Webtacular World Issue # 306, October 14, 2019

Greetings Webtaculators! Sorry about the delay – much like last week’s news, my weekend was too full of things to be able to get this out on time.  One of the things it was full of was food. One thing I learned you can do is make a reservation to a decent restaurant with a bunch of friends, and ask for the entire menu. It’s a surprisingly reasonably affordable way to get to try everything a place makes, as long as you have enough people. Highly recommended. The wait staff might hate you at the end, though, so remember to tip well. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: America The Weak
Why: Because the US just lost every ounce of credibility it had with its allies by immediately withdrawing forces from Syria to let Turkey forces murder the Kurdish people. Power vacuums are not something that works in international politics. This is the exact reason why we could never leave the Middle East after Saddam, and why we never should have gone in in the first place – once you take ownership of a problem, you cannot wash your hands of it. Trump has unilaterally made the world a more dangerous place, and is working to undo the minimal good any of these wars ever accomplished.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Eat The Rich
Why: Because the wealthy are taking more than ever at the expense of people who clearly do not have as much. You can afford more.

INTERNATIONAL THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. reads)
What: China Don’t Play
Why: Because sports and video games, two of America’s biggest leisurely pursuits, have shown that both are always political, regardless of what them and their players and viewers say.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: LBGTQ Rights Are Not About Bathrooms
Why: Because conservatives want you to think that the real problem is that that a dude can be a pervert and watch girls pee, instead of the real issue of whether or not someone can be fired simply because of who they love.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Northern California Went Dark
Why: Because power outages normally occur because something went wrong with the power system – a line went down; there was a natural disaster; the fuel source ran out. In this case PG&E preemptively cut power to about 800,000 customers, a nicer way of saying over two million people, because of the potential damage its systems might cause. Another way to put it to understand the magnitude of the outage – imagine if the population of the states of New Mexico, Nebraska, West Virginia, Idaho, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Maine, Montana, Rhode Island, Delaware, South Dakota, North Dakota, Alaska, Vermont, or Wyoming suddenly did not have power (don’t even get me started on how roughly 1/3 of the United States gets more representation in our federal government than a just a portion of the greater Bay Area gets). PG&E is at this juncture due to a number of reasons, including global warming, increasing utility expenses, under investment in infrastructure, and the inherent dangers of electricity, but this is obviously no long term answer to deal with this. As a modern first world society, we can, and must, do better.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. watch)
What: Sub 2
Why: Because a human being just ran a marathon in under two hours. Here’s how he did it. Also – in the time it took for you to watch the video, He would have run 2.5 miles. Ridiculous.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: What Is A Parasite?
Why: Because Bong Joon-ho made yet another great, unique movie.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Pitter Patter
Why: Because Letterkenny is back. I suggest you start from the beginning.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (long reads)
What: The Best Of The Teens
Why: Because Pitchfork released it’s top 100 tracks and albums of the last decade. It is interesting to see how much this decade represented a shift from indie to rap / pop, and how little albums seem to matter in recent years. One good trend is the top ten of both are dominated by women and people of color. Thanks streaming!

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: What We Have Wrought
Why: Because the violence you see here is directly on us.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Testament
Why: Because Offred story continues in only the way Atwood can tell it.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Killer App
Why: Because Asgard’s Wrath is the most fully realized VR game I have ever experienced.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: A Perfect Circle; Gritty Grouch; Breaking Bad, Bitch!
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Nike Vaporfly Next%
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 305, October 6, 2019

Greetings Webtaculators. I keep on waiting for Stupidgate to end, but somehow it keeps on getting stupider. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Any Of These Things Are An Appropriate Reason For Impeachment
Why: Because Trump keeps on asking foreign leaders (Boris Johnson, Xi Jinping, Scott Morrison, and Volodymyr Zelentzki, so far)to interfere in the US election.  Trump spent US taxpayer dollars exploring how expensive it would be to build a alligator moat behind the boarder wall.  There is also another whistle blower.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Play For Pay
Why: Because college athletes in California will be able to make money from their efforts in 2023.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Probably Say Goodbye To Roe v. Wade
Why: Because two men accused of sexual assault are poised to severely limit a woman’s right to abortion.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. watch)
What: BEWARE: ROBOT DOG
Why: Because those Boston Dynamics robots that have been around the Internet for a number of years, are finally for sale. Just what we needed.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Problem With Sports Journalism
Why: Because like most things these days, no one wants to pay for good content, so we get stuck with a massive decline of quality of writing, or just not giving good writers the ability to make a living wage. At least we still have Ray Ratto. Also, sorry to all the A’s fans. You deserved better this year.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Joke’s On You
Why: Because even though The Joker got dragged by critics, people don’t seem to care, and lead the movie to have the highest October opening.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Space Not Trucks
Why: Because Sturgill Simpson continues to buck his genre’s norms while he makes complex, synth and distortion heavy country music.

