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Volume 344

We’re helping you save some money with this week’s coolsh*t. We’ve got affordable android art, homemade hoops, and a chance to sack off rent for a year by moving into an outer-space simulated suite.

The Sims: Mars Edition.

If you’ve grown tired of your current dwellings, this offer may be of interest to you. How would you like to go live on Mars for a year? Yeah? Great! Now how would you like to go live in a 3D-printed simulation of Mars? What do you mean ‘no?’. Well you’ve committed now, it’s too late to back out – go pack your bags and say goodbye to your family. Since it isn’t yet possible to live on Mars, NASA are launching the Mars Dune Alpha project to offer four lucky individuals the chance to have about as close an experience as possible by housing them in a 1700-square-foot habitat 3D printed by ICON that simulates the Martian surface. As well as the obvious difficulties of living in a box for a year, the crew members will be faced with challenges such as “resource limitations, equipment failure, communication delays and other environmental stressors”. And at some point some little green fellas with pointy ears are going to start firing ray guns at them. Get your applications in now.

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AI Art.

We’ve mentioned art that has been made at the non-existent hands of AI in the past, but typically all examples have been the product of research studies conducted in universities by pointy-heads in lab coats. However, the world of AI art is being democratised. In other words, you can now get a robot-made canvas on the cheap. Ben Kovalis, Eyal Fisher and Guy Haimovitz have recently launched ‘Artifly’, which allows users to choose a selection of artwork that fits their style, and then an advanced algorithm will create a personal artwork within minutes. The real clincher, though, is that it only costs about 20 quid. Critics have argued that this is detrimental to the art community, and that languishing artists will struggle to afford their cigarettes and espressos as a consequence. And, in fairness, they might have a point. But I’d be lying if I said a computer-generated oil painting didn’t slightly pique my interest.

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One of the truly great things about football is how little equipment you need to play it. The only real prerequisites are a ball, feet, and then if you’ve got a couple jumpers for goalposts then that’s a bonus. This is an advantage football has over almost any other sport. For example, if you practice jiu-jitsu without an opponent then you simply look a lunatic writhing around on the floor. However, creative house New York Sunshine and Reebok have attempted to remedy this issue for basketball, through the art of thrifting. They created this playable basketball sculpture using upcycled materials, featuring hoops at three different heights – so children and people who are crap at basketball can have a go too. The sculpture itself is only temporary, but is intended to have lasting effects, as it is being used to launch Reebok’s new ‘Courting Greatness’ app, a digital tool that utilizes augmented reality to help players map out court features anywhere – on walls, fences, parking lots and alleyways. So now kids will be able to play basketball basically wherever, presumably to the delight of other residents around the world.

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Some people say art is elitist, snobbish, and difficult for regular people to engage with. This bloke agrees, so he decided to put his new exhibition underwater. No oxygen tank, no entry. Well, unless you hold your breath, but nobody’s taking that risk just for some soggy statues. Obviously, I’m mostly joking. In fairness, the exhibition is something to behold, featuring over 90 sculptures that range from foliage to human figures, aiming to reflect on man’s relationship to nature. Far from meddling with the state of nature, Taylor is a former diving instructor and makes a point of using natural materials to cultivate seabeds where marine life can repopulate. His previous works in Spain and France were successful in increasing biomass upwards of 200%. Now, this latest exhibition is in, of all places, Ayia Napa. So if the 20-something-year-olds get tired of drinking out of fishbowls while doing handstands, they can go take a look at some lovely sculptures for an afternoon.

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Bish Bash Bosch.

I used to think dishwashers were a bit of a luxury, but then I lived in a student house. As it turns out, if you’re a third-year civil engineer, unless some sort of machine does your dishes for you, then they will be left to fester for months upon months. Clearly, this is a terrible way to engineer civility in the household. However, Heatworks have released a new product that may be able to spare students up and down the country from having to make passive aggressive comments to one another while passing in the corridor. Introducing the Tetra, a plumbing-free countertop dishwasher. You just plug it in to a socket, pour in some water, and off it goes. Granted, that sounds like a recipe for some severe electrocutions, but we have it on good authority that it’s probably mostly safe. But I know what you’re thinking: “that’s great and all, but where am I going to steam my lobster?”. Fret not, as it’s also marketed as being able to wash fruit, cook crustaceans, and even clean hats. So enjoy your thermidor, whack on your smartest fedora, and hit the town in the knowledge that you’ll return home to some shimmeringly clean cutlery.

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Garm Alarm.

It would appear that the phenomenon that causes a sizeable chunk of the youth population to want to look like the people they see in music videos has been a ubiquitous feature of modern society ever since music videos came into existence. Granted, it’s likely got quite a bit more expensive. Getting a bowl cut to match John Lennon probably didn’t set you back as much as trying to dress up like 2 Chainz. However, droppTV, a new shoppable video streaming app, is attempting to make it just that little bit easier. The app allows users to shop from music videos, as an algorithm is able to detect items of clothing in real time. So now you can know exactly which clothes you would never be able to afford. But at least you can also know which clothes you need to get a cheap knock-off of. And, at long last, you can discover where Pitbull copped this fetching footy top, white skinny jean and boat shoe combo. Thank heavens.

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