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Well That Was Fast
Why: Because the Super League super failed.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: The Oscars!
Why: Because I’m sure you’re definitely watching this, since you obviously saw all of these movies this year… Or you’re just laughing out loud because you just watched someone get chopped in half by a spinning hat in the perfectly stupid Mortal Kombat movie. One thing to note that the Oscars is finally getting right is acknowledging the work of non-white male actors and directors (FINALLY).

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Break Out Your Flannel
Why: Because Dinosaur Jr.’s new album does an excellent job of transporting listeners right back to 1995.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: What COVID Does
Why: Because India is being ravaged by the disease in a catastrophic second wave. We are not through this yet.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Super Black
Why: Because Blackness in comics is coming to the forefront.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK ()
What: Revisit The Beginning
Why: Because Nier Replicant was re-released as in an updated version of the mostly overlooked masterpiece. The reason why this game still matters is because its sequel – NieR:Automata, remains one of the most affecting games I have ever played. It’s very strange playing a new game that originally came out over a decade ago, since it still carries a lot of the baggage of those older design choices (some of which are made even more awkward due to the way the game purposefully examines and cribs from even OLDER games – being stuck in a haunted house that utilizes the Resident Evil 1 camera and movement is no longer something that should be considered fun!). However, the whole thing is worth it just to feel triumphs and despair that can be told so well through the medium.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Bunster Posey; Levar Burton Is A Treasure; So Is Jack Black
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: A Baseball Loving Therapy Rabbit
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 365, April 18, 2021

Greetings Webtaculators! Thanks for sticking around for a year’s worth these posts. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: 20 Years In Afghanistan
Why: Because it remains entirely unclear of what long term goals America accomplished.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: All Your Base Are Belong To Coin
Why: Because the cryptocurrency’s IPO hit a market cap of $85 billion on its debut.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Fixing What Doesn’t Want To Be Fixed
Why: Because policing in America remains fundamentally broken, but too much of the population remains OK with the status quo for that to change. Even when it results in the death of children.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: RIP To The Inventor Of The PDF
Why: Because the part of his life story that needs more explanation is how Charles Geschke survived his kidnapping.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Rocking The Biggest Boat
Why: Because this proposal would completely upend the parity of European soccer.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Nobody Call Bob
Why: Because Bob Odenkirk successfully transformed himself from an alt-comedian to an action star.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Broken Record
Why: Because Taylor Swift upended the Beatles’ long-standing record by charting three number one records in less than a year.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: YBCA 10
Why: Because SF’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts just launched an artist collective to develop creativity through health in wellbeing in various communities.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Some Stories Do Not Need To Be Told
Why: Because the man who killed Breonna Taylor does not need to be able to profit for ending a person’s life.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: The 2000’s Are Alive
Why: Because Outriders continues the tradition of completely stupid stories somehow working as long as the game play is good enough.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Honk; Hog Wild; Steph Curry Remains Fun To Watch
Why: Because Internet.

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

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

Webtacular World Issue # 364, April 11, 2021

Greetings Webtaculators! I was lucky enough to get my first Pfizer COVID shot this past week. I was given a drug made in by American and German companies for free in a local junior college gymnasium by a nurse from Tennessee. Humanity can be good when we actually try. Let’s keep trying. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Same As It Ever Was
Why: Because tensions are flaring again between Israel and Iran after an apparent attack on Iranian nuclear capabilities.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Taxation With Representation
Why: Because the taxes are too damn low.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Slow Walk
Why: Because President Biden is creating a commission to study the possibility of expanding the Supreme Court. With rulings like this that put belief before public health concerns, they had better study quickly.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: The Plight Of The Modern Factory Worker
Why: Because Amazon warehouse workers in Alabama just voted against unionizing.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Racism And Golf
Why: Because golf is still a predominantly white game, even though Hideki Matsuyama just won the Masters.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Exterminate All The Brutes
Why: Because this visual essay is one of the most impactful discussions on how just how much European racism has tarnished the world over the last thousand years.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: RIP DMX
Why: Because I had forgotten how much I listened to DMX in the summer of 1998 until I replayed “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot” for the first time in decades and realized I still knew most of the words to almost every song. DMX was not a perfect human by any means, but considering the hell he went through in his life, it is surprising how far he came.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (11 min. listen)
What: Rock On
Why: Because Dave Grohl wrote a book about his life.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Ping-Pong Video Game Diplomacy
Why: Because it’s about time that the government realizes how much of the world plays together.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: I Don’t Know How I Feel About Mini Stay Puft, But I Feel Very OK About Paul Rudd; The Muppets: Ranked; The Most Prime Optimus
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Just A Real, Actual Transformer At This Point
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 363, April 4, 2021

