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Volume 434

This week’s coolsh*t is bringing you serpentine space farers, in-cider trading, and a couple quintessentially human stories that could absolutely, definitely, 100% not be created by AI (probably…). Plus the latest coolsh*t podcast, featuring some humans who also haven’t been replaced… yet.

Could AI Do That?

This feels rather timely after last week’s discussion of the current writer’s strike in the US, which is fuelled in part by fears of the supposed existential threat of AI-generated scripts putting real writers out of a job and relegating them back to whatever’s even lower than living in their mothers’ basements eating instant ramen. Did someone say Luddites? Stop that! However, there is a debate currently rumbling away over whether AI programs will be capable of replacing humans in a wide variety of creative disciplines. And, terrifyingly, copywriters are likely to be fairly close to the front of the queue for the chopping block, which is obviously a tragedy. I never said I wasn’t also a Luddite. But to promote the Brooklyn Film Festival, Havas New York have created a pair of videos telling distinctly human tales that a flawless, emotionless machine could never relate to – like the perpetual feeling of failure or a questionable decision to get some dodgy grills. So, could AI tell these stories? I mean, yeah, probably. Or if it can’t now, give it about 6 months or so. But the videos are still a nice idea and play on one of the common current anxieties of creatives whilst also stroking their precious, little, self-important egos. Smart. Due to the wondrous intricacies of WordPress, we can’t embed the videos, so we would implore you to click the link below to watch them.

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Snakes on a Rocket.

The sequel to Snakes on a Plane is finally here. Time to defrost Samuel L. for his 378th leading role. NASA are sending robot snakes to Enceladus, one of Saturn’s 83 moons. Why? To search for aliens, obviously. And to create the type of headlines that will get morons to talk about them in newsletters. It does seem like NASA enjoy leaning in with some of their initiatives to the sensibility of the JRE-listening, DMT-toking, bro science-repeating type of individual who corners people at parties to talk about mechanical elves and how the Mayans technically invented mobile phones. Bear in mind this follows on from the DART mission in which NASA decided to essentially play space billiards by launching rockets into asteroids. And clearly the acronym division at NASA are working overtime, as they’ve decided to call these robot serpents the ‘EELS’ (or Exobiology Extant Life Surveyors). It gets to a certain point when you have to wonder what comes first, the acronym or the idea. Kitted out with “first-of-a-kind rotating propulsion units”, the EELS can traverse both the white, icy surface of Enceladus as well as underwater, with tech in their heads able capture their surroundings in 3D and beam real-time video back to their operators. I’ll give you aliens being discovered by 2030 at 4/1 – email if you fancy a piece of that action.

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Dream Big.

Grenfell Athletic FC was founded by youth centre manager Rupert Taylor following the fire that engulfed the tower in 2017, with the initial idea just being to offer a glimmer of positivity and an outlet for the survivors, bereaved and wider community. Since then, the club has grown and grown, having received support from brands such as Mercedes and Cadbury’s. And now they’ve got their very own kit launch in partnership with Nike. And this isn’t your standard kit launch featuring moody multi-millionaires smouldering at a lens whilst wishing they were literally anywhere else. The ‘Dream Carriers’ kit carries drawings of the dreams (try saying that 3 times fast) and ambitions of the community’s young people, and the campaign focusses on bringing those real human stories to life – plus a little narration from AJ Tracey for good measure. The dreams mentioned by the kids include buying their mum a house, being the first singer/astronaut, and becoming an estate agent. That last one feels a little less ambitious, but it could at least come in handy for the first kid.

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Frosted Tips.

Remember Frosty Jack’s? And if you answered no, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve never encountered it – you may have just blacked out. If we’re being brutally honest (and drinking Frosty Jack’s does tend to cause you to speak your mind) Frosty Jack’s is a brand associated mostly with ‘vagabonds’, skint uni students, and teenagers getting pissed in a park for the very first time. It’s a very affordable 7.5% cider that typically comes in giant plastic bottles, so you do the maths. But now their parent company, Aston Manor, are looking to shake off that old reputation with Frosty Jack’s’ first ever TV ad, starring a new face – well, hands – of the brand, celebrity hand model, Hans Handerson. Because how do you expect them to make dirt cheap rocket fuel if they spend all their budget getting Philip Schofield to do an ad? Plus the product now comes in a stylish little can rather than the 3L bottle. I for one would absolutely love to live in a world where cracking open a Frosty Jack’s after a hard day’s graft is considered a completely socially acceptable thing to do. Fingers crossed. Especially you, Hans.

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The Karate Skid.

If you’ve listened to the coolsh*t podcast recently, you may have heard the term ‘nepo baby’ viciously (and, not for nothing, erroneously) thrown around. And nobody embodies that term more than Jaden Smith, the unpopular progeny of the now also fairly unpopular Will Smith. But there’s one problem with what I’ve just said: Jaden Smith is actually quite talented in his own right. I recently listened to his music for the first time and despite how excruciatingly cringe-inducing the bloke is, some of the tunes are actually pretty good. I desperately wanted to hate it but just couldn’t. And now he’s gone and set up a restaurant that feeds the homeless. That seems pretty hard to hate on, too. Shit, am I becoming a Jaden Smith fan? Say it ain’t so. The ‘I Love You Restaurant’ is a follow up to the food truck of the same name that he set up on Skid Row two years ago to hand out brown paper bags filled with sustainable vegan meals to some 8,000 people. It would have been more but an additional 2,000 said “carrots and kale, are you fucking joking?”, handed their bag back and cracked open a Frosty Jack’s. That didn’t happen. They wouldn’t dare; he’d tell his well hard dad on them. I wonder how many people have asked if the food slaps.

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American Idiots.

Despite what the title may imply, this story is not about the US presidential race. Whack, satire! Generally, we like to use coolsh*t to share stories at the cutting edge of creativity and innovation. This isn’t one of those. But it just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And if it doesn’t, either your heart is made from stone or you didn’t have a pop punk phase at any point in your life – both of which are tantamount to creating a spiritually incomplete person. Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong happened to be in Slim Jim’s in Islington this week when he heard a band covering his songs, so he decided to get up on stage and duet with the singer. All of a sudden it’s 2004 again and everything is ok. But the reason this is relevant for coolsh*t is because it’s an outstanding example of the genuine utility of social media. The band, ‘Borderline Toxic’, who also create original music, were, out of sheer fortune and happenstance, given a level of exposure that they couldn’t have even imagined in their wildest dream board manifestations when they woke up that very same morning. Billie Joe Armstrong is really out here doing the Lord’s work. Now it’s up to @borderlinetoxic to milk their moment for all it’s worth. If the ‘Why you coming fast?’ bloke can do it, they can too.

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