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Volume 367

As January draws mercifully to a close, assuage the last of those blues with some coolsh*t. This week we’ve got a wurst case scenario, a rubbish tennis court, and an overdue aeronautical apology. We're sorry, it won’t happen again…

Sausage Dog.

You ought to know that this particular story was suggested by someone in the ZAK office. And when I say suggested, I mean they threatened to resign if it didn’t make it into coolsh*t this week. As tempting as that was, we thought it would be best to relent and keep them gainfully employed. Granted, tales of drowning dogs don’t usually make for good coolsh*t fodder, but this was something of an exception. Off the coast of Hampshire, Millie the jack russell-whippet had become stranded on some mudflaps that were about to be engulfed by water. She defied the efforts of police, firefighters and coastguards to rescue her until some quick thinking from the emergency services saw them attach a sausage to a drone. A local woman bought some sausages from Aldi, cooked them up, and one solitary sizzling sausage was suspended above Millie to lead her to safety, where she was then reunited with her owner. An owner, not for nothing, who probably ought to think about investing in a lead. And maybe a drone and some more emergency sausages, just in case. But alas, a happy ending. What a rollercoaster of emotions that was.

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Love It.

It’s now pretty much universally agreed upon that anything recycled is great – besides jokes and chewing gum. However, that slight glow you get from fulfilling your civic duty whenever you chuck a coke can in the green bin could be significantly amplified if you were to be given a better idea of the results of your minor act of nobility. Especially if it turns out that your rubbish has been miraculously transformed into a tennis court. Especially especially if that tennis court just so happens to be floating on the Great Barrier Reef. Adidas and Parley for the Oceans have made that fairly specific scenario a reality, by building a court made entirely of recycled plastics that were previously polluting the ocean. And now it’s going to be open to the public. Unless you’re unvaccinated, of course. Take the moustache off, Novak, we know it’s you – this is just getting sad. No, not really – it’s actually been donated to a local school. And I’m sure no children will be shoved into the ocean. Hopefully that school’s PE teacher is paying very close attention to the headcount.

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Taking Off – again…

I feel like an apology is owed. If you read last week’s coolsh*t, you may remember a story about a new flying car purportedly set to revolutionise the automotive and aeronautical industries. That seemed grand at the time, but compared to this flying car, that other one suddenly looks incredibly tinpot. This is an optimus prime example of how fast technology moves these days. Last week, that car looked miraculously futuristic; now, I can see that it’s basically just a big drone. Alright, that’s a little harsh – it was still pretty good. Just not as good. Although I do feel a little bad for that other company having now been one-upped in a mere matter of days. That must be how the other guy competing with Alexander Graham Bell to build the first telephone felt when it suddenly started ringing. But onwards and upwards – literally – Klein Vision’s flying car has just been granted an airworthiness certificate by the Slovak transport authority, who are world renowned for their stringent rules and regulations. The ‘AirCar’ is capable of reaching speeds of over 100mph (160km/h) and heights of more than 8,000ft (2,500m). And, crucially, unlike last week’s pitiful excuse for a flying car, it actually has functioning wheels, which are typically seen as a fairly essential component of any decent car. I really should have noticed something was missing…

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Training Kit.

How many times have you been looking at a seat on the underground and thought, “I’d like to wear that”? That’s right, zero. At least I hope it’s zero. Although if you were in the insane minority who have had such a notion come careening into consciousness, you may have been on to something. Arsenal and Adidas are a match made in heaven; like Ant & Dec, they just get each other. This latest effort, in collaboration with Transport for London, is just one further demonstration of that understanding. They’ve just released this collection of pre-match kits, inspired by the seat covers on the Piccadilly line, which operates through Arsenal station. It’s divided opinion thus far, so what do we reckon, cool or sh*t? Although the fact that even the models in the shoot were seemingly unwilling to show their real faces isn’t a good sign…

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Why, Though?

It is perhaps unfair to question the rationale behind any sort of creative endeavour, but this needs to be unpacked a little. Taryn de Vere, an Irish fashion designer, has decided to dress up as a different item in her house for every day of January. Trying to stop smoking starts to look like a relatively pedestrian new year’s resolution by comparison. Outfits thus far have included a carton of milk, toilet cleaner, curry powder, sunflower oil, gravy granules, and, naturally, a can of Guinness. Obviously, this is a little mental, but she did set herself the rule at the start that she wasn’t allowed to buy any new materials that weren’t already in her house, which makes it decidedly more impressive (and arguably a bit more mad). The reasoning behind it, de Vere claims, was that she anticipated having to spend a lot of time at home during January due to Covid. Saying that, this was the type of weird sh*t people were doing back in April 2020 when we didn’t have a clue what was going on and everyone had gone potty from spending a measly couple weeks at home (ah, how naïve we were). Now, though, there’s no excuse. So let’s celebrate this as what will hopefully be the last demonstration of bizarre, albeit quite impressive, lockdown hobbies.

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Being sufficiently serious about real issues isn’t easy, and I don’t particularly want to end this week’s coolsh*t on a downer. Saying that, we did start with a potential jack-russell shaped watery grave, so almost anything’s more cheerful than that. Promoting the new series of Ricky Gervais’ After Life, Netflix and suicide prevention charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) have partnered up to install ‘Benches of Hope’ across the UK. The benches refer to a recurring scene across all three seasons of After Life – the park bench – and are intended to provide a place for reflection and remembrance. They’ve been installed at 24 locations across the country – but I’ll be shocked if the one in Ashford, Kent isn’t by now covered in spray-painted phalluses and the tag ‘EHAC’ (Egerton Hard Arse Crew). However, with most campaigns being by their very nature ephemeral, this is a neat way of creating something that will continue to stand for many years to come – except in Ashford.

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