ART THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. watch)
What: GDP
Why: Because Banksy is opening a gallery in the form of a store.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Water Dancer
Why: Because Ta-Nehisi Coates, best known for his journalism, think pieces, and his comics, just published his first fiction. Of course it’s political.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Meet Your Destiny For Free
Why: Because Destiny 2 just got a massive upgrade after Bungie, the game’s devloper, bought back the rights to it’s game from Activision / Blizzard, and released the last base game and the last two years of expansions for free.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: 1979; Scotch Without The GlassDuck Wizard
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Something Else To Write About Besides Trump
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 304, September 29, 2019

Greetings Webtaculators. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: The Floodgates Are Open Wide
Why: Because the extreme amount of anti-American policy and dealings currently being uncovered in the rapid evolution of the Trump impeachment process is staggering. The highly questionable actions are being carried out by many members of the Executive branch, including the Department of Justice, non-government entities, like Giuliani, and lobbying groups like the NRA. What a time to be alive.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Tax Cuts For The Wealthy Don’t Work For Americans
Why: Because when combined with Trump’s international tariff crusade, 69.9% of Americans have lost money that they otherwise would have made. This is an aside from the people who actually rely on government assistance.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: It Is Legal For People To Immigrate To The US
Why: Because regardless of the Trump administration’s xenophobia, the courts sided with immigrants’ rights in multiple cases on Friday.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (long reads)
What: Attacking Our World
Why: Because the Trump Administration has set the EPA after California to try to limit it’s ability to curtail vehicle emissions while at the same time saying California is failing to meet air and water quality standards. The EPA is blatantly failing it’s duty to protect the environment and the people of the United States in taking up these causes.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Bye Bochy
Why: Because the guy who led the SF Giants to 3 miraculous even years of baseball is retiring.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: This Movie Already Exists In My Head
Why: Because Scorsese made a mob movie with essentially every heavy hitter who has ever been in one.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Kanye, I Guess
Why: Because Kanye West is a gospel rapper now, or something. Whatever. FYI, It’s no longer Sunday on the East Coast, so Kanye is late, again.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: The Failure Of Humanity To Protect Itself
Why: Because the proliferation of child sexual abuse online is only getting worse.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: When The Greats Are No Longer Great
Why: Because as taste and norms change, some of the best novels of the past no longer look as good as they once did.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (long reads)
What: Two Thoughts On Design
Why: Because the evolution of difficulty and non-player characters both have impacted how video games tell there stories, and how players are able to experience them.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: How To Skate; How To Make A Guitar; Why People Actually Want Self Driving Cars
Why: Because Internet.

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

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

Webtacular World Issue # 303, September 22, 2019

Greetings Webtaculators! Here’s an idea – instead of committing treason against the United States, Donald Trump should follow my lead and spend his weekends going to weddings and concerts. It’s pretty hard to destroy democracy when you’re getting down to Shut Up And Dance. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: It’s Impeachment, Then
Why: Because Trump admitted he threatened to withhold US funds to a foreign country in a quid pro quo agreement to undermine the United States’ electoral process. Or, as Politico puts it,

“It involved misusing $250 million in aid appropriated by Congress for [Trump’s] benefit—the kind of gross misconduct that easily clears the bar of high crimes and misdemeanors set by the Constitution when impeaching a president. Which means the best way to hold Trump accountable for that misconduct isn’t a criminal trial; it’s for Congress to impeach him.”

