Webtacular World Issue # 196, September 3, 2017

Greetings Webtaculators! Hope everyone is having a great Labor Day Weekend! I’m sure you all thanking your union reps for all their hard work… oh, you’re not in a union? Never mind then. Get back to work, you lazy good for nothing!

Completely unrelated! Just about one year ago, Meagan made me one incredibly lucky guy by actually going through with her promise to marry me. It has been a crazy year for a lot of reasons, but I could not have asked for a better person to get to experience it with. Love you Megs. Happy anniversary. Here’s to many more. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: North Korea Is Going Ballistic
Why: Because North Korea tested a hydrogen bomb after weeks of escalation between itself and basically the entire rest of the world. It hasn’t helped that Trump’s idea of diplomacy is saying that war is the only option – if that’s the case, then why the hell would a country that has never really acted rationally for its own survival not push that scenario as far as possible?

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: The Economic Impacts Of Hurricanes
Why: Because it is really difficult to calculate exactly how much hurricanes actually affect people. Of course, when you have a dysfunctional government that can’t even agree how to do one of the most basic parts of its job, Harvey might end up differently.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Standing Up For The Dreamers
Why: Because by the rationale used to argue against DACA, that means that no descendant of an undocumented person should be allowed in the U.S., which it turns out is just about everyone. Now, if only Trump could explain how he is planning to remove almost 1 million young people without spending an inordinate amount of money… This actually makes me furious – I personally know people who are direct beneficiaries of DACA, and they are exactly the type of people the United States needs, unless lawyers, doctors, top students, and Apple employees aren’t “the type of people” America wants.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: California Is Hot
Why: Because it was 110 degrees at 6 pm in my hometown yesterday. That has never happened before.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: The Return Of College Football
Why: Because college football always reminds me that I actually like football, just not when it is played by millionaires. Because things like this, this, and this happen on an almost weekly basis. But then there’s also the whole head trauma issue, and then you’re reminded everything sucks.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: A Very Good List Of Movies
Why: Because there’s no more Game of Thrones until next year, so Sunday night is a perfect time to catch up on classic comedies. I highly suggest reading all the other links attached to the article as well – critics top 25 thoughts, who voted, many Like It Hotregional differences, and the difference between men and women.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Give Me My LCD
Why: Because American Dream is a very fitting album for the times. Also, it’s just great to have a new LCD Soundsystem album.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. look)
What: Houston
Why: Because with water levels now returning to normal, it is unbelievable to see how much water actually accumulated.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: Time For Dystopian Fiction
Why: Because parts of these novels are feeling less like fiction every day.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: 50 For The Price Of One
Why: Because fake retro compilations might be almost as good as the real retro compilations.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Build Your Own Muppet (Sorry, “Creature”); Selling To Millennials; So, You Didn’t Go To Burning Man Either?
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Lego Millennium Falcon
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 # 195, August 28, 2017 SPECIAL LATE EDITION

Greetings Webtaculators!  Happy… Monday. Texas is facing unprecedented flooding. North Korea launched a missile over Japan. A bunch of biggots tried to ruin San Francisco this weekend, but they basically only succeeded in getting themselves beat up in Berkeley amidst a mostly peaceful protest. Trump had another stellar week by  trying his hardest to corrupt the Constitution by pardoning someone who actively worked to deny people their rights, and firing even more of his original brain trust, all after making the worst presidential address in history. Sigh. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Any Of The Above
Why: Because I don’t know how to differentiate between the causes of the constant state of panic the world now seems to actively be in. Are Nazis showing up in San Francisco better or worse than a storm of historic proportions? Is the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of people displaced in Texas more noteworthy than a country probably openly committing an act of war against another country? I don’t have an answer for that, but I’m certain all of them are worth knowing about and talking about.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Whole Amazon
Why: Because now the same service that you buy everything from just gained an incredible amount of prime real estate for shopping. It’s this brand new idea where a place called a “store” that you can go to buy things. I’m not entirely sure what part of Amazon’s business model is a loss leader to what other part. A loss leader is a product that is sold under its value to attract customers. It’s is an expression I came up with a couple of days ago and thought it was good.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Literally Against The Law
Why: Because the American Bar Association is not a political body – it is an organization that represents the entirety of the legal profession in order to ensure lawyers do their best to uphold the law. For it to come out this strongly against the pardon of a monstrous human being is something that cannot be understated.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Harvey Vs. Humanity
Why: Because even though climate change is probably not the direct “cause” of Hurricane Harvey, it almost certainly is playing a part in determining its destructiveness.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Round 1, Fight
Why: Because one of the best technical boxing men in history beat a non-boxing man in a game of boxing. Again, this does not remove the fact that Mayweather is a woman beater, and an awful human being in general. And somehow this is what constitutes one of the biggest entertainment draws in history.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (1 min. watch)
What: Super Troopiers
Why: Because Super Troopers 2 is coming out soon.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (7 min. read)
What: Season 7 Recap [SPOILERS]
Why: Because Game Of Thrones has officially become the most popular television show featuring four of the main characters practicing incest, while making one of those relationships something that the viewer is actively happy about. [Insert your own “Game of Bones” joke here]. Also apparently the MTV Video Music Awards happened.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. listen)
What: A True Pilgrim
Why: Because I first became friends with Mat Davidson, the man behind Twain, in high school. It’s been amazing to watch his journey journey as a musician as a member of Low Anthem (here, playing a saw) and on his own, and he is truly one of the most unique voices I have ever had the pleasure of listening to.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Houston, Before And After
Why: Because the amount of water that now occupies a space previously devoid of it is unfathomable.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Homegrown Terror
Why: Because although this isn’t quite the literature you might be used to, this is one of of the most important pieces of writing I have read this year.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Sublime Nonsense
Why: Because the most iconic video game character +…. these things + XCOM = a fantastic game.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Rabbids + Sports; Learn Stuff; Even More New Home Star Runner (Seriously, this was a website that was popular when I was in high school 17 years ago, and now is making the most updates since it stopped posting updates regularly about 7 years ago. This never happens.)
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Tormund And The Hound Spinoff
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 194, August 20, 2017

