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Volume 379

Tight deadline? We can help with that – although you will have to be locked up. This week’s coolsh*t is bringing you anti-procrastination imprisonment, a stratospheric slingshot, and the key to immortality. Plus, as always, the latest episode of the coolsh*t podcast.

Live Forever.

As a wise sage known by the name of Liam Gallagher once said: “you are not gonna live forever”. But how wrong he was. Although I suppose he was only singing Noel’s lyrics, to be fair. Plus he was probably so gacked out he didn’t have a clue what was coming out (or going into) his mouth. Anyway, Somnium Space are a company seeking to allow people to (sort of) achieve immortality by recording their conversations, speaking voice, mannerisms and movements to create a virtual avatar of them that can exist in perpetuity within the Somnium metaverse. And here I was thinking Kombucha was the elixir of eternal life. Once this software becomes sufficiently complex, people would be able to have ostensibly ‘real’ conversations with their deceased loved ones beyond the grave. Which is great in some ways, but also means society will probably never have a place for a Derek Acorah-type figure again, which is an utter tragedy.

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The Iceman Cometh.

Interactive billboards are hardly anything new. And installing a motor on a couple bits of cardboard may not seem all that revolutionary. However, the purpose of a billboard is, ultimately, to get people to look at it, and this one in Salford does that remarkably well. To promote the release of ‘Freeze the Fear with Wim Hof’, BBC Creative have created a frosty 3D billboard complete with a shivering Lee Mack and Holly Willoughby. Perhaps more to the point though, you’ve got The Iceman himself front and centre with his kit off having an ice bath without a care in the world. What a genuinely strange bloke – in a good way. The billboard also features icicles made from foam attached to the bottom of the frame, the sound of blowing wind, to make cold atmosphere of the display a multi-sensory experience. Sick. Really makes you wonder why they released it just as we’re heading into summer, though – but we don’t have to talk about that.

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Banged Up.

Working under conditions of imprisonment doesn’t tend to make for a great office environment. Although, I suppose some people feel like that whenever they go to work anyway. Not me, though. And I’m not just saying that because our CEO is sat just behind me. However, some people are willingly placing themselves under lock and key in order to meet their deadlines. The Manuscript Café is a place to help writers stop taking espresso and roll up breaks every 30 seconds, as the staff are instructed to refuse to let you leave until you have completed your work. Upon entry, you hand a form to the staff detailing exactly what you need to get done, and until you achieve just that, you will simply not be allowed to leave, no ifs or buts. That would create quite the conundrum if someone had a genuine family emergency. Oh well, I’m sure someone else can give Auntie Susan a kidney.

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Getting On My Wick.

If you don’t know, Hackney Wick FC are becoming a semi-famous semi-pro club. This week, they announced that they will be sponsored by Netflix’s Top Boy next season. They were founded by former gang member Bobby Kasanga in 2015 and place a particular focus on community engagement and uniting the local diverse groups. As such, a Netflix sponsorship deal isn’t necessarily the most obvious collaboration, and it would have been easy for this to come out a little naff and forced. However, Hackney and the local area is placed at the core of every aspect of the deal. The kits were designed by LARUMB founder and designer Foday Dumbara, who is born and raised in Hackney and continues to work out of there today as his reputation continues to grow. This deal has already created a stir in the football world, with rumours now emerging that Dulwich Hamlet might make a similar sponsorship deal with the new John Wayne Gacy Tapes series.

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Make It Make Sense.

The world is a confusing place. And, apparently, that growing confusion is felt no more acutely than in Burger King restaurants. Those kitchens are mainly staffed by stoned teenagers, to be fair. In a follow up to their ‘Confusing Times’ campaign that surrounded the release of the notoriously decent Vegan Whopper, BK have just released ‘Even More Confusing Times’, which focusses on the quandary created by their vegan nuggets. And, once again, I have it on good authority that the nuggets are double decent – hence the confusion, because a world in which vegan nuggets taste better than chicken nuggets is a very strange world indeed. Although Jamie Oliver proved that nuggets are mainly beak and arsehole, so maybe it shouldn’t be all that surprising.

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Long Shot.

As it turns out, blasting a rocket into space isn’t terribly good for the environment. Bloody hell, this is vegan nuggets all over again. NASA have recognised the need to remedy this issue of unsustainability, so they’ve come up with a fancy new innovation. Great big spinny thing, init. Also known as the SpinLaunch, which is a rocket-free alternative that is being described as a ‘Space Slingshot’. This is proof that slingshots aren’t only used by people in Kent to hunt ferrets, they can also be used to jettison cargo out of our atmosphere. SpinLaunch says that its system could reduce fuel usage by four times and costs by ten times. Mercifully, it’s currently only being used on non-human cargo, which is extremely obvious, but didn’t occur to me until I read it just now.

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The Coolsh*t Podcast - Ep. 8.

Check out this week’s episode of the podcast for some chat about Netflix’s decline and the potential return of piracy – which would have been included in this week’s stories, but it was quite hard to spin as a positive (particularly if you’re Netflix). However, it’s still worth listening to. I wonder if those “You wouldn’t steal a car” videos will make a comeback…

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