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (long look / read)
What: Climate Strike
Why: Because young people are taking it upon themselves to fix what we’ve broken.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Disbar This Man
Why: Because it’s entirely clear that Giuliani has no idea what “completely legal” means.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: 11%
Why: Because that’s the apparent amount of funding that would need to be taken away from the US military and transferred to renewable energy to completely fund wind and solar energy to all American households for a year. Maybe we need to rethink our priorities.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Croquet Kings
Why: Because professional football is continuing to kill itself, so let’s learn about sports that don’t require attempted murder as part of their daily routines.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: So Many Ferns, So Little Time
Why: Because someone decided the world needed a Between Two Ferns movie.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK ()
What: Emmys!
Why: Because the greatest success of the Emmys this year was its nomination of actually good shows for its best comedy and drama. Also, please go watch Fleabag – it’s only two seasons, and really is one of the best shows I have ever seen.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: It’s Brittany, Bitch
Why: Because Brittany Howard has one of the most powerful voices in rock as part of the Alabama Shakes, so she went off and made her own album with her own sound to prove she doesn’t need a band, or a defined genre, to be ridiculously good.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Aminals!
Why: Because photographs of animals being derps is really the only redeeming thing about the internet.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Lists! We Got Lists! Get Your Lists Here!
Why: Because The Guardian lopped off 80 years of future writing to make the internet mad at it’s best 100 books of this century; and New Yorker released the actually short-ish 2019 National Book Awards Longlist for fiction.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Damn Birds
Why: Because Zelda: Link’s Awakening and Untitled Goose Game, two games featuring asshole birds, are out this week. Also to note, mobile gaming just got a huge upgrade thanks to Apple directly messing with the usual business model.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: No Longer Between Two Ferns; Take A Walk On The Far Side; The Attack On Area 51
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: More Wedding / Concert Combos.
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 302, September 15, 2019

Greetings Webtaculators! Someone finally the Tom Clancy thing for real by using drones to attack essential global infrastructure, our federal government is run by habitual liars, and and accused rapists get to keep playing football. I am trying to pretend it’s still the 90’s, so I went to a Cake and Ben Folds concert. Those were simpler times. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: Even Less Of The Best
Why: Because likely war criminal John Bolton is out as the US National Security Adviser in the Trump administration. Trump does not know what good leadership is.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Getting Around Is Hard To Do
Why: Because aside from the likely increase of gas over the next couple of weeks thanks to the aforementioned reason why we’re probably going to go to war with Iran, (regardless if they’re actually at fault), GM workers are going on strike, and California decided that Uber / Lyft drivers are actually employees. Additionally, Amazon’s Whole Foods is cutting worker benefits, the Sacklers hid money after killing people with heroin, and the 25 wealthiest families are worth 1.4 trillion dollars. Wonderful.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: This Is What Perjury Looks Like
Why: Because Brett “Boofing” Kavanaugh got accused of sexual assault yet again, this time with third party corroboration.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The 11th Hour For Apple
Why: Because adding a third camera to a phone is not innovative or necessary. They’ll probably still end up selling a bunch of them.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Espana Ha Ganado
Why: Because Spain won the Basketball World Cup.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Go See Brad Pitt In Space
Why: Because I’m trying hard to think of a Brad Pitt movie that I have seen that I didn’t like, and I’m coming up short. Too bad you won’t be able to use MoviePass, because MoviePass is dead.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. [ish] listen)
What: Speaking Of The 90’s
Why: Because Green Day, Weezer, and, uh… Fallout Boy, are going on tour together and released new songs. Green Day now sounds like the Raconteurs, Weezer went back to the 80’s, and Fallout Boy is bad.

ART THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. look)
What: The Art Of Burning Man
Why: Because getting to experience a bunch of large art pieces in the desert still sounds like a potentially fun thing that I will never do.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (1 hr. listen)
What: She Said
Why: Because the reporting that went into bringing down one of the biggest names in Hollywood was a lot. It’s a shame that that much work needs to go into making sure people who abuse others cannot, but I guess this is where we are now.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Morederlands 3
Why: Because Borderlands 3 is essentially just more of the same, but that’s ok.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Date The Colonel; Winning Staten Island; Remembering Daniel Johnston
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Infinite Movies For A Reasonable Price
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 301, September 8, 2019

Greetings Webtaculators! Trump is too busy lying about Hurricane Dorian being in Alabama instead of where it was actively destroying people’s lives. Also, Trump waned to invite a terrorist organization to the United States, but he messed that up too. Trump remains a terrible human being. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: An Even Harder Brexit
Why: Because the British government under Johnson has continuously created a bigger mess of something that should have never been a problem in the first place.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: The Power Of Twitter
Why: Because Trump’s dumb words have power and move markets.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Gerrymandering, Revisited
Why: Because gerrymandering does real harm to democracies.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Facebook Goes Back To Its Roots
Why: Because I wouldn’t be married right now if Facebook didn’t exist, so I guess it only makes sense that they actually get into the dating game.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: FYI, Nadal Was Wearing Purple
Why: Because Rafa Nadal won his 19th Grand Slam.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Joker Takes Venice
Why: Because a superhero movie just won a prestigious international film award.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Rock Isn’t Dead!
Why: Because Tool scored their third Billboard # 1. Pitchfork, as always, doesn’t care for them.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Watership Down For Adults
Why: Because neither Meagan nor I had read Watership Down as children, so spending some time listening to the audio book of the troubles and tribulations of rabbits who talk about murdering each other during our commute is a great way to start our day.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Gears 5
Why: Because the fifth game in the Gears Of War series is better than it probably should be. Also, a massive expansion to Monster Hunter World was released, which should provide people who like that game with hundreds of  hours of entertainment. Most importantly, the Nintendo Online service for the Switch just added a whole bunch of Super Nintendo games for free. Basically, I will be playing way too much of this for the upteenth time. My cat isn’t named Zelda for nothing.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Car Talk Retrospective; Jeremy Renner App, RIP; Small World Cup
Why: Because Internet.