Greetings Webtaculators. Happy Easter! On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (long reads)
What: A Study In Contrasts
Why: Push for a trillion dollar infrastructure plan, or bilk your followers, be racist, and defend the trafficking of underage girls

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: How To Lose Billions Of Dollars
Why: Because a lack of financial disclosures allow banks and the wealthy to destroy markets.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: The Destruction Of Voting Rights
Why: Because voter suppression is on the rise around the US.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: And Winter Gave Spring And Summer A Miss
Why: Because it already looks like fire season is in full swing.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. reads)
What: Two Kinds Of Madness
Why: Because one is the good kind, with the UCLA / Gonzaga game being an instant classic, and the other being that the MLB had to move their All-Star Game because Georgia hates democracy.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. watch)
What: Jammin’ Like 1996
Why: Because Space Jam: A New Legacy’s trailer just dropped.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Maybe Try Some Of These?
Why: Because I’ve got nothing for ya this week.

ART THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: A Return 
Why: Because museums are starting to reopen in California.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Motherlode
Why: Because someone finally decided to write about the history of women in hip-hop.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Subscription To Fun
Why: Because both Apple and Microsoft pushed huge new releases this month to their very similar philosophy of play anywhere for a few bucks a month.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Key And Peele And Babies; How Algorithms DiscriminatePeeps – Revisited
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: A Week Without Mass Murder
Why: Because Brian deserves it. I know I have asked for this multiple times, but we can’t seem to stop ourselves.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 362, March 28, 2021

Greetings Webtaculators. Apparently Americans just like killing each other too much to stop. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: The Same Thing Keeps Happening
Why: Because it was another week, so there was another mass murder. Want to know some “wacky” gun facts? The weapon used to kill 10 people waiting in line for a vaccine so they wouldn’t die of COVID was this – a Ruger AR-556 pistol. Now, ignore for a second that “AR” stands for ArmaLite Rifle and the 556 designates e a 5.56x45mm NATO cartilage designed to be fired by rifles, or that anything that looks like this should rationally be called as a “rifle.” It is categorically a pistol – due to its barrel length being under 16 inches, and its “totally not a stock” brace that is in no way designed to be fired from a shooter’s shoulder. Great job everyone.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Boaty McStuckface
Why: Because a giant container ship went perpendicular in the Suez Canal, blocking one of the highest trafficked and important shipping routes for days. Between this and the continuing meme stock debacle, this year is really trying to push the “but business IS quirky!” take on us. 

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Jim Crow Pt. II
Why: Because Republicans apparently cannot win elections where people are allowed to actually vote.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Relief Finally In View
Why: Because in California at least, vaccines will be available to all adults starting in the middle of next month.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Pac-12 Is Somehow Good At Basketball?
Why: Because March Madness continues to earn its nickname.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: One Half Of Mr. Show Goes A’Killin’
Why: Because Bob Odenkirk, best known for his role as Saul Goodman in Breaking Bad, is actually a hellluva action star, too, apparently.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: RIP Jessica Walters
Why: Because no one else could make not understanding the price of a banana so endearing.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK ()
What: The One Where Lil Nas X Pole Dances Down To Hell
Why: Because Lil Nas X just made one of the biggest gay music anthems ever.

MUSEUM THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: The Louvre Is Live Online
Why: Because one of the most important museums in the world just catalogued a huge portion of its works for free on its website.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: RIP Beverly Cleary
Why: Because the author of numerous children’s’ books that actually focused on the kids themselves passed away after 104(!) years of age.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Does What It Says On The Box
Why: Because Monster Hunter Rise is the latest in a series of games about slaughtering different monsters for their parts to make armor and weapons for the purpose of slaughtering more monsters, but more efficiently. It is excellent.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Big Boat Stuck; 1998 In Three Minutes
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK NEXT YEAR
What: Next Year May We Be Together (So Close!)
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 361, March 21, 2021

The travesty of this last week has left my Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) friends reeling in pain they have been experiencing without notice and acknowledgement for far too long.  As far as minorities within the United States go, the AAPI population is viewed as being dealt with fairly and succinctly – a modern day success for how all people of non-white backgrounds should adhere to in America. After all, the “model minority” is dominating all metrics in scholastic achievement (unlikely), “they” are overtaking our media consumption (K-Pop’s internal issues are like American pop on cocaine; and it took until THIS YEAR for an East-Asian American to get nominated for best actor), and have been generally unaffected by racist US policies (a massive lie). What more could a person who identifies as AAPI want out their country????? Being singled out for a large increase in crime rates is probably not what most people would be looking for.