Greetings Webtaculators! It seems like everyone is quitting: Steve Bannon, Confederate Statues, The White House Committee on Arts and Humanities, hell, even the sun! Maybe they should all go to Burning Man and talk it out. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Only The Best
Why: Because Trump’s ability to pick winners continued with Stephen Bannon quitting / being fired this past week. Since we’re counting, this is the fourth major advisor who has been forced out since Trump became President. The fallout this time was at least partially due in part to Trump’s inability to denounce Nazis. Or maybe it’s because he can’t appropriately denounce global terrorism, either. Remember, when anyone says that “both sides” are bad, here is the wrong side.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Great For Business!
Why: Because Trump’s business council quit, too.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: A Change In Free Speech
Why: Because when the First and Second Amendment are brought to a protest, it doesn’t make sense to back the one that can actually kill people.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (3-4 min. look, depending on location)
What: There Goes The Sun, Doo-Doo Doo-Doo
Why: Because it’s a solar eclipse tomorrow! Don’t look at it (unless you have these).

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (20 sec. watch)
What: When Is A Bicycle Not A Bicycle?
Why: Because cycling with the pedaling is something else.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: RIP Jerry Lewis
Why: Because he was a multi-talented entertainer who managed to bring laughter to many through an ever changing landscape.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Indie’s Not Dead
Why: Because Grizzly Bear just released a great new album.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. look)
What: Still Nazis
Why: Because I also have heard people trying to differentiate between Nazis from the 1930’s-40’s and now. Nope, they’re still the same.  And good people are still protesting them.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Gotta Go Fast
Why: Because Sonic The Hedgehog actually stars in a good game again.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Watchin The SBEmail; So-Called “Eclipse”; Rick Foo’d
Why: Because Internet.

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

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

Webtacular World Issue # 193, August 13, 2017

Greetings Webtaculators. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (7 min. read)
What: Fuck Nazis, And Fuck Our Nazi Enabling President
Why: Because The STORY OF THE WEEK would have been the North Korea nuclear threat escalation, because our idiotic leader managed to unsuccessfully engage in diplomacy, but instead we get to deal with Nazis.
I would be more eloquent, but these heinous acts committed by people who believe in an ideology that calls for my personal destruction due to my heritage do no deserve it. My grandparents (yes, all of them,) fought to make sure the world would be free of this scourge forever. The fact that Nazis are openly marching is a direct affront to their memory, to all World War II veterans, and to America itself. Trump has allied himself with these degenerates. There is no side equivalence in this: you are either a supporter of Trump and his Nazi backers, or against them. Choose wisely, because history is watching.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (7 min. read)
What: Tech Bros Are The Worst
Why: Because this memo was circulated by an engineer at Google, before he was summarily fired.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (long reads)
What: Assault And Fame
Why: Because we have multiple stories to choose from this week: Taylor Swift gets a lawsuit against her dismissed, Kesha makes music again (it’s a fun album!) after allegedly being raped by her producer, the NFL finally applies its domestic abuse rules to a star player, and a popular video game critic was let go from his publication for using his position to solicit nude pictures from his female fans. I hate this week.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Twilight Actor Can Act
Why: Because Robert  Pattinson actually made a good movie.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. look)
What: OSL 2017
Why: Because Outside Lands had its 10th anniversary. My favorite acts were Sleigh Bells,  Fleet Foxes, Royal Blood; Cage The Elephant, Maggie Rogers, and The Who.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: Fuck Nazis
Why: Because Nazis continue killing people in the modern world. This is unacceptable.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: $10 Million For Winning At Video Games
Why: Because the DOTA 2 International had the biggest prize pool in gaming history.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: The Redemption Of Fieri?; America Is Broken; Puppies
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Whatever. It’s been a long week.
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 192, August 6, 2017

