Skip to content

Volume 416

Videos that you can smell and pets that you can’t – this week’s coolsh*t is taking you into the future. We’ve also got a rewriting of history both ancient and modern, serious relaxation, and a very bloody children’s tale. Plus, the first coolsh*t podcast of 2023.

Man's New Best Friend.

“This is Loona. She’s going to be your new best friend. She shall absolutely under no circumstances try to kill you in your sleep.” As somewhat of a soothsayer doomsdayer moron when it comes to robotics – likely due to having seen too many films in which this sort of thing doesn’t work out terribly well – I’d like to get in there nice and early to register my profound disapproval of all this petbot business. However, even a luddite such as myself can appreciate just how impressively bonkers it is. Loona is a robotic pet equipped with a 3D camera and edge sensors, face detection and object recognition capabilities, plus four microphones and touch sensors used to respond to verbal and gesture commands. Basically, it can do all the things that your pet would be able to do if it were properly trained. But where’s the fun in that? Does this leave no room for the maverick rock ‘n’ roll Vatican assassin spaniels of the world? Would this not utterly suck the soul out of the joys of pet ownership? And why have they included ‘it can scratch and sneeze like a regular pet’ as one of the selling points? Dunno. I’m not here to answer these questions – just to wail ‘pourquoi’ at the moon.

Read Original Story

A Sticky Situation.

For better or for worse, meme movies are now a part of our cultural fabric. And if you’re not familiar with the term ‘meme movies’, that’s because I just made it up. But a recent phenomenon has seen films becoming wildly popular due to either the inherent memeability (also a made-up word) of its premise (see Cocaine Bear), its potential for easily-replicable guerrilla activations (see Minions), or because it can be enjoyed ironically due to how objectively terrible it is (see Morbius). This week we’ve been given a glimpse of what I suspect may the latest addition to that estimable line-up of cinematic masterpieces: ‘Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey’. It’s exactly how it sounds. Winnie the Pooh gobbles a shit ton of honey and goes on a murderous rampage – which, come to think of it, is literally the plot to Cocaine Bear with one word changed. Guaranteed to be a must-see.

Read Original Story

Amateur Hour.

If there’s one thing that the recent Netflix series ‘Ancient Apocalypse’ has taught me – and there may well be just one thing – it’s that archaeologists are absolutely full of shit. And, according to Graham Hancock (the show’s presenter) any evidence to the contrary of that fairly bold assertion just provides further proof of the degree of dogmatism that has infected the archaeology community – which is a rather suffocatingly cyclical line of argument. The documentary does feel as if the content has been slightly retrofitted to suit a pre-determined narrative, but there’s been a discovery by an amateur this week that has been said to have ‘rewritten human history’, which does add some credence to the claim that historians don’t really know what they’re on about. Ben Bacon stumbled upon the sizzling revelation that particular dots and lines on 40,000-year-old cave paintings were used to denote the mating habits of particular animals, which would push the timeline of written language back by tens of thousands of years. Not bad for a nobody. And if you want to read something that’ll really spin your cranium, go down the rabbit hole of the Younger Dryas stadial.

Read Original Story


This week’s coolsh*t may seem a trifle tech-heavy, but with good reason. CES 2023 (Consumer Electronics Show) took place in Las Vegas this week, showcasing all the world-bending innovations currently taking place in the fields of technology – like a dystopian robot dog, for example. Next up: smellable videos. At long last! Just what the world had been crying out for. But in spite of my personal scepticism over how much I’d like to smell whatever happens to be on my screen, the concept of smellivision has been around for decades, but mainly as a farcical sci-fi goof, so the fact that it’s now (sort of) a reality is at least somewhat noteworthy. Working in unison with the AromaPlayer app, the ‘Aroma Shooter’ can “digitalise aromas and create a new communication channel in the same family as text, images, and audio.” It’ll come in handy for Masterchef, at least. I’ve always wondered what Gregg Wallace smells like.

Read Original Story

Stars and Strips.

‘What if…?’ is a question that has plagued mankind since the dawn of time, from palaeolithic existential quandaries such as ‘What if that sabre-toothed tiger hadn’t mauled my family?’ to modern-day equivalents about, I don’t know… social foe pas, Macha lattes and… TikTok? Running with this theme of alternative history, a new graphic novel from Harvard law professor Alan Jenkins and author Gan Golan is asking the question ‘What if the January 6th riot/coup had worked?’. The comic actually uses the term ‘coup’, but I’ve put ‘riot/coup’ to be diplomatic for fear of upsetting any of our more MAGA readers – we’ve all seen what they’re like when they’re angry. Although, the defence ‘that wasn’t a coup, it was only a riot’ also feels fairly weak, so it’s a bit of a lose/lose anyway. Naturally, the comic itself is extremely partisan, but it’s a fun read (unless you’re Mike Pence, who got hanged almost immediately). Spoiler alert: things don’t work out terribly well for anyone else either.

Read Original Story

Actually Out of Office.

According to research (probably), the Great British public have a habit of taking their work on holiday with them. Particularly now, following the shift to remote working, that nagging itch compelling you to check your phone or answer your emails has become far more difficult to ignore – apparently, at least; personally, I’m fortunate enough to suffer from no such affliction. We also happen to currently be in the time of year when we are – unsurprisingly given the weather – most susceptible to travel advertising. British Airways have combined those two nuggets of insight for their latest ad, which shows someone taking their holiday awfully seriously – as indeed we all should, or apparently we might die early (also probably according to some research). So, in that spirit: it’s almost 1pm now – do your health a favour a finish up for the day. You have my explicit written permission.

Read Original Story

The Coolsh*t Podcast - Ep. 34.

Features NSFW content. But… this is work… whoops…

Listen to the Podcast