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Volume 345

Despite us still reeling from the Euros, football is now well and truly back. This week’s coolsh*t is celebrating its return with an exhibition about the beautiful game, as well as some android athletics, and a tribute to a proper comedic genius.

Working Holiday.

For a lot of people, the idea of having to do some work while enjoying their well-earned summer holiday sounds like some sort of hellish nightmare. For Banksy, however, that appears to be his idea of a perfect British getaway – or ‘Spraycation’, as he’s called it. Some Banksy-esque works had been popping up in various seaside towns across East Anglia over the last week or so, and now he’s finally laid claim to them with this new video documenting his efforts. One can only imagine the frosty atmosphere as he left his family in the car while he popped out to do yet another painting. Thankfully kids have iPads these days anyway, I suppose. But considering he tries so hard to retain anonymity, Banksy really is a PR machine, isn’t he? A particular highlight of this video was a fairly pissed off-looking woman declaring one particular piece as “mindless vandalism”. Although, coming from her, that may actually be the glowing endorsement he was after.

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Oh, Balls.

Football and artistry are inextricably bound together. Or at least they are whenever Alex Iwobi gets near the ball. Tottenham Hotspur have recognised this connection by opening up a gallery dedicated to the art of football right outside their ground. They need to fill all those new seats somehow, I guess. Football’s being gentrified? Never! In fairness, the gallery actually does look pretty interesting, exhibiting 17 works that utilize or represent footballs in some way. Saying that, you can’t help but feel they’ve left themselves open to a bit of mockery here. I don’t know, perhaps I’m too cynical. Although they have decided to call the exhibition ‘Balls’, which is presumably to foreshadow what every Spurs fan will be saying once Harry Kane finally completes his move to Man City on the last day of the transfer window.

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Hardcore Parkour.

For fear of sounding like a broken record, I shan’t be too apocalyptic in my reaction to this latest video from Boston Dynamics. I’m trying incredibly hard to stop going on about this bunch, and it will happen – but not today. I’m sorry, but they just keep releasing such wild sh*t that makes me give my toaster a suspicious side-eye glance. In their latest effort to freak out the internet, they offered a demonstration of the athletic ability of two of their Atlas robots by getting them to absolutely merk a parkour course. After a faultless performance and a backflip or two, these cold metal monsters even had the gumption to do a little showboating. It’s always hard to know whether to be horrified or impressed by these videos, but I’ve seen too many sci-fi films to not at least have a couple questions about the end goal here. Maybe I’m just being hysterical. Although, having just taken a look at the comments, I saw one from a gentleman named ‘RichHomeSteve’, who suggests, “We should put rocket launchers on them”. What a bright idea – nice one, Steve. Someone show that man a Terminator film, pronto.

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Right on Track.

Having slapped their infamous box logo on everything ranging from bricks to fire extinguishers to nunchuks – there is almost no item imaginable that couldn’t at any moment be transformed by Supreme into the stuff of sweet hypebeast dreams. With that being said, this one did come a little out of left field. Forget LV and North Face – for this particular collaboration, Supreme have partnered up with the Metropolitan Transport Authority. And they’ve done so by absolutely smothering the L-Train in logos. How long before a sickeningly rich 12-year-old tries to buy this off eBay? If their goal was to get attention, mission accomplished. But I do think I’d be slightly miffed if I’d been left waiting in the sweltering underground for a train to arrive 40 minutes late, and when it pulls up it’s got ‘Supreme’ plastered on it right from locomotive to caboose. Now that really is taking the piss.

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Meta Pranks.

How better to convince prospective customers of the efficacy of your product than playing a prank on the whole world? In one of the most needlessly complex practical jokes the world has ever seen, Nvidia, a graphics processor company, got a phony version of their CEO to deliver a keynote speech. And this wasn’t just some shoddy lookalike – they utilized their own technology to digitally manufacture a virtual replica of the boss. What’s perhaps most impressive is that the replica was only on screen for certain parts of the speech, interspersed with the living, breathing humanoid man himself, and still now, nobody is able to work out which parts are which. In a blog post explaining how they managed it, Nvidia explained that they “did a full face and body scan to create a 3D model, then trained an AI to mimic his gestures and expressions and applied some AI magic to make his clone realistic”. Fair enough, that all makes sense – but I didn’t expect the word ‘magic’ to come up in their explanation. Now I think even they’re just blagging it.

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I wasn’t sure whether to include this or not, as it’s obviously slightly different to the usual tone of coolsh*t. But after seeing the reaction to the recent death of Sean Lock, it felt appropriate. Considering there are few things more divisive than comedy – and that he wasn’t exactly one to mince his words or give a toss about how people might react to them – the fact that he was pretty much universally agreed upon as being kidney-achingly hilarious is quite remarkable. It would take a stoic made of stone to not piss themselves at any collection of his ‘best bits’ on YouTube. So that’s exactly what we’ll leave you with – enjoy your next 10 minutes. Warning: the poignancy is ramped up just 30 seconds into the video when he’s asked what he would like his obituary to say and replies, “I don’t care, I’ll be dead”, before amending his answer to “Noooooo!”. A proper icon of British comedy. Rip.

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