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Volume 297

And you’re back in the room. In this week’s coolsh*t, we’re looking to the future and the skies with a magician floating into the stratosphere, Elon Musk raising an army of cyborgs, and the launch of a new car for those cyborgs to fly around in.

David Plane.

When I watched David Blaine’s appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience a couple of weeks ago, I immediately thought that I needed to find a way to work this weirdo into coolsh*t. I was tempted to use one of the clips from the podcast itself, but feared that seeing him regurgitate a live frog or get impaled with an ice pick might be a bit too graphic, so I bottled it. But as luck would have it, this week he achieved a much more family friendly feat by soaring gracefully above the earth, courtesy of a generous bouquet of balloons. I’ve never seen ‘Up’, but I imagine it went something like this. Saying that, “family friendly” might be pushing it a bit – it quickly becomes distinctly un-family friendly if the stunt was to go wrong. But come on, what’s not to enjoy here? Daredevil magician with a death wish straps himself to a load of balloons and floats up to 25,000 feet before skydiving back down – now that’s good television right there. Although, I say 25,000 feet, but he actually topped out at 24,900, which I would personally find incredibly irritating and would feel compelled by to have another go. Except this time try to do it properly, yeah? Amateur.

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SS Banksy.

There have been so many developments in this particular story during the last week that I’ve had to put it in, take it out, then put it back in again, as if I was doing some sort of coolsh*t Hokey Cokey. As I’m sure you’ve seen by now, Banksy has financed and customised a boat to rescue refugees attempting to reach Europe from north Africa. With a top speed of 27 knots, the Louise Michel is designed to be more nimble than the vessels of the Libyan coastguard so that it will be able to reach the refugees before they are pulled back to the detention camps in Libya. Things did go slightly awry a few days ago though, when around 350 migrants were stranded on the boat as Italy and Malta refused to let them dock. However, all remaining migrants have now thankfully been able to disembark in Sicily, and the boat will shortly be heading back out to rescue another load. Obviously, I don’t think Banksy is gonna be driving his new boat much himself, but credit to him nonetheless. He certainly knows how to stay on the right side of the news at the moment.

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Sky Rover.

Back to the Future predicted that we would have flying cars by 2015, so as far as I’m concerned, the Avian Automobile Association are already on borrowed time. Some progress has been made in Japan this week though, as Skydrive’s piloted flying car took to the skies in a successful test drive. Well, maybe not quite ‘skies’, but it definitely got off the ground. There will inevitably be a couple of doubting Thomas’ out there questioning the utility of this vehicle – I’m looking at you, Neil deGrasse Tyson, who I have previously seen launch a fierce diatribe against humanity’s obsession with flying cars. And to be fair, I have a couple questions of my own. Principally: is a really good flying car basically just a really bad helicopter? Plus, based on my own experience of cars, they break down a lot. Which is pretty annoying when you’re on the hard shoulder of the M1 Northbound outside Hemel Hempstead, but is presumably slightly more of a problem when you’re hovering amongst the clouds and a sudden engine failure sends you plummeting Earthbound. But I’m sure they’ll work out those kinks by the time it launches in 2023. Right?

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Bison-Harris Hawk 2020.

Political campaigning is changing, that much is clear. If you needed any more evidence to attest to that, then you should be convinced by the fact that the Biden-Harris campaign have designed four posters to download and pitch on your virtual front lawn in Animal Crossing. I’m not sure if this is quite what Cambridge Analytica were up to, but it’s still pretty smart. Although I’m unsure if this idea would have come directly from Uncle Joe himself, who doesn’t exactly strike me as the most tech-savvy bloke in the world. In fact, I imagine he still gets frightened every time his toaster goes off. And he probably still thinks a microwave is just a type of greeting for dwarves. But anyway, this is a pretty slick way to appeal to some of Biden’s younger demographic of voters. It hasn’t gone unanswered though, as the Trump campaign team are now planning to appeal to his own base by handing out free bumper stickers at country clubs, anti-vaxxer rallies and wet t-shirt contests.

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I’m hesitant to include this, as there seems to be some sort of jinx when it comes to Kanye x coolsh*t. Last time I included him, I mentioned something about him being ‘someone that a lot of people generally root for’, and then literally the next day he announced that he was running for President and was publicly lambasted by basically the whole world. Oh yeah, look at all those people rooting for him! My bad. But surely this one’s safe, right? He may not be a great prospective leader of the free world, but it appears that Kanye is a very good friend. At least I’m sure his pal 2 Chainz thinks so after receiving this special edition Yeezy Batmobile-looking monster truck for his 42nd birthday. I’m not sure how much use he’ll get out of it up in Beverly Hills, but I’m sure he’s not complaining. I’m starting to think maybe I need some better friends. I recently celebrated my own birthday, and all I got from any of them was a cold.

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Elon Musk has been a busy little bee during the last 6 months. And he’s got the honey to show for it, having just quadrupled his net worth this year to surpass that dork Zuckerburg and become the 3rd richest man in the world, just a couple weeks after becoming the 4th. Damn, and here I was thinking that losing half a stone and reading Crime and Punishment constituted a successful lockdown. A big part of his ever-expanding notoriety during this period has been down to the hype surrounding his new company, Neuralink. If you don’t know what it is, allow me to give you a very technical run-through: Elon Musk wants to put a chip in your brain that allows you to use a computer. Neuralink: for those who either don’t have hands, or don’t want hands. And now, in the company’s Summer 2020 Conference, Musk unveiled the surgical robot that penetrates your skull to implant the microchip and neural threads into your brain. Ouch. Pretty sure I’ve seen this plot on a Doctor Who episode before, and I don’t think it worked out too great for them. But hey, just think of all the trouble you’ll save your poor withered thumbs when you can scroll through your phone using just your mind.

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