Webtacular World Issue # 247, August 26, 2018

Greetings Webtaculators. This past week consisted of two of the biggest political stories since Al Gore conceded the Presidency to George W. Bush. It is amazing that coverage of the established guilt of a campaign manager and the plea deal reach of a President’s personal lawyer barely survives the a week, but I guess that’s the time we live in. This is only the beginning. Also, there was another mass shooting, but this one involved the wrong kind of video game (Madden, an American Football simulation), so no one has any idea how to characterize this random act of mass violence. It is definitely too early to discuss the role real guns had, though. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Manafort And Cohen
Why: Because it is inconceivable that corruption would reach these two men without Trump being explicitly involved as well. All of Trump’s allies are either turning or falling – it is only a matter of time before he does to. I am terrified of what happens when the gavel falls, since roughly 40% of the country seems to be indifferent, or worse, think this inevitable outcome is a direct assault on them. For many, this is just a game, and all that matters is that their team wins.

POLITICAL THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Fallen Soldier
Why: Because John McCain passed away due to complications from his brain tumor. I would still like to think of him as the type of Republican that more Republicans should be like, regardless of his shortcomings. At least he mostly stood by his principles and respected his political opponents, even when it was not necessarily politically advantageous to do so. However, it is still worth remembering that he brought Sarah Palin into our lives, and was one of the champions of the Iraq War.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: It Pays To Not Be A Woman
Why: Because a paper out of the Becker Friedman Institute of the University of Chicago, the namesake that championed why pure capitalism without regulation is the best way to run an economy, released a paper identifying the impact gender discrimination has had on women’s ability to equally participate in our economy. Sure looks like unfettered capitalism has worked great for more than half of the population!

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Hunger Strike
Why: Because prisoners all across the U.S. organized a hunger strike against the number of deaths in custody, and overall prison conditions.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: A Year Without Power
Why: Because Puerto Rico JUST restored power to most of its citizens, a whole year after Hurricane Maria.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Pure Sports
Why: Because Hawaii won the Little League World Series. Next week, tune in to find out that all the kids are on ‘roids and the kids are actually 45 year old ex pros, because nothing in sports is sacred anymore.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Muppets Acting Badly
Why: Because the Happytime Murders doesn’t sound like it’s making people particularly happy.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (17 min. listen)
What: ~80 Years Of Hits
Why: Because it is actually amazing that popular music with Spanish lyrics has been a thing since the 40s, that “joke” songs have such chart topping power, and that Kevin Costner movies provided so much iconic music.

ART THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. look)
What: Infinite
Why: Because these pieces are gorgeous.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Odd Job Is Cheating
Why: Because “Stacks, pistols only,” and “Complex, proximity mines” in GoldenEye for the Nintendo 64 are clearly the two best multiplayer scenarios ever created.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Not All British People Are Good At Soccer; Cheating Is Fun; Color In The Lines
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: A Republican Candidate Who Is Willing To Tell A Potential Voter They Are Wrong
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 # 246, August 19, 2018

Greetings Webtaculators! As the story of Trump’s presidency slips further and further into a real life that is beyond satire’s reach, I really do worry about the end game for all of this. Many Republicans, who as far as I can tell hate all government except for the parts of it with the guns, seem to be perfectly fine with a president who freely uses the N-word, removes security clearance from the  previous CIA director, and who’s legal representative actually says “truth isn’t truth” out loud. I don’t really want to find out how this ends, because I doubt it will be good.  On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: Crisis In Catholicism
Why: Because it is really not good when religion becomes implicitly tied to child rape. It is really not good that people dismiss the jokes about pedophilic priests when it constantly proves to be a widespread truth. I don’t know how you fix a religion, but there is a massive problem, regardless of how well liked Pope Francis is.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: Corporate Accountability
Why: Because what is best for shareholders is often not what is best for the rest of the America.  Senator Warren wants to change that. Related, it’s the ten year anniversary of the housing market crash.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. interactive, 8 min. read)
What: Go To Jail
Why: Because the LA Times created a very interesting interactive “choose your own adventure” in the pursuit of showing just how difficult it is to remove a cop who has a history of false arrests. The article attached to it is worth a read, too.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: BREAM (Batteries Rule Everything Around Me)
Why: Because most of our energy future is dependent upon how well we can store energy. The Verge did a deep dive on all of the things batteries do.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Flipping Fantastic
Why: Because Simone Biles just won her fifth U.S. National title, becoming only the second woman in history to do so. Or, if you are a Neanderthal who doesn’t think women’s gymnastics is a sport, here’s this stupid baseball thing, which is the last non-football related content that will be available until baseball becomes relevant again in October.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Crazy Good
Why: Because Crazy Rich Asians won the weekend, and also is yet another example of how under-represented minority cultures are in media.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (15 min. read)
What: Soul Of A Queen
Why: Because Aretha Franklin passed away this week. Here’s what made her the best.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. look)
What: Aretha
Why: Because she is an icon.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: The Horror
Why: Because horror stories are good too.

