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Volume 301

We have a very special edition of coolsh*t this week. Nick Mair, TikTok Content Creator and one of the key SELFHOOD voices in our Generation Anxious film, is taking the reins for the week. Nick takes you through some of the most significant issues of our time; from space travel, to the environment, to… TikTok.

A New Plaice.

This world may be going to sh*t, but fortunately we might be able to just dip and start from scratch somehwere else. It seems that the answer to one of the major issues of space colonization might have been found, of all places, in fish and arthropods. This Wired article details how chitin, an organic polymer found in exoskeletons of animals and the scales of fish, may be the key to efficient building materials on the Moon and Mars. I’ll never look at a Filet-o-Fish the same ever again.

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A serious topic, yet an interesting reflection on the persistence of certain online communities. Anyone who grew up using Tumblr will be aware of the way that ‘Pro-ana’ accounts and groups managed to find a home on a site filled with young, vulnerable people. And now Tiktok has been plagued with the same issue. As a mental health content creator, this issue is something I see regularly. By no means sufficient, but educating yourself on the issue of pro-ana communities is key, and this article from Dazed provides a helpful understanding that we could all do with.

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Go to Bed.

Everyone’s favourite furniture mega-chain, Ikea, has once again made advertising into a fine art, with their recent series of ads which contain an important message on the importance of sleep. During the pandemic, a lot of us have forgotten what a sleep cycle means, and Ikea has used a contrast of the products we use to fake a good sleep with their own products meant for actual sleep to remind us all that nothing can really beat a good eight hours of slumber. The ads look banging, I recommend checking them out – even if you aren’t interested in getting back into pre-Covid sleep habits just yet!

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Battle of the Bans.

Is Tiktok banned in the US yet? Not quite. The app was officially set to be removed from USA app stores on September 20, yet people are still able to use the app, and now a federal judge has banned the ban, at least for now. Banception, if you will. Trump’s ban is a worrying reaction to the use of the app to organise against his administration, although the concerns surrounding information collection do remain. But at least budding young TikTokers across the States will be relieved to know that they live to dance another day – for now.

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Hot in Herre.

Space is full of surprises, that’s expected in this day and age, but this discovery of an exoplanet which completes a rotation of its star in 19 hours is something else. Scientists aren’t quite sure as to how the planet even exists, given its close proximity to its star. The exoplanet, according to our current understanding, should not exist. It is so close to the star that it should simply be a raw, hot core, with its actual surface obliterated by the star. The exoplanet, LTT 9779b, has been given an entirely new classification, as an “Ultrahot Neptune” the first, and so far only of its kind. So if the Fish x Mars construction project doesn’t work out, maybe this could be an option. Just don’t forget your suncream.

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Noam Planet for Old Men.

At 91 years old, Noam Chomsky still hasn’t given up his fight for our future. Recently, Chomsky partnered with Robert Pollin, the co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, to write ‘Climate Crisis and the Green New Deal’. The book provides an analysis of what climate change will mean for the future of politics, how capitalism has led us to this point, and provides a reminder of the current state of our climate crisis. Chomsky, as one of the most-cited authors alive, gives the book’s findings a strong credibility, and Pollin uses his expertise in the politics of economies to illustrate a holistic picture of where we’re at. Clue: it aint pretty.
n.b. That climate clock from last week is at 7 years and 94 days now, btw. Tick tock.

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