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

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

Webtacular World Issue # 300, September 2, 2019

Greetings Webtaculators! Hope everyone in the US spent at least some time thanking the workers in the not so distant past for their literal blood, sweat, and tears  so that a bunch of us didn’t have to go to work today. Thank your labor organizers when you get back to work tomorrow, you know, if you still work for a place with a union. We still have problems. The current administration apparently doesn’t care, since as of this writing, the Department of Labor’s page on the history of Labor Day is down.

Unrelated, thanks for reading this for 300 issues (I am just assuming you have read this – I have analytics, but since I am not trying to grow the site, make money, or do anything useful with this besides maybe entertain and inform people / create a running catalog of the things I found important during every week, I haven’t really felt compelled to think to much about how y’all interact with it). That’s 5.7 years, or 69 months, or way more of your time than I probably should have dedicated to this. In fact, this has been going on longer than my current job, which means that it essentially is the single longest thing with a regular deadline that I have done on a continuous basis. I guess that’s kinda neat. Maybe there will be 300 more. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Trump Of The East
Why: Because in order to limit the ability to block a “no deal Brexit,” Johnson suspended the English Parliament. I don’t know why these sad excuses for leaders are so hell bent on tearing down society, but apparently historically important people never expected modernity to take elections so frivolously. To be perfectly clear, a no deal Brexit will be very bad the UK.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE JUST FINE
Why: Because I’m just sitting here eating my avocado toast waiting for everything to fall apart.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Our Broken Court
Why: Because the NYC law not allowing people to transport weapons was changed, which means that any case stemming from the issue is moot, which means the Supreme Court has no business hearing it. Yet here we are, with the entirety of the Republican Congress still not giving a shit about gun violence. Neither does Texas.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: Cat. 5
Why: Because as Dorian descends on the Bahamas, Trump had no idea that a category 5 storm exists, even though he has said he didn’t know they existed multiple times in the past. At least our future understands that these events are more likely. Sorry Greta.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Summer Of Coco
Why: Because yes, football is back, but the US Open also happened, and didn’t involve men destroying each other’s bodies, but instead consisted of young black women supporting each other as opponents (An aside – I’m still not sure why the author had to include what Osaka wore. I don’t see anyone bothering to talk about Federer’s choice of black shorts with a white shirt with black and red accents after his win). I don’t have a crystal ball, but it seems like only one of these sports has a future.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Joke’s On You
Why: Because The Joker seems well positioned to be misunderstood by people who want to misunderstand it. One Tyler Durden is enough for this world, thanks.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: The Dark Crystal Returns
Why: Because the new imagination is much better than the the original movie. Each character and group did nothing but fail to do whatever it was trying to do, with Jen somehow managing to fail the least through no fault of his own. The Seksis were appropriate nightmare fuel for a generation, and the world still is insanely gorgeous.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Fear Not, Tool Has The Cure
Why: Because Tool’s latest album Fear Inoculum shouldn’t work in today’s musical zeitgeist, but it does. I never owned their albums, but there was always something about them that made me actually listen whenever Schism or Forty Six & 2 came on the radio, since their music was so different from whatever was on before or after it (like the definition of porn, you know a Tool song when you hear it). It still is. Also, Lana Del Rey’s Norman Fucking Rockwell is pretty good, if you want nostalgic sadness for the future from a retro 60’s crooner rather than prog metal. Both are worth a listen, even if you don’t think you will like either.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. look)
What: Dorian
Why: Because Hurricanes are terrifying.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Too Little To Late
Why: Because Mattis wants to end tribalism in politics. Maybe he shouldn’t have joined (or refuse to openly critique) an administration that overtly divides the country if he really believes that.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Get In Control
Why: Because Control lets you launch heavy machinery at opponents with your mind, and is something that I am glad does not exist in reality.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Fight On And Win To 5 Cliches; 40 Years In 17 Minutes; 300 MPH
Why: Because Internet.

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

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