BOARD GAME THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: 50 Best New Board Games
Why: Because board games have come a very long way from Monopoly, and are a great way to spend an afternoon with friends or family.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Creativity Through Constraint; Hail Satan (Baphomet); King Of Cat Island
Why: Because Internet.

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

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

Webtacular World Issue # 245, August 12, 2018

Greetings Webtaculators. I personally had a good week, but it’s always important to put it in context of what is happening in around our country and our world. I think it is very important to tamper the feelings of good fortune and happiness a little, lest we forget that everything is not OK. It is far too easy to say “everything is fine” in your situation while the world literally burns around you. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: One Year Later
Why: Because little has changed. White supremacy is and will continue to be a loud voice as long as our leaders continue to find it politically useful to support them. I said it last time, and I will say it again – fuck Nazis, and fuck Nazi enablers.

In other news regarding our leadership, apparently its just fine and dandy if un-elected people with no specific skill, knowledge, experience, or oversight shape our national policies. This is what actual corruption is, and I still can’t believe 40% of the public is still OK with this.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: The Swamp Keeps Floating Up
Why: Because the Secretary of Commerce is being sued for stealing money from his business partners. If Ross is not the epitome of what the Trump appointee for being in charge of “promot[ing] job creation and economic growth by ensuring fair and reciprocal trade, providing the data necessary to support commerce and constitutional democracy, and fostering innovation by setting standards and conducting foundational research and development” in the U.S. would be, I do not know who is.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: How To Regulate Uber
Why: Because, weirdly enough, it turns out transportation services can be regulated like transportation services.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: “Leaping” Into A Home Maybe Near You
Why: Because the Magic Leap is supposed to bring augmented reality into our lives. It seems to not quite hit the mark, but still be impressive nonetheless.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Co-Ed
Why: Because I know women who could (and did) kick my ass on Wednesday night soccer. I also know a bunch of women (and men!) who were intimidated, mostly unintentionally, by Friday softball.

Sports are one of those things that I was always innately OK to good at. I was always faster than average, have very good hand-eye coordination (aside from my eyesight being atrocious), played competitive sports through college, etc. Because of this, I always found sports and sport-adjacent activities like PE or recess wall ball very fun, in a way that I came to understand that can be attributed directly to my finding them relatively easy.

MOST people do not find these things easy. MANY people find our found these same activities to be terrifying – between a combination of lack of confidence, whether real or internalized, immediate performance analysis by your peers, body image issues, and pecking order determinations, that is a completely normal and rational conclusion to come to. I am still amazed that athletic performance and ability drives so much of our society when most of us spend all day sitting at a computer. No comments on someone’s typing speed or Excel skills in quite the same way that they are awed by a colleague’s drive off the 10th tee at a charity event, or someone’s finish time for friendly bike / run race up a mountain. I am continuing to try to be more thoughtful about these types of interactions. I suggest you give it some thought as well.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Popularity Contest
Why: Because this is the category that Black Panther will win, and it sucks.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (long watch)
What: Play
Why: Because this is why Dave Grohl remains one of my favorite artists – he truly loves what he does, and spends time and money making sure that others have the opportunity to love music themselves.