Greetings Webtaculators! So the President’s on vacation, which means that the U.S. gets to deal with way less of his inability to govern for the next 15 days or so. At least, assuming that any more information doesn’t leak out of his administration, including his own VP apparently looking to run for his position. At least we’re not Venezuela. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Winter Is Closer
Why: Because North Korea is continuing to develop its ICBM capabilities.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Karma Sucks For Shkreli
Why: Because the “Pharma Bro” was found guilty of fraud.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: The Grandest Of Juries
Why: Because Muller’s impaneled grand jury suggests the case against Trump is growing in scope. This is what a grand jury does.

HEALTH THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Opioid Crisis
Why: Because it seems like the leaders of this administration are more concerned with going after a drug that has not really killed anybody. Weird how Jeff Sessions’ task force disagrees with him as well.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Faster Than A Bolt
Why: Because Usain Bolt is no longer the fastest man in the world. It is also interesting when photo finishes are taken near the beginning of the race.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Not As Bad As You Think
Why: Because I love the Dark Tower series. This movie kinda sorta takes what happens in the first three books and mushes them together into something that is not nearly as ambitious as the source material. It is not a good movie, but is definitely enjoyable as its own thing.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. watch)
What: Starting On 7/8
Why: Because only Radiohead can make a song harder than it should be.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: Time To Travel
Why: Because you might be able to take similar photographs of your own.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: Taking Games Seriously
Why: Because one school is starting to teach games like literature. This also includes providing gaming opportunities to inmates. Maybe others will follow.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: High Standards; If Only My First Crush Went This Well; Rain Delay
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: John Lennon’s Rolls Royce
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 191, July 30, 2017

Greetings Webtaculators! To be completely honest, I sure can’t stand all the winning Trump is doing right now: dismantling Obamacare (fail), manning a functioning Executive branch (fail and fail), making smart statements about policing while making sure our military remains strong (fail and fail), and having no real international problems to deal with (failed and failed). Yup. Nothing but winning.
Also, with apologies to Meagan, I spent way too much time on the MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK this time around, so, if you want something completely non-political to think about or be mad at me for turning your attention to, spend some time with that. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: GOP Fails Ending Obamacare
Why: Because this is what happens when you elect people who run for government on the assumption that the government doesn’t do anything – nothing gets done. This is one of the largest Congressional failures in recent history, especially considering the GOP has a majority in all three branches. This is basically the equivalent of one of those pop flies in baseball that all three outfielders are in position to make the play, but then they all just stand there while the ball falls to the ground, and point and scream at each other about why no one caught it.

One of the most theatrical parts of the events leading up to the no-vote was the return of John McCain. I’m reluctant to give him credit for anything, due to the fact that he was one of the reasons why a vote was even necessary in the first place. An even bigger problem with this story is that as a Senator from Arizona (a state that LOVES its Medicare due to its large Baby Boomer voting base), McCain risked very little to vote no on this issue. The people who actually risked something were Senators Susan Collins from Maine and Lisa Murkowski from Alaska. Both women have actively been voting against the poorly vetted health bills pushed by their party, while facing attacks from their colleagues and president. They deserve as many accolades as possible for literally saving the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Model 3 Is Here
Why: Because the first Tesla for the masses arrived.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: The F(u)CC
Why: Because Ajit Pai can’t adequately explain why net neutrality is bad for business, even though that is the argument he is using to destroy it.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. look)
What: This Is Your Brain On Football
Why: Because apparently smashing your head into other people’s heads for a living is not good for your brain.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: 💩
Why: Because the Emoji Movie had the honor of achieving a 0 Freshness rating at Rotten Tomatoes at its release. It is now a little above 0, but I blame that on one of the reviewers mistakenly watching paint dry. Go see Atomic Blonde instead.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Arcade Smolder
Why: Because the newest Arcade Fire album scored lower on Pitchfork than the newest Coldplay album. I think that this means that indie music is dead. What this also means is that in order to see how we got to Coldplay + Chainsmokers somehow being a thing (that actually is better than parts of the Arcade Fire album [Spin agrees], to be completely honest) I went ahead and listened to every single major album released by Coldplay in chronological order. Here are my thoughts.

Parachutes
Score: 3 Pensive Chris Martins out of 5
My Favorite Song: Don’t Panic
Song You Are Probably Sick Of: Yellow
Remember when Coldplay was mostly pianos and falsetto? Well, now you do. World, meet Coldplay. Coldplay, world.

