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Volume 369

Judgement day is upon us. Well, not quite, but it’s best to be prepared, just in case. This week’s coolsh*t is here to help you dress for doomsday. We’ve also got blurry billboards, AI adverts, and (arguably) a 24-karat load of crock. Or is it artistic genius? You decide...

Midas Well?

We’ve seen some wacky art over the past couple years of coolsh*t. Remember those monoliths that started popping up all over the place last year? Or the frozen neanderthal in Minneapolis? Bananas cello-taped to walls were all the rage for a while. And who could forget that glorious period of time when a couple ‘artists’ were quibbling over who was the first to invent a non-existent sculpture? We’ve got a new addition to that list, as this gold cube appeared in Central Park this week. Weighing in at over 400 pounds, the cube is made entirely of 24-karat gold and is worth a whopping $11.7m USD. At least this one actually has some objective value, I suppose. The artist behind the piece, Niclas Castello, said he wanted to “create something that is beyond our world—that is intangible.” I mean, I guess he’s kind of done that – but gold is entirely of our world, and something that you can kick and break your foot on isn’t exactly intangible. So, what do we reckon? Art? Or just a colossal waste of time, energy, effort and money? Although if you say the latter, I’m sure the art heads amongst us will explain that you “just don’t get it”.

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You know the environmentalist lobby have started to purloin some real power when even The Dark Knight is thinking about how he can reduce his carbon footprint. This week, Nguyen Dac Chung, a 23-year-old graduate from Hanoi’s University of Architecture, has developed the world’s first fully functioning electric Batmobile. And don’t think for even a moment that this is some poxy concept car – when we say fully functioning, that is precisely what we mean. The Batmobile is currently on exhibit at VAN DARYL, an automotive gallery in Ho Chi Minh City, but it is capable of highway speeds and weighs just 600kg, made largely from 3D-printed materials. What a truly extraordinary achievement. All by a 23-year-old as well. How disheartening, all I developed in my early 20s was anxiety and a Deliveroo addiction.

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Spot the Bot.

By now, many of us have come to accept that it is nigh-on inevitable that a great proportion of us will be replaced in the labour market by machines. However, if there’s one group arrogant enough to think that they might be immune from this great cull, it’s copywriters. Moi? Replaced? Never, the world needeth my creativity. Oh contraire, mon amis. With the Superbowl around the corner, it’s ads galore in the US at the moment, so Adweek have been employing an AI algorithm to write some ads for the event, featuring brands such as Oatly, Amex and Pepsi. They’ve put the android ads side-by-side with humanoid-written pitches in this quiz, and it’s much harder than you might think to tell which is which. I simply chose which ones I’d most like to see, and managed to select the human ads just 6 times out of 10. So, either that means copywriters are doomed, or I have bizarre taste in what makes a good Superbowl ad. Take the quiz for yourself and make up your own mind.

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Apocalypse Attire.

Is this the end of days? Between the pandemic and global instability, it can often feel as if it might be. Fortunately, it’s likely that we’ll all be blissfully unaware when the true apocalypse comes, since we’ll all be plugged into the Metaverse. However, should that day come slightly sooner than expected, it’s best to be ready. Fortunately, Vollebak have got your back. They’re a British clothing company who have gained a reputation for creating innovative outerwear described as “clothes from the future.” Past creations include a solar-powered running jacket, a waterfall-proof puffer, and 100 Year Sweatpants. Now, they’ve turned their attention to the army of the undead, with this jacket built to withstand a zombie apocalypse. It comes equipped with 23 pockets and a rugged material that can endure everything from black lava to flash fires and chemical erosion, thanks to a fibre called polybenzimidazole (PBI), which was first developed by an American scientist during the Cold War. As my old form tutor used to say, “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”. Granted, he was talking about GCSE revision, but the sentiment still stands.

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Should We Go Maccies, Lad?

There reaches a point in every night out when ‘the hunger’ takes over. During this fateful period, foods that would have previously been repulsive become the object of your deepest desires. I’ve seen more than one ‘vegetarian’ dangling donna meat into their hypocritical food holes by 4am. But who am I to judge? We’ve all been there. McDonald’s Sweden have identified a market that I didn’t realise existed: the late-night drunk market. Credit to them, as they’ve understood that it is typically during or just after a state of fairly severe inebriation that a Big Mac suddenly starts to look incredibly appetizing. I’m harbouring a slight grudge against the McDonald’s marketing department at the minute after being swizzed into buying the ‘limited edition’ Chicken Big Mac last week, which tasted EXACTLY how you’d expect it to taste. Which, in fairness, was pretty darn good – but I still feel like I fell victim to the hype, so I’m rather bitter. But letting bygones be bygones, you’ve got to give credit where it’s due. Bra gjort, McDonald’s Sweden.

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Bog Off.

We take a lot of things for granted, but few things more so than the humble toilet seat. You don’t think about it often, but if a big man came round your house and removed all your toilet seats, you’d likely feel as if you’d lost something – at least you would after your morning coffee and fag. The overarching point, though, is that the toilet seat doesn’t get the appreciation it deserves. Rankin and WaterAid are attempting to hammer home that point by launching a pop-up exhibition at the Southbank’s Oxo Gallery, highlighting the “sanitation crisis around the world”. Titled Best Seat in the House, the exhibition features works by 25 artists – including Martin Parr, Boy George, Dame Zandra Rhodes, Daisy Collingridge, Chila Kumari Burman, and Harry Hill – who have all designed bog lids to “celebrate them for the lifesavers they are”. So next time you perch atop your throne, spare a thought for someone who isn’t quite so fortunate.

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