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Volume 285

Oompa Loompa doompadee doo, we’ve got another coolsh*t for you. This week, we bring you the real-life Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, your new robot delivery man, and the conclusion to a decade-long treasure hunt. Check it out.

Banksy’s Had a Blinder.

It’s been an eventful week for statues. Starting with the tearing down of philanthropist/slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol (I’m painfully aware of the oxymoron there), people all around the world have decided that public commemorations of slavers are a no-go in 2020. But this has divided opinion. Some people believe that this represents a momentous uniting of people in the abolition of outdated symbols of far-gone and oppressive regimes and systems. And other people want their slavery statues back. For the Colston statue, Bristol native Banksy has sketched up an idea that will hopefully appease all parties. Fetch the statue and reinstate it on its plinth. But please hold your sharp intake of breath, he wasn’t done there. Reinstate it, but alongside some life-size bronze statues of the protestors who tore it down. It’s a win-win: a famous day in the city’s history will be commemorated, and Mr. Colston won’t have to sleep with the fishies anymore. Everyone’s happy. Except maybe some blokes in Coventry, but you can’t please everyone.

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Treasure Hunt.

I wanted to include a story that was genuinely unbelievable this week. It was between this mysterious 10-year-long treasure hunt for a buried 1 million dollars, or ‘Man Has Whole Fish Stuck In Rectum After ‘Sitting On It By Accident’’. And I’ve honestly only just realised that this means that I was choosing between the buried booty and something buried in the booty. But I went for the safe option. Like some sort of beneficent Riddler, art collector Forest Fenn buried $1Million worth of treasure in 2010 and drew a map to it via clues in his memoir, The Thrill of the Chase. A fitting title for at least 1 person, I guess – but maybe less so for all the other 350,000(?!) unsuccessful scavengers. But at long last, the riddle has indeed been solved and one lucky person has instantly become $1million richer. Or have they? There’s been speculation for years that the whole thing was a hoax, so lots of people are now questioning whether this ‘anonymous person’ actually exists at all. But I don’t really care either way. Either it’s all true and somebody has genuinely just found a bronze chest filled with gold coins and artifacts, or it’s complete rubbish and this 80-odd year-old bloke has spent 10 years conning literally thousands of people just for a laugh, and I can’t help but respect that level of commitment to a joke.

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Watership Comedown.

If you want to feel off your face but can’t afford to buy drugs, then David Lynch has got just the tonic for what ails you. Lynch has reached back into the archives to re-release his hare-raising 2002 short series ‘Rabbits’ on YouTube. I’ve watched it a couple times now, and I’m no closer to understanding what the hell is going on. But there’s something strangely hypnotic about it. Maybe it’s the patriarch rabbit’s suit, the gloomy apartment, the ominous soundtrack interspersed with rapturous applause and canned laughter – or maybe it’s a combination of all of these and more. But there’s definitely something incredibly compelling about this unlikely fusion of absurdity and monotony. All I know is I’d much rather watch this than Friends. We get it, you like coffee and shagging each other. But anyway, we’ve got 2 more episodes of Rabbits to look forward to, so hopefully some of my plethora of questions will be answered in due course. But somehow I doubt it.

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Tony Wonka.

Willy’s lesser-known brother, Tony, is setting up his very own chocolate factory to rival even that of his brother’s. Tony’s Chocolonely are basically just a really great company all round. They make banging chocolate, and they do so all in the name of fair trade and opposing slavery and child labour. And now the Dutch confectioners are ramping it up a level, as they’ve just released this glimpse of what their new factory will look like – and yes, that is a rollercoaster running through the middle of it. The world has a lot of problems, and a lack of chocolate-based theme parks is undoubtedly one, so it’s nice to see that something is finally being done to right that wrong. Oh, and the whole child labour thing, that too. Sadly the factory isn’t due to open till 2024 though, so I guess I’ll have to spend a few more years getting my adrenaline/sugar fix by sliding down the stairs while eating a Snickers.

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Squatbot 9000.

I’ve made my feelings on robots pretty clear in previous editions of coolsh*t. They scare me. As someone who gets most of their general knowledge from films, I feel like I’ve seen how this one ends. Plus Will Smith is probably too old to quell the inevitable uprising these days, so now we’re really screwed. But having not set foot in a gym since 2014 (and even that was mainly just to use the sauna), I’m ok with this one. I’m not sure exactly what the intended use is, but if you want to grow a pony tail and need a gym buddy then I guess you’re in luck. Regardless though, this video acts as just another reminder that we will all be completely obsolete in the near future. Nice.

*I’ve just spotted that this is actually a delivery robot, so I take back everything that I said. If this abomination turns up at my door with an ASOS package, I will immediately burst into tears and start destroying my household appliances, because you just can’t be too careful.

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Realsh*t: Life In Lockdown – Mental Health Special.

In the midst of everything that’s happening around us, issues which we can’t and won’t ignore, are we neglecting our wellbeing? Should we put our own mental wellness first so we can be of more benefit to others?

In this week’s realsh*t Mental Health Special, we asked one of our SELFHOOD network, how her anxiety works, and how she deals with it. Check it out here if you missed it.

Go To Selfhood Page.