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Volume 392

Which musician would you jettison into the stratosphere? This week’s coolsh*t features some space-bound songbirds, cow-free leather, and a very memey love story. All that, plus the latest episode of the podcast.

The Thick of It.

When EA Sports first said “It’s in the game” in 1993, I doubt even they were expecting something quite this extreme. Apparently, we’ve grown tired of watching football from the bird’s eye view that television cameras currently offer us – we want something entirely more intimate. During a pre-season friendly between AC Milan and 1 F.C. Köln, the players had mics and body cameras attached to their shirts, offering a never-before-seen view of what actually happens on the pitch. And by ‘never-before-seen’, I mean seen loads of times, but just a bit closer. In fairness, the footage is quite something. It certainly helped that Olivier Giroud added to his ever-expanding panoply of unbelievable goals. That man’s grandkids will think he was the greatest player ever if they watch his YouTube highlights. Obviously, this is just a trial – but so was VAR at one point, and look at that now. I imagine the players will be very firmly against this particular change though. It would make it an awful lot more difficult for them to abuse one another. And where’s the fun in that?

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Stories about how couples met each other have become significantly less interesting over the last decade or so. Not that they were ever terribly interesting other than to the people telling the stories, but even from a relatively low starting point, they’ve gone downhill. Now, they rarely go beyond a solitary word, usually ‘Hinge’, ‘Tinder’, or ‘Bumble’ – you get the gist. But all of those dating apps tend to feel a little impersonal and shallow (granted, that’s part of the reason why they’re so popular). Now, A new dating app is attempting to bridge that gap and allow people to make more authentic connections – through memes. Yep, memes. Schmooze is a dating app that matches people based on which memes they find funny. So now couples of the future will be able to have a far more interesting story about how they met. When their son says “Mum, dad, how did you two meet?”, they’ll be able to hold their heads up high, ruffle that little rascal’s hair, and say “We both replied LMAO to a minions meme, no cap”.

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Vegan Pork Pie Hat.

The utility of mushrooms is truly extraordinary. They can make an overwhelmingly umami risotto, expand one’s consciousness, and, as it turns out, be fashioned into leather goods. Whether you like it or not, cow leather is on its way out. It would appear that some people object to ripping an animal’s skin off and turning it into a few overpriced handbags. Bloody puritans. It does make you wonder if crocodile and python skins will be treated with quite the same repulsion in the near future. Perhaps this is unfair, but I feel like the croc probably had it coming. But even those cold-blooded killers may be safe, thanks to mycelium, which is a substance found at the root of mushrooms. LA-based Fouquetis are a ‘luxury hatmaker to the stars’ who have just released a line of mycelium-based hats – by the way, I sneered at that seemingly self-appointed label, but then they name dropped Nicholas Cage and that was good enough for me. So now you can flaunt your leather goods without having to watch out for an activist intent on throwing a bucket of blood over you. Actually, Fouquetis have done such a good job on the mushroom hats that they’ve made them virtually indistinguishable from real leather, so probably best just to keep an eye out and maybe pack a brolly.

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I love a loophole. There are few things more rewarding than successfully prancing around in the grey area. In many ways, the grey area is the representative reality of Aristotle’s principle of Eudaimonia, which claimed that all virtue in life is attained by “maintaining the Golden Mean”. Thus, we should always strive for a balance between two extremes. That’s why smoking a bit is actually the best thing you can do for your health. NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes and Coors exploited that grey area this week. Per the NFL’s rules and regulations, players aren’t allowed to endorse alcohol brands – but there are no such rules for endorsing torches. As part of the collaboration, Coors have just released the “Coors Light”, which is actually a light and definitely has nothing to do with its hoppy homonym. Well played. All profits from the torches will also be donated to the quarterback’s 15 and the Mahomies Foundation, which aims to improve the lives of children. Although I’m sure that won’t prevent Roger Goodell (famed for wiping snot on children) from slamming this loophole closed as soon as is humanly possible.

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Filthy Habit.

It was only going to be a matter of time before space gigs became a thing. That fateful day is almost upon us, as it has just been announced that The Chainsmokers – a name that flouts Aristotle’s Golden Mean – will become the first musicians to be launched into space to perform a set. I feel compelled to preface that by explaining how they’ve adopted the Richard Branson view on what qualifies as space, so technically they’ll be performing at the edge of space. I’m not au fait with the work of The Chainsmokers, but the amount of cries to leave them in space along with their entire discography seems to imply that they are not quite universally loved. With that in mind, I do like the idea that some Martians out there will be thinking “Wtf is all that bloody racket? Turn that shit off”.

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Play With Yourself.

Here’s one for the childish narcissists: you can get a toy made with your face on it. It’s funny how much of a difference the order of words makes. We feel much more comfortable with having a go at childish narcissists than we would narcissistic children. Sorry, we appear to have been side-tracked on some irrelevant tangent, much like a narcissistic child might do. Anyway, Hasbro and Formlabs are offering regular Joe Schmos like you and me the opportunity to lend our visages to a limited-edition, collector-grade, six-inch action figure. Titled the Hasbro Selfie Series, fans will be able to download an app, scan their face, choose their desired figure, and customize their character/hairstyle till their heart’s content. So, if you had ever wondered what you might look like as Jar Jar Binks, well, wonder no more.

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