A Rush Of Blood To The Head
Score: 3.5 Thom Yorkes / snitraM sirhC out of 5
My Favorite Song: The Scientist
Song You Are Probably Sick Of: Clocks
This album was the closest Coldplay came to actually being the “next Radiohead.”

X & Y
Score: 3 Chris Martins Standing In An Arena out of 5
My Favorite Song: Til Kingdom Come
Song You Are Probably Sick Of: Fix You
Coldplay found out that a large amount of additional sound production could go a long way. This is the first sign that they would make EDM music in 10 years.

Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends / Prospekt’s March
Score: 4 Triumphant Chris Martins out of 5
My Favorite Songs: Viva La Vida / Strawberry Swing
Song You Are Probably Sick Of: Lost!
This is far and away my favorite Coldplay album. Martin actually wrote lyrics with meaning, the sound was a brave progression to something new without losing what a Coldplay song was supposed to sound like, and the sister EP Prospekt’s March actually took ideas from the main album and expanded upon them in a clear way. Aside from the mix up with guitar god Joe Satriani, this is a good album. Good job Coldplay.

Mylo Xyloto
Score: 2.5 Dancing Chris Martins out of 5
My Favorite Song: Hurts Like Heaven
Songs You Are Probably Sick Of: Paradise / Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall
Coldplay took all of the things that made Viva La Vida interesting, and then did too much of it. Coldplay, meet dance music. Dance music, Coldplay.

Ghost Stories
Score: 1 Very Sad Chris Martin out of 5
My Least Unfavorite Song: Midnight
Song You Probably Forgot But Will Dislike Immediately Upon Rehearing: Magic
Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow, purveyor of modern day snake oils, “consciously uncoupled.” Chris Martin was sad. Chris Martin made this album. Please don’t make Chris Martin sad again.

A Head Full Of Dreams / Kaleidoscope
Score: 2 Left Shark Chris Martins out of 5
My Favorite Song: Birds
Song You Are Probably Sick Of: Adventure Of A Lifetime / Hymn For The Weekend / Something Just Like This (Tokyo Remix)
Well, Chris Martin got happy again, so Coldplay said fuck it, fully embraced its pop side, complete with dancing monkeys, a track of Obama singing and speaking, a song about drinking, a performance at the Super Bowl with Bey and Bruno Mars, and an earnest attempt to learn to have fun again. So enjoy the EDMification of Coldplay. Who knows; maybe in the next album, they’ll return to their light piano ballads while dreaming of super-stardom. Until then, we get this.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: 200 Years Of Thoreau
Why: Because there are often times in my life where I wish I could flee to a small hut and write about my thoughts on the world, but I guess I’ll just keep on spending Sunday evenings smashing away a keyboard extolling the virtues and vices of pretty ok bands. On the bright side, it’s not like I really would want people to make pilgrimages to the East Bay anyway.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Light My Pyre
Why: Because everyone loves some sports with their interactive novel, right?

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Butternut Squash Is Not Cheese; Scaramucci The Law Student; Fan-TasticSomeone Should Tell Trump What The “T” In LGBT Stands For
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Tesla Model 3
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 190, July 23, 2017

Greetings Webtaculators! Well, it’s been another crazy week in Washington. Republicans can’t pass a healthcare bill, Spicey is gone, “The Mooch” (are you serious?) is here, Sessions also met with the Russians, and Trump is seriously looking into a previously absurd legal hypo as to whether or not a president has the power to pardon themselves. Good grief. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (2-5 min. read)
What: Pick And Choose Any Of The Above Links
Why: Because I can’t choose just one.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: Pardon Me?
Why: Because this should be a dumb question that doesn’t need to be answered, but now it’s one that actually matters somehow. Also, OJ is free again.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. watch)
What: Solar Eclipse Of The Heart
Why: Because the sun is going to hide for a bit, and that is really neat.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Yay Bicycles!
Why: Because cycling is really, really hard.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Heroic Retreat
Why: Because Dunkirk might be one of the best war films.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. watch)
What: Strangerer Things
Why: Because this good TV. This, however, is not good TV.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: In The End It Mattered
Why: Because Chester Bennington, lead singer for the band Linkin Park, committed suicide. The band has established a suicide prevention page in his memory.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: Why Not To Read Jane Austen
Why: Because I’m not sure that a group of students has ever “clamored for Austen,” but I guess teachers have insight into this sort of thing?

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Kids And Squids And Squids And Kids
Why: Because Splatoon 2 is a ridiculous game about kid squids that is way more fun than it should be.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Wow!; How To Beer; Bring Back Crazy Crab
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: An Adult Sized Land Speeder
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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