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Volume 334

Summer is here, let’s celebrate with some coolsh*t. We’re bringing you death-defying dips, lunar whips, and sea-cleaning ships. Plus there’s a trip down memory lane for anyone who’s had the misfortune of coming into contact with a Mitre football.


The sun’s out, beer gardens are open, and the Euros are just around the corner – summer of 2021 has well and truly begun. So why not kick it off with a terrifying swim in a transparent pool suspended between two skyscrapers? Because nothing says summer like being slightly scared for your life. The first of its kind, London’s new ‘Sky Pool’ opened this week, giving Londoners the chance to briefly step away from big city life with a relaxing paddle 115 feet up in the air. The pool holds 400 tonnes of water and is 25-metres-long, but only 5-metres-wide – so I don’t think it’s the type of pool where you’re likely to encounter many old ladies in swimming caps doing lengths. Instead, it looks more like it’ll provide a photo-op for influencers. Bet some of them can’t even swim. Oh well, paddling pool in the back garden it is then.

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Although we can now get to the moon, it’s not terribly easy for astronauts to get about once they’re up there. Because of that, only about 5% of the surface of the moon has been explored by humans. This week, Lockheed Martin and General Motors have committed to getting astronauts some wheels so they can see the remaining 95%. And maybe do some lunar joy riding while they’re up there. GM do make the Corvette after all, so I’m picturing something a little like that. When discussing the difficulties of designing the rover, the project’s lead Madhu Raghavan said, “The biggest difference is, when you design for the Moon, the force of gravity is different and has to be taken into account.” You mean to tell me that gravity’s different on the moon? You don’t say? Thank Christ he realised that early doors. I give it 3 weeks until Elon Musk reveals his plans to build a slightly bigger, slightly cooler, autonomous, electric moon rover – just coincidentally, of course.

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If you’ve played football at any level, you’ve likely felt the indescribable sting of being struck on your bare skin with the dreaded Mitre ball. If you haven’t, you’d probably think that a ball is a ball, how could any particular one hurt so much more than the others? But trust me, it does. Especially on a freezing cold Sunday morning. Ancient lore has it that the tears of a dragon are woven into the seams. But in spite of all that, they carry a certain wistful nostalgia for most people. So it’s somewhat appropriate that they’ve been immortalised as works of art by Art of Football. The London-based creative studio took 5 of the most pain-inflicting Mitre balls they could get their hands on and created a collection drawing inspiration from the likes of Henri Matisse and Keith Haring. Quality player was Matisse, wand of a left foot on him. If you want a daily throwback to simpler times of sore thighs, cardboard shinpads and parachute kits, the collection is being auctioned next month for Football Beyond Borders, so get involved.

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Plastic Patrol.

Every minute, 17 tonnes of plastic waste is dumped into the oceans. And only half of that is from cosmetic surgeons in Beverly Hills, so it turns out the rest of us have some responsibility too. Recently introduced by non-profit organisation SeaCleaners, the ‘Manta’ is a giant hybrid sailboat designed with the sole purpose of cleaning up the oceans. Granted, relying on a solitary boat to get the billions of tonnes of plastic out of the ocean is a bit like giving one bloke a litter-picker and a bin bag and telling him to go do all the cleaning up on the Monday morning after Glastonbury. However, it’s a start. And it could lead the way for other metaphorical blokes with metaphorical litter-pickers. Then all of a sudden things are looking slightly more optimistic. Plus, the Manta alone can collect up to 3 tonnes of waste per hour. But what’s really remarkable is that it’s powered primarily by the plastic that it gobbles up and then transforms into energy. You can’t say that about the bloke with the litter-picker. And if you can, that’s not something to be celebrated.

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Buzz Off.

In the past, if you could hear an annoying buzzing on the bus then it was probably the spill over from an obnoxious fellow passenger’s music being played at such a volume as to make it impossible for their headphones to contain. However, now it might be a load of bees. I’m honestly not sure which is worse. In an effort to encourage biodiversity, Leicester City Council have launched new ‘bee-friendly bus stops’. Each of the ‘Living Roof’ shelters has been topped with a mix of wildflowers and Sedum plants – both of which bees apparently go mental for. So will this signal the start of a new era of cleaner, greener cities? Maybe. But there could be a sting in the tale. Plus it probably won’t be too long before some pissed-up students climb up there to ‘play with the bees’. But keep an eye (and ear) out, these could be coming to a bus stop near you in the not-so-distant future.

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We’re wrapping up this week’s coolsh*t with a special mention for StrongMen, a charity for bereaved men run by those 2 naked blokes you can see above on the left and in the middle. New research commissioned by StrongMen has found that 47% of men don’t share their real emotions due to a lack of confidence and 1 in 4 men bottle up their feelings, suffering from the age-old gender stereotype of it being unmanly to share them. So StrongMen are doing something about that – by getting their kit off. And they’re encouraging you to do so as well. They launched their #BareYourself social media campaign this week calling on all men to, you guessed it, ‘bare themselves’ to raise awareness of how important it is to share, talk and connect with friends and family. You don’t have to go the full Monty, but if you want to get involved, click the link below for more details.

#BareYourself Info