Also, my favorite festival, Outside Lands, is happening this weekend, which is why you’re getting an earlier version of Webtacular than normal.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Bad Thinking
Why: Because this is the same problem I have with Jordan Peterson – it’s essentially a middle / high school level of argument that falls on its face in any sort of real world application, but because it is so simple to understand, it is very easy for people to find appealing. It is a problem that I believe a “marketplace of ideas” cannot solve – there is no metric for determining a “good” or “bad” idea. You can see the outcome now from Alex Jones’ banishment from certain platforms, but not Twitter, or Trump’s continued attack on the press. I have no solution, but it remains a growing problem.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Good Idea, Bad Execution
Why: Because We Happy Few comes close to achieving its goal, but not quite.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Zuck Review; How To De-Smoke Your House; Found Him
Why: Because Internet.

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

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

Webtacular World Issue # 244, August 5, 2018

Greetings Webtaculators! Continuing from my story of the week from last week, California really is on fire. I was up in Tahoe this weekend, and the entire drive up Interstate 80 from the Bay Area to Tahoe is blanketed in smoke. It is not good. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: “No Collusion”
Why: Because there was collusion, and Trump just admitted it while throwing his son under the bus. He had a hell of a bad week – from having no idea how his tariffs actually work, to wrongly attributing CA wildfires to a lack of water resources, to freezing car gas millage goals,  calling LeBron James stupid after he opened up a public school for children in Arkon.
In the rest of the world, Maduro claims he survived a drone assassination attempt, and Bangladeshi students are being attacked by the government for protesting over safer transportation infrastructure.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: One TRILLION Dollars… Muhahahaha
Why: Because Apple became the first company with a market cap of over $1 trillion.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: How Voter Suppression Works
Why: Because this is an especially big deal this year where Beto O’Rorke is trailing incumbent Senator Ted Cruz by a few percentage points.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: 3D Printed Murder Tools
Why: Because there is no other practical use for a building something that breaks after firing a few rounds.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Other Ohio School Story
Why: Because it sure seems like Urban Meyer had knowledge of and ignored the fact that one of his coaches was abusing his wife.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: The One Hundred Best Episodes Of This Century
Why: Because The Ringer made a ridiculous list that somehow has Lost as their number one even though we all know how dumb that show turned out to be.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: The Hot 100 Turns 60
Why: Because it’s hard to say whether the Hot 100 is even particularly relevant to the way people listen to music anymore. When a Chainsmokers’ song beats out the Beatles’ “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” in rankings, you know something is wrong.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. look)
What: Pretty
Why: Because that’s what these photographs are.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Keeping Up With The Kids
Why: Because I can only assume the quality of children’s literature in recent years has gotten better. Maybe I should check one of these out.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The NFL Can Do No Right
Why: Because the yearly edition of Madden is coming out soon, and it is already embroiled in controversy due to the fact that the game bleeps out “Colin Kaepernick” in an included song.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: SPACE FORCE!; How Not To Cook Steak; Hash Pipe
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Randy Moss’ Tie
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 243, July 29, 2018

Greetings Webtaculators! Trump seems to have disappeared from the news after the bombshell of his lawyer turning on him and deciding to bail out the poor farmers who are being destroyed by his incredibly stupid tariffs. Let’s see how else the world decided to fall apart. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: California Is On Fire Again
Why: Because anyone who says global warming isn’t a real should be dropped into the middle of Shasta County right now.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: How To Lose 100 Billion Dollars In One Day
Why: Because Facebook suffered the biggest single day loss in the US stock market history.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Good Job Judges
Why: Because the 9th Circuit just voted that “open carrying” of firearms is legal.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: The Biggest Battery Of Them All
Why: Because there is a plan to turn the entire Hoover Dam into a pump storage mechanism for utilizing over-generation from solar and wind farms.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: BICYCLES!
Why: Because I didn’t talk enough about the Tour De France this year.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Oakland Renaissance
Why: Because along with Sorry To Bother You, Blindspotting is a film that would not exist but for The Town.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: The Carr Fire
Why: Because this is what hell on earth looks like.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: The Lost Pages of Malcolm X
Why: Because Malcolm X’s autobiography just got a little longer.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Why Do So Many Terrible People Play Video Games?
Why: Because anonymous people telling you that you are terrible in a game is actually one of the nicer things that people say.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Catch A WaveGo To Jail; The No Reserve (What?!) Vations Of Narnia
Why: Because Internet.

