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Volume 321

3,2,1… It’s time for coolsh*t 321. This week, we’re bringing you some steakery fakery, history in motion, and some very fashionable flippers. Are you not entertained? Well, it’s a good job we’ve also got SELFHOOD’s latest re-up on entertainment then.

Meatless Meat.

Living in a house with a vegan, a vegetarian and a fussy omnivore, I’ve come to accept that I am a meat eater and will likely continue to be so for the foreseeable future. Saying that, I don’t have the same antipathy towards veganism that some of my carnivorous brethren do. I love veg, and I have nothing in principle against meat replacement products. However, from my experience, the one silver bullet against them – and I do hope I’m not speaking out of turn here – is that they are, generally, f*cking disgusting. As far as I’m concerned, if you genuinely enjoy the taste of seitan, then it can only be because you are the spawn of its hell-dwelling homonym. But now there’s a new kid on the block, as Israeli start-up Redefine Meat are attempting to redefine the meaning of meat – oh, I see what they did there. So, what does the future hold? 3D-printed steaks. Mmm, sounds delicious! Bit inky perhaps, but you’ll get over that. Granted, it doesn’t sound great, but apparently they’ve pulled some Israeli wizardry to make these indistinguishable from real meat. That’s according to the company’s CEO at least – but why would he lie?

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A Whole New World.

This is slightly embarrassing. In last week’s coolsh*t, I shared a story about some new AR glasses that were designed to declutter your desk by allowing you to project holograms around your WFH office. They looked pretty impressive at the time, or at least they did to my tiny mind – but I’m still blown away by thickening granules, so what do I know? Anyway, Microsoft have just come along and rather blown them out the water. This is the equivalent of a nice, family-owned pub opening up, only for a massive Wetherspoons to open across the road a week later and pinch all their clientele. Introducing Microsoft Mesh, the platform that’s set to transform collaborative workspaces worldwide. Making Zoom meetings a thing of the past, Mesh will allow users to utilize holoportation to project themselves as their most photorealistic and lifelike selves, and to work with colleagues in a VR workspace resembling reality. Which sounds remarkable, but my internet can’t even sustain a call on Microsoft Teams, so I’m not sure how it’s gonna get on with holoportation to a make-believe world.

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Canine Creps.

I’d always thought there was a special place reserved in hell for people who dress their dogs up and take pictures of them. But according to veterinary science, I may have been a tad harsh. Well, ish. I still maintain there’s rarely a good reason to put a dog in a dress, but it turns out that maybe we should be kitting them out at least up to the ankles. NYC-based RifRuf will make your puppy the envy of all its pals, thanks to their design-driven, patented, pooch paw-protectors. Shoes for dogs, basically. But not just any old shoes for dogs, these ones are vet-endorsed. Apparently dogs’ paws get pretty jacked up in cold winters and hot summers, and in 16,000 years of companionship, us humans had never thought about sorting our supposed ‘best friends’ out with a pair of shoes that are both fashionable and functional. Why? Because we’re selfish bastards. But not anymore! Go do your civic duty and cop a pair. Actually, that wouldn’t be enough, would it? Go cop a… quartet, I guess?

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Why the Long Shoe?

From dog shoes to clown shoes, we’re having a veritable footwear fiesta this week and everyone’s invited. The Adidas Superstar has been a staple in the wardrobes of footballers and teenage girls alike for millennia now, but we’ve never seen a pair quite like these. I mean, seriously, one white and one black? That is mental. Oh, and they’re also 1 metre long. I forget that part. Adidas teamed up with Estonian rapper and long sneaker enthusiast, Tommy Cash (or TOMM¥ €A$H, if you want to be a proper legend) to create what may be the longest pair of trainers in existence. Tommy claims that the length of the shoes represents the infinite potential for generosity of the human soul, hence why the ‘sole’ on these trainers goes beyond what was previously thought to be possible. Admittedly, I just made that up, but there’s a good reason for that, and that’s because nobody actually knows why Adidas have decided to create these. The sneakerhead world is divided – some think it’s a bold innovation, others think it’s just bloody stupid. I’ll let you make up your own mind. In the meantime, could somebody call Sideshow Bob and let him know we’ve found his trainers.

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Talking Heads.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but now I think it’s gonna have to be worth at least three thousand, thanks to online genealogy platform MyHeritage’s new ‘Deep Nostalgia’ engine. With the innovation of computer magic, we can now see historic photographs brought to life through animation. And people are yet to decide if it’s a nice idea or just downright creepy. It does remind me of The Daily Prophet from Harry Potter a little bit. The Honest Abe example attached doesn’t really tell the full story, as they’ve cheated a bit by giving him a voiceover. Just as an aside on that quickly, their voiceover isn’t terribly historically accurate, as I read the other day that Lincoln actually had a freakishly high-pitched voice. Although, that same article also said he was an undefeated backyard wrestler before he became president, so I can’t vouch for its credibility. I could definitely see that being true though, the kid was a tall drink of water, after all. I’ve gone off track – the point, though, is that the program works on any old photograph you’ve got knocking about, so people have been using it to bring some life back to long lost loved ones, even if just through a blink or a smile (like this, for example). Hmmm, yeah, you can definitely see where people are getting the word ‘creepy’ from.

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The re-up: Entertainment.

Entertainment has evolved. Old tried and tested formats have become tired and bested by a previously unattainable intimacy available online. Besides, how can we expect the Next Gen to give a sh*t about ‘normal TV’ when they’ve got endless hours of content at their fingertips? We spoke to a few of this new wave of entertainers from the SELFHOOD Collective to get a better understanding of how the business is changing, directly from the people responsible for changing it.