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Volume 322

We can all get stuck in our own little bubbles, so it’s time to expand our horizons. In this week’s coolsh*t, we’ll be transcending with Tom Cruise (kind of), taking a glimpse into slimline living, and learning how to turn food into furniture.

Going Clear.

Despite my best efforts, it seems impossible to keep Tom Cruise from popping up in coolsh*t every few months. Mainly just because I find him generally quite insane and inadvertently comical. But this last week in particular, he’s been absolutely everywhere on TikTok. Except he hasn’t. In what transpired to be an elaborate ruse, Chris Ume, a Belgian visual effects artist, revealed himself to be the man responsible for the deepfake Tom Cruise TikTok account. Deepfakes are nothing new, but these might be some of the most convincing yet. The face, the mannerisms, the psychotic exuberance of a man who believes he’ll get beamed up into space once he transcends this material world – they had it all covered. So, is this a terrifying glimpse into a future where we can’t even trust our own sensory information? Perhaps. But Ume did spend about 3 months working on it and hired a Tom Cruise impersonator. So while it’s possible, it’s definitely not easy. Unless people have an awful lot of time on their hands. Which they do. So yes, in short, we are indeed doomed. But in the meantime, we can still enjoy the TikToks that come out of it.

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Diet Home.

I’ve heard a lot about London property prices, and from what I’ve gathered, it seems that they’re rather high. I knew that already on an intellectual level, but this really drives the point home. A million-pound house that Peter Crouch couldn’t even lie down sideways in – I know people say you pay a fortune for a shoe cupboard in London, but this is taking the piss. Or so I thought. Then I got a look inside, and it actually looks pretty unreal. I can’t tell if they just hired a very talented photographer, but it actually looks a bit, well, roomy? Sure, it’s a bit on the cosy side, but what’s wrong with that? Perfect for those winter nights stretching out in front of your log burning fire. Just don’t stretch out too much obviously. And if you do, just make sure you’re facing the right way. It’s just hit the market, so if you’ve got a spare million quid and fancy feeling like you’re Indiana Jones in The Temple of Doom when the walls start closing in, then this could be your new dream home.

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Naan O'Clock.

There’s nothing quite like the agonizing euphoria that comes with eating a properly hot curry. Sweat pouring down your face, eyes watering, snot streaming, nursing a pint of cobra while insisting that you don’t regret ordering it and are very much enjoying your dinner – it’s simply the king of cuisines and I won’t hear any arguments to the contrary. But this might be going too far. Japanese carb crafter Yukiko Morita has expanded his range of bread-based wears to include ‘NAAAAN Time clocks’, which are fully-functional clocks made of actual naan bread treated with an antimicrobial voodoo spell that somehow prevents them from going mouldy or stale. As you might have clocked, the pieces are inspired by Salvador Dali’s The Persistence of Memory painting. Except these are less Salvador Dali and more ‘I’ll have some more dal please’. They do look delicious though. Although personally I think I’ll wait for the hotly anticipated release of the patent-pending roti radio.

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Call of Fruity.

This seems to happen with remarkable frequency. When writing dozens of previous coolsh*ts, I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to include a story about a food replacing a household item. But now all of a sudden, the universe has hit me with a dirty double. It’s like waiting for a bus and then 2 come. Except this is far more important. You may be familiar with the concept of a banana phone, but a banana PS5 controller is probably a new one to you. Sony have filed a patent to develop technology that will be able to detect “passive non-luminous objects” to allow random household items to be used as controllers. Naturally, they’re kicking things off with a banana. Using a “trained learning model”, a camera will distinguish the locations of users’ fingers to map out virtual buttons. So now teens can mercilessly slaughter hordes of bloodthirsty Nazi zombies, and then reward themselves with a post-massacre hit of potassium without even having to stand up. Because health is wealth, and children are the future, man.

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A Little Con Descending.

Full disclosure, I think I may have stolen that title from the punchline of a joke about a dwarf escaping prison. I’m a thief, lock me up. Although if you do lock me up, I might get a lovely view of Banksy’s new painting out my window. And I’d been meaning to read more and do more push-ups but haven’t been able to find the time, so who’s the real winner? Being the master of self-promo that he undoubtedly is, you’ve probably already seen Banksy’s latest piece. But what you might have missed is this BTS video he released documenting the making of it. “So? What’s so special about that?”, I hear you ask. Well, if you would shut up for a moment, I’ll tell you. This isn’t any old BTS video – it features the one and only, eternal afroed painting phenom, Bob Ross. If you don’t know him, get to know. University students have spent countless hours monging out while observing his beautiful brushstrokes and listening to the soothing sounds of his voice. No? Just me? Anyway, I never thought I’d see him commentating over graffiti, so this is a real treat.

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I figured I’d round this week’s coolsh*t off by leaving you on some good, old-fashioned positivity. I’m probably quite a cynical person, but this was enough to bring a fleeting moment of joy even to my embittered soul. Well, not really, but I did quite like it. In an attempt to cheer people up for having to live near Portland, a hillside along Oregon’s Highway 18 has been designed to greet passers-by with a massive smiley face in the forest. The larch trees have been organized in such way that during autumn, their needles turn yellow, while the firs stay green, thus creating this cheerful fella. When asked why they did this, Hampton Lumber basically just said “for a laugh, really.” Apparently it’s actually an incredibly time-consuming and inefficient reforestation method, but let’s just ignore that. It’ll be in view for the next 30-50 years warming the hearts of lonesome travellers. Then the trees will be hacked down and taken to the sawmill to be turned into paper. Hmm, that’s not a very smiley ending after all, is it? Maybe just go watch some more Tom Cruise TikToks instead.

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