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Volume 432

How may we assist you? This week’s coolsh*t is bringing you philanthropy for failed footballers, a dystopian dating app, and a tennis player serving up some vigilante justice. Plus some caterpillar chatter on the latest coolsh*t podcast.

Full Back-Up.

This bloke just bloody loves assisting people – on and off the pitch. A couple weeks after reaching a landmark 50 Premier League assists, Trent Alexander-Arnold has launched a support group for crap footballers. I beg your pardon – he’s actually launched The After Academy, “a new initiative that will provide career opportunities for former academy players who wish to launch a new career path outside of professional football”. So, kind of what I said the first time, just a bit less horrible. With the standard required to become a professional footballer having become so impossibly high – although the current Everton team may make that hard to believe – there are more young footballers than ever who go through the entire academy set-up only to have their life’s dreams shattered while still in their teens. This can, understandably, be hard to deal with, so any attempt to offer extra support ought to be commended. And as someone who was misleadingly promised a guaranteed international career by an over-zealous primary school football coach, I’m entirely in favour of this. He was a bit of a drinker, to be fair. In prison now too, actually. Starting to think he may not have been the best judge.

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Hot or Not?

Are you hot? Are you not? While attraction may still be a matter of personal taste, computer learning programs are now able to determine with a fair degree of certainty how good-looking you are. However, some (presumably ugly) people find such technology to be somewhat objectionable – and that’s precisely why our old friends at MSCHF have decided to use it to create a dating app. They’ve just released Hot Chat 3000, which uses CLIP — a machine-learning model trained by OpenAI — to determine users’ attractiveness out of 10. But that’s not even the part that’s proving divisive. Once it rates you, the app only allows you to speak to other singles with the same numerical rating as you. So the 9s go with the 9s, the 5s with the 5s, and the 1s with a severely bruised ego. Being completely honest, my first reaction was that this isn’t such a bad idea. It could just be a time-saver. Then I gave it a go. And after discovering that AI thinks I’m a 4, personally I can’t wait for the war with the machines to begin. If you’re feeling brave enough, get your rating here.

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Hawk Eye.

Elon Musk and Nick Kyrgios are two blokes who should be used to a bit of bad press. One’s trying to take over the world and colonise Mars, which seems to rub some people up the wrong way. And the other… well, the other’s just a bit of a knob. But to ring the changes, here’s a story that makes them both look good. Kyrgios’ mother was borrowing his Tesla only to have it stolen at gunpoint – and I hope this isn’t too controversial, but I’m personally almost always against robbing old women at gunpoint. A balaclava and a big stick ought to do the job just fine. But the bloke was clearly a first timer, as he underestimated the utility of the Tesla app for thwarting theft. Kyrgios was able to remotely limit the car’s speed to 80km/h and then access its GPS to lead the police to the suspect, who has now been slapped with five charges relating to the incident, including aggravated robbery, driving a stolen vehicle, furious driving, and failing to stop for police. And they should add stupidity to that list. Of all the tennis players to rob, Nick Kyrgios would surely be fairly near the bottom of the list. Bloke’s a nutter. He’s even more highly-strung than his racket.

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Shove It.

Liquid Death have become notorious for their ‘unorthodox’ advertising – like electrocuting one of their internet trolls or infusing a skateboard with Tony Hawk’s blood, for example. And their latest launch shows they clearly have no intention of cleaning up their act – but they do intend to clean something else. Introducing the Liquid Death Enema Kit, in partnership with Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker. This might seem a little out there at first glance, but of all Liquid Death’s seemingly random, tongue-in-cheek (poor choice of words given the context) marketing stunts, this one actually kind of makes sense. If you didn’t have a pop punk phase, you may not know that Blink-182 have recently got back together, with Tom DeLonge re-joining to restore the original line-up. And they’ve just headlined Coachella. And they’re about to embark on a world tour. And their first album was called Enema of the State. And liquid death sell water, which enemas squirt up your arse. It all adds up.

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Hello, Possumhumous.

We are admittedly a little late to pay tribute to Barry Humphries, who passed away just over a week ago. Since then, there have been plenty of obituaries written for the late Australian comedy legend. But there’s one that stands out for obvious reasons – the one written by Dame Edna. And if you’re not familiar, Dame Edna was a drag queen who was one of Humphries’ best-known comedic alter-egos. The self-penned obituary was written from the Dame’s perspective before Humphries passed away, mainly focussing on how his and the Dame’s professional relationship began and how her star eclipsed his, which is just an ingeniously meta way of being paradoxically self-deprecating and braggadocious at the same time. And it’s a testament to the bloke’s talents that he was able to write something devoted entirely to himself that referenced Hitler and still managed to make it utterly heart-warming. Although that may have been a more difficult task had he written it as Sir Les Patterson – if you know, you know…

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Chin Off the Old Block.

Anyone ever play with LEGO as a kid? And when doing so, do any of you remember constantly having the burning desire to find a way of using those little plastic blocks to create real human skin? No? Oh… me neither. But if you did, I’ve got good news for you. Some whacky Welsh folks have found a way to do just that. Scientists from Cardiff University have constructed a 3D bioprinter made from LEGO bricks that can produce tissue models and print biological materials such as skin cells for scientific studies and research. The idea behind using LEGO was to create a scalable, more-affordable alternative to typically expensive bioprinters, making them more accessible for all. Because this group of scientists dream of a day when no child will be denied access to skin-printing building blocks. Plus, since the LEGO can be easily disassembled and reassembled, it’s easy for other laboratories to modify and tailor the device based on their particular research needs. So, one lab can use it to create hydrogel droplets containing cells, and another can make a 7000-piece LEGO Millennium Falcon. Result.

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The Coolsh*t Podcast - Ep. 50.

Half century’s up. And we’re raising the bat by chatting shit about caterpillar cakes.

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