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Volume 419

Eyeballs, eyesores and ice cream. This week’s coolsh*t has the lot. All that plus an intergalactic voyage through space and time, some existential advertising, and a very holy hypebeast. And we’ve also got the latest episode of the podcast, featuring some originals and some new heads.

A Galaxy Far, Far Away.

A radio signal from a galaxy almost 9 billion light-years away from Earth has been captured by researchers in Canada and India (wonders of Zoom, I suppose), using a great big Indian telescope. That might not mean much to you, but it essentially means that, for a brief moment, we were able to look back 9 billion years in time. Scientists were only able to spot the signal because a natural telescope created by another celestial body called a gravitational lens magnified it 30 times over, providing an unprecedented glimpse of processes in the early universe. So, while the signal probably wasn’t sent by aliens, it could apparently be the key to unlocking many cosmic mysteries such as where we came from, what the meaning of all this is, and how they managed to squeeze 26 seasons out of The Bill.

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Taking Cataraction.

Mr. Beast, as the most subscribed-to YouTuber in the world, has an uncanny knack for attracting eyeballs. Now, he’s curing them. 200,000 people (half of all the blind people in the world) suffer from curable blindness, meaning that their blindness could be cured with a 10-minute procedure. But a sad reality of the world that we live in is that shit costs money – money that many people don’t have to fritter away on frivolous luxuries, like, you know, being able to see. This does provide a rather sobering reminder that people living through the same temporality are nevertheless inhabiting different histories. Like, for example, 1.2million people died of tuberculosis last year – a disease that was cured in 1949. The video itself is basically 7-minutes of 1000 people having their cataracts treated and consequently being able to see – some of them for the first time – and it’s more or less as heart-warming as you’d expect. Although it is a bit depressing that this only happened because a YouTuber needed some fire content. The video has since come under some criticism – but not by any of the 1000 people who are now able to see thanks to it. Funny that.

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God of PR.

A big old battle-axe appeared in Central London this week. That’s right, my ex-wife just moved down from Scunthorpe. I don’t really have an ex-wife and I’ve never been to Scunthorpe – but the axe stuff was almost entirely true. A huge replica of Kratos’ axe from God of War Ragnarok was planted into the pavement on the Southbank this week. Why? ‘Cos nerds. That’s why. The installation was part of Sony’s ‘Live from PS5’ event, and as far as PR stunts go, it’s quite a good one. They’ve got us talking about it at least. Bloody hell, I think I’ve just been advertised to again. Bastards.

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Divine Drip.

Due to the limitations of WordPress, we’re unable to embed the video of this. But it really is worth seeing to be fully appreciated, so we would strongly encourage you to go watch it here before reading on. But you don’t have to, obviously. We’re not your dad.

What is it with Gods and ‘#ads’ this week? First we had the God of war endorsing Sony and now we have the God of, well… everything… shilling for Stussy. And God of everything probably does trump God of War, so that’s 1-0 Stussy. You can’t help but feel a little sorry for all the various Gods who were presumably put out of a job when it was decided that their various functions could be consolidated into one almighty role. Although, to be fair, some of them really were stealing a living. Cardea was the Roman Goddess of Doorways and Handles, which really doesn’t sound like a full-time job. But little did we know that God’s actually a Hypebeast. Here he is crafting the heavens with Stussy’s crown logo to demonstrate his passion for streetwear. Those clouds look like cumuli but with that much drip they should really be nimbi. Praise be. And credit to the Stussy partnerships team for pulling this off.

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Tooled Up.

Given that this story is essentially a synthesis of two of the previous ones in this week’s coolsh*t (axes and old shit), we were left with little choice but to include it – if for nothing else, simply as an act of devotion to the Hegelian Dialectic that I had to study for a semester. We’ve previously accused Graham Hancock, the presenter of ‘Ancient Apocalypse’, of being a ‘crackpot’. However, one of his catchphrases is ‘shit just keeps getting older’, and more and more recent evidence appears to bear that pithy assertion out to be true. In what has been described as a ‘mind-blowing find’ (admittedly by VICE, who do live in a perpetual state of outrage and righteous indignation), archaeologists have just discovered a 1.2-million-year-old ‘workshop’ full of axe heads, which pushes the timeline of obsidian tool use back by 500,000 years. What this essentially means is that hominids living in the area at the time may have been far more advanced than was previously thought – providing yet another reminder that history may in fact by cyclical rather than linear. Although these axes aren’t half as impressive as that big one on the Southbank.

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Mmmmeaning of Life

Ditto story 4 re lack of video. But this time we really do insist that you go watch the full ad here in order for the following to make sense.

This has been quite a God-heavy coolsh*t. But in the words of Friedrich Nietzsche, ‘God is dead, and we have killed him’. And that wasn’t the cry of celebration that it’s often mistaken for, but rather one of concern for the consequent potential for a widespread absence of meaning in a post-God world. This was, however, what proved to provide the cornerstone for Nietzsche’s rejection of nihilism and was largely responsible for the birth of late 19th century existentialist thought – and it’s also the premise of this new McDonald’s ad, kind of. As part of their ‘Too Cool for McDonald’s campaign’, this 30-second spot features ‘Wilhelm’, an intellectual who reluctantly accepts that a BigMac won’t help him find the meaning of life… but it may make it a bit more enjoyable. That’s pure Schopenhauer-esque pessimism with a palliative portion of Camus’ absurdism. I really am lovin’ it. 27 Grand well spent.

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