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Volume 401

401: Authorisation Required. This week’s coolsh*t will teach you how to lose with dignity and how to lose with, well, not dignity. We’ve got a pawn cocktail of controversy, board game bust-ups, and the only Oxford professor with an OnlyFans. Plus a stripped back, and some would say superior, episode of the coolsh*t podcast.


Nothing tears more families apart than Monopoly – except perhaps adultery, addiction, and just getting sick of one another. But Monopoly is definitely right up there. After starting an ostensibly ‘fun’ game on a lazy Sunday, it’s easy to sink into a kind of daze before suddenly finding oneself screaming obscenities, wheezing over a recently flipped table and trying to trade your own trousers for a tiny green plastic hotel. And yet there’s a certain catharsis in completely and utterly losing your mind (and your trousers) over something so trivial. Particularly for a child, Monopoly can provide valuable life lessons – none more so than learning how to lose. That’s the concept behind Dutch agency KesselKramer’s latest campaign for Hasbro, which features some very upset children alongside a simple, clean accompanying copy line that hammers home the message. I don’t have anything funny to say about this; it’s just a really neat idea well executed. And purgation by board game feels like a fairly safe way to battle the demons, so we’re all in favour of that.

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Cheat, Mate.

This might not be cool, but it is intriguing. It is to me, at least. There’s trouble afoot in the chess world (I did say it wasn’t cool). Last week, Magnus Carlsen, a grandmaster unanimously recognised as the current best player in the world, lost to Hans Niemann in a tournament. That doesn’t sound like a big deal, but Niemann was given little to no chance of beating Carlsen heading into the game. Apparently chess isn’t like football where stories of underdogs overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds are celebrated, as Niemann was almost immediately accused of cheating – accusations that, not for nothing, where largely lead by Carlsen. The two then agreed to rematch one another this week, but Carlsen made just two moves before resigning and turning his camera off. I believe that’s what is known as a ‘rage quit’. Clearly somebody could have done with playing a bit more Monopoly as a kid and learning how to lose with dignity. And even if the other bloke did cheat, I’m still on his side. Rest assured, though, that this drama is far from over. Don’t be surprised if you see this as a 6-part limited Netflix series in about a year or so.

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To have the lowest level of something is a flex that rarely impresses, but it is worth bragging about when it comes to carbon footprint. And it’s even more pleasing when it applies to something that actually has a footprint. Asics have just unveiled the GEL-LYTE III CM 1.95, which is the most eco-friendly trainer ever produced. Well, it’s the most eco-friendly trainer ever mass-produced. Bit of an oxymoron. That’s like being the world’s friendliest serial killer. However, this felt appropriate to include after last week’s discussion of Yvon Chouinard’s decision to give Patagonia away in the interest of protecting the environment. Consumer attitudes have changed; contrary to well-outdated prevailing wisdom, being sustainable – and more broadly, principled – can be, and often is, profitable. Don’t hurt for a decent bit of PR, neither. Plus my first job was in Asics and I used to hand out 10% discounts like they were going out of fashion, so I feel like I owed them this one.

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Live Forever.

Well, I feel rather foolish. Here I am drinking a Kombucha thinking I was sipping on the elixir of eternal life, and it turns out all I really have to do is move to LP 890-9c, a potentially habitable planet about 100 lightyears away from Earth. Two planets were discovered orbiting the star LP 890-9c by an international team of scientists led by astrophysicist Laetitia Delrez, and one of which has been found to have all the basic ingredients that would be required for life to (potentially) exist and flourish. LP 890-9c is much closer to its star than the Earth is to the sun, but its star is also about half as hot as our sun and about 6.5x smaller. What that means in less boring terms: due to its shorter orbital period, average life expectancy for a human on this planet would equate to about 3,158 years. Your arm would fall off with that many birthday beats.

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Professor. Bhad Bhabie.

Whether you like it or not, Danielle Bregholi is the modern-day embodiment of the American Dream. She first became known to the world in 2013 as the ‘Cash Me Outside Girl’ following a foul-mouthed appearance on Dr. Phil in which she made her mother cry and challenged the audience to fisticuffs in the car park because, and I quote, “they a bunch of hoes”. That level of wordsmithery from a 13-year-old foreshadowed the direction her career was destined to take, as within a few years she rebranded herself as a rapper, ‘Bhad Bhabie’. Someone trying to rinse their 15 minutes is nothing new – look at the ‘Why You Coming Fast’ guy’s song – but the real shocker was that Ms. Bhabie actually makes pretty decent music. Being as overly aspirational as her moniker is overly aspirated, she then went on to transform that newfound fame into a $50million OnlyFans empire. A shrewd businesswoman, no doubt. Now, she’s coming to give a talk at the University of Oxford to educate this country’s best and brightest on how they too can fulfil their dreams of becoming rappers and taking their clothes off for money. It really is ludicrous that some people say the British university system isn’t what it used to be…

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Dead-eyed, merciless, devoid of any warmth or sincere emotion – but that’s enough about our new Prime Minister. There are few creatures on this planet more terrifying than a shark; they are quite literally pre-historic killing machines. And the Great White is the mac daddy of them all. However, we may have underestimated their artistic side. In 2020, Ocearch tagged a whopping Great White off the coast of Nova Scotia and named him ‘Breton’, which is a paradoxically disarming name considering it also describes a pattern generally worn by hipsters and baristas. Over the last couple years, Ocearch have tracked Breton’s movements via GPS and have just revealed those patterns to the world. The result: Breton has drawn a shark. Granted, it does require a modicum of imagination and charitable interpretation to see it, but we can consider this an imperfect, slightly abstract self-portrait. It’s definitely more convincing than that poxy Tarantula Nebula from last week.

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The Coolsh*t Podcast - Ep. 24.

If you believe any of this week’s selections to be dubious, please go listen to us explain ourselves.

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