Concurrently, the events of this week demonstrated the abhorrent treatment of women and sex by religious institutions and their followers. The prevalence of “sex as sin,” particularly on the fault women’s inherent desirability driving men to temptation, is something that is much too prevalent in a fair and secular society. With this mindset and lack of actual treatment and general personal accountability, the result is the death of multiple people who the media could not even correctly identify due to racism inherent in the anglicization of naming norms (for example – many [but not all!] Americanized Korean names include the full name as the name [i.e. “Dae Jung Kim’s” given name would be “Dae Jung,” not “Dae,” middle name “Jung.” This means you should probably never abbreviate “Dae Jung Kim” “Dae J. Kim.” Got it?] These things MATTER). Are you tired from thinking yet? Fine. Imagine, simply, the headline “Terrorist Kills Multiple Grandmothers at Work.” That’s what you should take from this event. You should feel worse.

Whiteness is a problem. White men were promised the moon in exchange for existing, and their response is to often lash out at everything around them when the moon they were promised for nothing doesn’t show up. The person who did this was not just “having a really bad day.” As a cis-white male, I am continuously trying to be better. I am also trying to hold others accountable as well, whenever I see it. I am far from perfect – I have made mistakes. BUT I AM TRYING. I hope the rest of you try too. It is not necessarily easy. It may not make you many friends. You will not always get it right. But, with effort, it will make the world a better place. Just try. On to the news. 

STORY OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: A Number And A Race
Why: Because a sad / mad young white man shot and killed multiple older women of East Asian decent. The identity killer was more of a story than the people who lost their lives due to a distraught Christian who failed his unyielding belief system. Also, to note, the reporting on this type of violence, for whatever reason, feels like a return to “normalcy.” I hated writing that sentence.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Debt Relief (For Some)
Why: Because Biden’s administration relieved one billion dollars of student debt for those students who enrolled in failed education endeavors. This is an excellent start. 

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (long read; or, in the alternative, 2 min. read for the Article’s introduction, which should suffice as a summary)
What: Choose One
Why: Because these smart people did the work to disprove that I have always believed to be a bad faith argument by right-leaning lawyers and legal scholars. For those in the back – YOU CANNOT BE BOTH AN ORIGINALIST AND “NONDELEGATIONIST” FOLLOWER OF LEGAL AMERICAN THEORY. 

EDUCATION THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Get Ya Paper Here!
Why: Because one of the largest global sources academic papers just made a giant push towards open-access publishing.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Title IX In Action!
Why: Because March Madness (and boy is it mad!) is here, yet it is blatantly obvious how far sports has to go to treating male and female colligate athletes as equals.   

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read [AKA ALL THE TIME YOU SHOULD THINK ABOUT THE NEW VERSION OF DC’S ANSWER TO THE AVENGERS])
What: THE SNYDER CUT IS UNLEASHED
Why: Because is it better than the theatrical release? Sure! Is it worth it? Probably not! The real question is do you want to spend four hours dedicating your time to scenes in slooooooow mooootiiiioooon? Also, probably not! Unless you love DC comics! Or Snyder movies! YOU DO YOU.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: The Only Time I’ll Agree With Adam Levine
Why: Because bands are dying. This is both a good and a bad thing! It is good because it means more individuals are able to self publish and determine what their inner soul is wanting to release. It is bad because it means there is less collaboration, less developing that “it” that only can be reached when multiple people converge on the same task, bringing their own spin to create something that only exists with those people present. This issue is popping up EVERYWHERE (Hey reader! I’ve been “publishing” this unedited and free blog [to you (yes, it costs me money to write this!)] going on eight years! In some other lifetime, I may have been working for a newspaper! WITH AN ACTUAL EDITOR! Instead, you get this, with all of the mistakes and thoughts of a singular careless human being writer you can expect. We no longer have a barrier to entry, so all entries are welcome! Hooray! AHHHH!!!).

Speaking of bands – Kings Of Leon recently released something that sounds pretty good to my 70’s to mid-aughts trained ears. It was good enough to listen through the entire album on a long drive! That is not easy to do. Is it great? Definitely not! But it pleasantly met my expectations. And that is good enough.

ALSO. Anderson .Paak and Bruno Mars – two very successful solo artists – joined together as Silk Sonic to release the funkiest R&B / slow disco this side of the millennium. LONG LIVE BANDS.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Here’s More Books!
Why: Because March may be half way over, but your list of books to read just got longer still. Sorry.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Microsoft Buys Everything
Why: Because Microsoft closed the deal to purchase Bethesda, and immediately placed an immense, well-regarded back-log of games on its Game Pass (think Netflix but for video games) service. 

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Meet Me At McDonald’s; Exhibit #305940 for Why The World Doesn’t Need Billionaires; Florida Man, Personified
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: A Billion Dollars (See Above)
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

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™

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™