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Volume 372

From the Metaverse, to the Hottieverse, to a refusal to reverse – this week’s coolsh*t has it all. We’re also bringing you an inconvenient truth, a hop back in time, and a billionaire actually doing something useful. And if you can’t be arsed to read all that, check out our new podcast.

Where To?

It’s the year 2030. Mark Zuckerberg looks deeply into your eyes and whispers, “let’s go to the beach”. Whoosh. Just like that, a tranquil seaside haven materialises around you – and we don’t even mean the reasonably-priced holiday park type of haven. You can hear the crashing of the waves, you can see the deep blue of the sea, sea, sea, you can… you can… bollocks, it’s frozen again – “Mum, get off the Wi-Fi! I’m trying to explore the Metaverse!”. Soon, this could be a reality. Well, the first part could – I’m not sure what happened at the end there. This week, Mark Zuckerberg revealed ‘Builder Bot’, a prototype that will let you build your own world in the Metaverse just by describing it. So, if you wanted to experience that lovely beach we were talking about earlier, a voice command would immediately prompt the bot to create a virtual 3D landscape of sand and water around you. Just watch out for any Diagon Alley/diagonally snafus when giving the instruction. This sounds impressive, but the jury is still very much out on the idea. The top comment on the article asked if it would be possible to be transported to a world in which Meta doesn’t exist, and the second said some pretty unkind things about Zuckerburg’s mother. Bit harsh… Oh well, more Costa Del Metaverse for the rest of us.

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What Thee Hell?

I don’t know about you, but I think the Hottieverse sounds more interesting than the Metaverse. I’m sure even Zuck would agree. Although I suspect he would feel less comfortable in the Hottieverse – probably just find a nice quiet wall to lean against and nod his head in an attempt to look human. Saying that, he did pass a Captcha test this week to prove, once and for all, that he’s not a robot. Or he’s just a very advanced robot – one or the other. Anyhow, in a move that the big man himself would be proud of, Megan Thee Stallion and AmazeVR have announced the first ever virtual reality concert tour, ‘Enter Thee Hottieverse’. Fans in the US will be able to head to their local cinema, where they will be provided with ‘Hottie Mounted Display’ VR headsets. What with this being the first of its kind, we have no idea how it’ll turn out. So, what do we reckon? Will this catch on? Could it ever compare to the energy of a live concert? Is this exciting, or incredibly naff, a little depressing, and a bit of a cash grab? Time will tell, my fellow hotties…

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Grand Theft Auto: Screwedville.

Gamers have been waiting so long for the new GTA to come out that the existing GTA V map has now been condemned by climate change. Greenpeace and VMLY&R Brazil have used the predictions of real-world experts to demonstrate what the famous Los Santos (which is basically just LA, for anyone unfamiliar) would look like if the world were to be just 3ºC warmer. I know that might sound appealing as you’re reading this during a particularly gloomy, chilly March, but apparently it wouldn’t be as nice as it sounds. The map is playable on the Kings Roleplay server and features floods, dry reservoirs, air pollution, depleted flora and fauna, and, worst of all, the characters had to wear masks all the time. What dystopian hell is this? Oh, never mind, we already did that one. Plus the characters tire easily since just breathing the air would make you feel like a chain-smoking 89-year-old bingo caller. This part of the Metaverse isn’t half as much fun as the Hottieverse.

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The Office.

A titan of industry once said, “You will never work in a place like this again. It’s brilliant. Fact. And you’ll never have another boss like me, someone who’s basically a chilled-out entertainer.” Those were the words of David Brent. As it turns out, the first sentence of that quote was actually rather prophetic, because he was describing an office environment that the world will likely never experience again. Fax machines, dress-down Fridays, tubular fluorescent lighting, briefcases and Filofaxes have swiftly come to look like relics of a bygone, antiquated era – I still don’t even really know what a fax machine does. What’s interesting, though, is how much change has occurred in a relatively short period of time. Steve Ahlgren’s recent photo book was shot in the 90s, but the scenes it pictures are almost unrecognisable from the offices you’ll see today. For example, I just saw a woman walk past whilst talking on her iPhone, sipping an oat milk macchiato, and cradling what I believe was a bichon frise in a little puffer jacket. What a world we’ve created for ourselves.

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Ammo, Not a Ride.

Without wishing to get too political, it would have been frankly bizarre to ignore what’s currently going on in the world. It goes without saying that war and the consequent loss of life is a disaster for all involved. And there are naturally blurred lines over where culpability lies in this instance. Obviously, mainly with Putin, but NATO’s expansion eastwards after promising not to do so didn’t exactly help either. Not that that excuses anything, but it may help explain it – because if you are dealing with a tyrannical nutter, it’s probably not the brightest idea to poke him with a stick and see what he does. However, the one group who are utterly blameless in this conflict, the Ukrainian people themselves, are, tragically, the ones feeling the brunt of its impact. What we have seen, however, is a completely new use of social media in warfare, no better exemplified than through this video of President Volodymyr Zelensky making it clear that he’s still in Ukraine and doesn’t plan on leaving any time soon. Considering social media can often feel like a cesspit of clickbait and weird dances, this is a remarkably powerful way to make a statement to the whole world. And the edits with Dr. Dre playing in the background are pretty decent, too.

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Special Delivery.

Don’t ask, don’t get. Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov was the latest beneficiary of that old adage, after he requested – or, more accurately, pretty much demanded – that Elon Musk provide Ukraine with Starlink internet to make communication easier. It was a slightly loaded request and he would have been a bit of a d*ck to decline, but Mr. Musk did indeed duly oblige, and within a matter of mere hours, Starlink was up and running in Ukraine with more terminals to be delivered a couple days later to boost the signal. When you’re as famous as Elon Musk is, any act of magnanimity leaves you liable to accusations of opportunistic good-feeling-seeking. Although if Elon really cared what people thought of him he probably wouldn’t have called that diver a paedo. Besides, whatever the motivation happened to be, if it reaps equally advantageous consequences for people who desperately need help, does it make a jot of difference whether Elon Musk also wants people to think he’s a neat guy? Fair play.

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The Coolsh*t Podcast.

The coolsh*t editors’ meeting: what’s cool, and what’s just sh*t? Listen to us waffle on as we worked out what made this week’s coolsh*t cut – and what didn’t. Apparently winning the lottery twice (the odds of doing which are 1 in 2 quadrillion) doesn’t qualify as coolsh*t. Who knew?

Listen to the Podcast