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

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

Webtacular World Issue # 242, July 23, 2018

Greetings Webtaculators! Looks like someone let a cranky sleepy boy get access to his cell phone after midnight again. Why did we allow such a “stable genius” to get access to nukes again? Oh, right. Emails. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (read)
What: Oh. OhhOhhhh. Ohhhhhh.
Why: Because the current administration is swimming in Russian collusion, especially after Trump’s disastrous meeting with Putin.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Time To Close The Office
Why: Because not being able to get away and actually do work is one of the worst things about open office plans.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Whoops
Why: Because the president should probably be smart enough to hire a lawyer that isn’t secretly recording him.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: Bias In The Code
Why: Because many AI systems are inherently as flawed as the humans that originally coded them. This is a problem.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Take A Knee, NFL
Why: Because this whole thing is stupid.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Old Pedophile Jokes And Disney Do Not Mix
Why: Because the one of the originators of “Pizzagate” managed to organize right-wing twitter users to let Disney know that James Gunn, the writer/director of Guardians of the Galaxy, one of its most successful franchises, used to make awful jokes on an up and coming internet platform, which Gunn had previously apologized for and stopped doing prior to becoming a Disney employee. Yes, Gunn’s Twitter problem is different and objectively less bad than the Rosanne Barr debacle, but that takes nuance to understand, which people apparently don’t have time for any more.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Seriously Funny
Why: Because Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette brings to light the defensive nature of comedians. Watching this in combination with the HBO’s Robin Williams documentary Come Inside My Mind show just how much of an act comedy can be.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Internet
Why: Because a group that named itself after a modern technology sounds like it’s from the same era when people first started using it. It’s good.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. look)
What: Comic Con 2018
Why: Because photos of people dressing up are always fun.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Hit The Road
Why: Because if you decide to stuff yourself into a car and get lost during the summer, you might bring something to read.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Someone’s Sky
Why: Because No Man’s Sky promised the universe and delivered… not that. It is still trying, though.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: That’s enough Internet this week. Go outside or something.
Why: Because Internet.

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

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

Webtacular World Issue # 241, July 15, 2018

Greetings Webtaculators! I bought a house. house
On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Oh, So Russians Did Hack The Elections
Why: Because interference in another country’s elections is essentially an act of war. To bad Trump is too busy weakening our relationship with the US’ allies while being a jolly old friend to the leader of the country that attacked us.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Bad CEO
Why: Because Elon Musk and “Papa” John Schattner probably should talk a little less after this week.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Kavano
Why: Because Trump’s reality show ended up picking Brett Kavanaugh, a person who previously clerked for Justice Kennedy.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Amazon Prime Day Is On Monday
Why: Because consumerism is all that’s left.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Vive Le France
Why: Because this game had it all – own goals, keeper flubs, rocket shots, and of course, video reviews, Fortnite dances, and anti-Russian pitch invaders. What a tourney.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: The Missions Are Still Impossible
Why: Because Tom Cruise is still somehow making excellent action movies. If you want something different, maybe try Eighth Grade.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. watch)
What: Arm The Children
Why: Because Sacha Baron Cohen (aka Borat, aka Ali G) is back again, this time making our elected leaders look even more insane than we thought they were.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: A Happier Childish
Why: Because Donald Glover makes fine summer love jams as well.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: Photographer Of The Year
Why: Because good photos are good.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: A Literate President
Why: Because I miss these lists.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: ¡Golazo!Baby Trump Balloon; Speed Tuba
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: House Stuff… Like Plant Or Something?
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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