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Volume 362

Yep, everything is slightly going to sh*t (again). Take your mind off the Omicron doom and gloom with some coolsh*t. This week we’ve got terribly timed tourism ads, film feasts, and some tracks to help you on the track.

Certified Slower Boy.

I’m not sure if the scientific method is exactly watertight here, but listening to Drake’s music may be causing you to run slower. I did wonder if this was perhaps because people were having to slow down to skip the track whenever one of his songs came on, but apparently it’s not. On a very basic intuitive level, it does stand to reason that different music can cause you to run at different speeds. For example, people who regularly listen to jump-up drum n bass often run at practically pavement-scorching speeds. Granted, this is because they’re usually running away from the police, but that’s neither here nor there. The study concluded that the Canadian crooner caused the greatest drop in pace, followed by BTS, Nicki Minaj, and Katy Perry. On the flip side, people ran faster when listening to Kanye West, Cardi B, Rihanna, Britney Spears, Harry Styles and Travis Scott. But the overall winner responsible for the greatest increase in speeds was… Beyonce. So put on Single Ladies and go for a jog – because science said so.

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Happy (ish) Meals.

Celebrities getting paid a fortune to be pictured scranning some fast food they would never normally permit safe travel past their gullet isn’t exactly something new. However, it does seem to have gone a little bananas of late. Not literally, that would be far too healthy. This has been dubbed ‘Snoop Dogg Syndrome’ due to the colossal success of Snoop’s Just Eat partnership giving rise to a number of copycats (or dogs). A&W have taken a different approach, juxtaposing the glitz and glamour of the A-List with the everyday lives of regular people, by getting some of their employees to recreate some famous celebrity poses. It would be a bit of a back-handed compliment getting asked to take part in this particular campaign – “Susan, we think you’d be the perfect model for this, because you look so bloody regular – nobody could ever possibly imagine you’re a celebrity! Now get back to work.”. The campaign is meant to highlight some of the people who keep fast food chains afloat on a daily basis, as well as shedding light on the industry’s current labour shortage. Yeah, all that, and it means they don’t have to spend millions booking Mariah Carey. But mainly all that nice, benevolent stuff, obvs.

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Movie Munch.

Still on the lookout for those last couple Christmas presents? Know a cinephile gourmand? Say no more. Just get them a rotisserie chicken and a Hot Fuzz DVD. Or, even better, you could get them this cookbook, which features recipes from 46 renowned chefs, based on iconic films. ‘Cooking with Scorsese and Others’ is inspired by, you guessed it, Martin Scorsese, who is apparently the consensus GOAT when it comes to using food as a cinematic technique. The book features dishes from food-based scenes that stand out in our collective memory, including Ponyo’s ramen, the pizza from Home Alone, the iconic Cubano in Chef, and even the elaborate Christmas feasts in Harry Potter. Some recipes are very on the nose, while some adopt a more abstract approach, taking cues from cinematography, set design or the emotions felt during a certain scene. Not sure how that’ll work. Just a prawn cocktail with a couple tears from the jilted Lord Farquaad at the end of Shrek, perhaps. I just hope there’s nothing from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Those little orange freaks are truly terrifying.

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Runny Nose.

We thought the time of prattling on about a clever new type of mask had mercifully become a thing of the past, yet here we are. Saying that, this one is quite impressive, and potentially has some fairly useful implications. A team of scientists at Japan’s Kyoto Prefectural University has created a fluorescent dye that glows under ultraviolet light if it detects the virus that causes Covid. How? Ostrich eggs. They created a solution of antibodies extracted from the eggs that would react to the spike proteins on the coronavirus and activate the dye. The lead scientist, Yasuhiro Tsukamoto, was lucky/unlucky enough to discover that the mask works when he was wearing it, saw it change colour, then tested positive on a PCR test. If these masks were to become popularised, they could do a great deal to limit asymptomatic transmission – if they actually work, that is (they’re still being tested). Imagine sitting next to someone on the tube and seeing their masks slowly begin to change colour. And, before you even say it, Tsukamoto confirmed that “No animals are bullied or killed in the process”. “Bullied” is an interesting choice of word. I wasn’t too worried that a bunch of ostriches were being called nerds or given wedgies.

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Campsite Couture.

Festivals are great, but they’re often left on a Monday morning looking like a tent cemetery. Indeed, the sheer amount of waste that festivals produce is staggering. At its peak in 2015, around 11 tonnes of camping equipment was left behind at Glastonbury. That doesn’t justify a particular festival that shall not be named switching to a fully plant-based food menu and depriving me of a soul-restoring bacon sandwich, but it does at least go some way to explaining the logic behind such a move. Actually, no it doesn’t – nobody should be forced to eat Shakshuka first thing in the morning after 3 hours sleep. But I digress. Molly Sellars is a designer who identified this wastage problem and has incorporated it into her latest range of technical outerwear created from camping leftovers. And the clothes actually look proper. At least they certainly don’t look like they were recently home to a sweaty teenager for the weekend. Although, often many of the tents still standing by the end of a festival have become little more than a toilet with a zip-up door, so hopefully she hasn’t repurposed any of those ones.

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Stockholm Syndrome.

Timing really is everything. Had this ad by the Swedish Tourism Board come out a couple weeks ago, it may be lauded as a tremendous success. However, with the world now getting thoroughly Omicronned and a pending trip abroad no longer looking like a terribly good idea, it’s likely that travel ads may fall slightly on deaf ears for the time being. So, we thought we should at least give it some credit in coolsh*t. I’m sure the people of Sweden will be overjoyed with this consolation prize. The Visit Sweden campaign is designed to show the world that there is more to Sweden than meatballs, ABBA and IKEA. Although it doesn’t help that many of the stunning places one might wish to visit are algorithmically exiled to the 7th page of Google beneath IKEA’s absurdly extensive product range. Turns out we’ve been brushing our toilets with something that shares its name with a beautiful lake. Whoops. Sorry, Sweden.

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