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Volume 435

Seaweed and observations weed might make you see; this week’s coolsh*t is addressing your existential quandaries. We’ve also got some prehistoric PR, crushing addictions, and a pair of football boots guaranteed to get your ankles nibbled at. Plus the latest coolsh*t podcast, talking love, heartbreak and… cabbage.

Send Kelp.

The forces of fashion are perhaps more capricious than those in any other industry. For the uninitiated, it can be a mysterious, confusing place. And it seems like the main qualification to be considered one of the initiated is to just have the bare-faced gall to act as if you have any clue what’s going on – like Kanye West currently dressing as if he’s one of Alex’s droogs plucked straight out of A Clockwork Orange, for example. But very few people saw the latest trend in sartorial elegance coming… seaweed. And we’re not using that euphemistically, we really do mean the slimy grass that gets plucked out of the Earth’s toilet (AKA the ocean). Algae is now being used to create clothing custom-built for the future, unlike the synthetic textiles such as polyester made from fossil fuels, which account for a morbidly impressive 60% of all clothes around today. Suppose that’s why my smart new tracksuit smells like petrol. It is from Diesel, to be fair. But the only thing these new seaweed garments smell of is a brighter, more sustainable world. And slightly of fish, but that’ll probably come out in the wash. 

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Sight For Saurus.

Sometimes you need to take a step back to really appreciate beauty. That’s why me and my partner have been happily living a minimum of 30 metres apart for 7 years now. Although all the shouting is murder on your throat and doesn’t make you terribly popular with the neighbours. But sometimes even that isn’t a great enough distance to truly see something in all its glory; sometimes you need a drone. David Popa is a natural artist (me neither) who has recently worked with Apple TV+ to create a series of gigantic images in real landscapes using natural materials of three dinosaurs (the Tyrannosaurus rex, Triceratops and Hatzegopteryx) to promo the new season of David Attenborough’s ‘Prehistoric Planet’. I didn’t even know that was a show that existed, let alone one entering a second season. So, extrapolating from that, as an awareness job, this seems to have been quite effective. And apropos of nothing, I heard a stat the other day that if all of human history were a 1000-page book, pre-history would make up about 975 pages, and the last 2023 years since all that shit supposedly went down with Jesus would amount to a 7-page epilogue. Feel free to pinch that one for your next dinner party. I’m almost certain it’s trueish 

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Crushed It.

Compared to colossal murals of prehistoric monsters, most campaign budgets are likely to look rather dwarfed. And what if the brief was simply:You’ve got 1 billboard, make as much noise as possible’? But as budgets get tighter and the possibility of carving out an appearance fee for Dion Dublin is firmly removed from the table, you’re forced to get creative. That’s what Lucky Generals did for this Gamble Aware ad. They only had the one billboard near The Emirates Stadium, so they decided to crush it in much the same manner as the team that occupy that stadium have crushed their fans’ dreams over the last month or so. And it definitely catches the eye more than your bog-standard, un-crushed billboard. So maybe this will make you think twice before chasing your weekend losses betting on Belarusian under-17s motocross at 10pm on a Sunday. Although I really do think it is the Babruysk Bobcats’ year. Got to be worth a tenner… 

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Football and fashion have been tiptoeing towards each other for the last couple decades – much to the chagrin of certain blokes named Keith clutching a pint of John Smith’s talking about ‘the good old days’ who care more about this weekend’s fixtures than about having their visitation rights to see their children reinstated. You know the type. The crossover between these distinct but overlapping spheres has really accelerated over the last 5 years or so, and now things have moved beyond terrace wear and into high-end, luxury fashion. Introducing Prada x Adidas. The Predator Accuracy, Copa Pure, and X Crazyfast have each been reimagined through Prada’s Linea Rossa lens, which means plusher materials, more meticulous craftsmanship, and a great big whopping price tag, presumably. Plus they’d also probably wind you up in hospital if you ever dreamed of using them in a Sunday League match. There’s a no-nonsense centre half out there who will be absolutely licking his lips when he sees a tricky winger with a freshly-preened bouffant coming off the bench wearing these little beauties. So, overall: great for fashion, not bad for football, terrible for A&E waiting times. Say a prayer for Paulo Dybala, who will be debuting the boots on pitch this weekend… 

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Telling Whoppers.

We live in confusing times. And we don’t mean in the above Keith “you can’t say anything these days” type of way. But if the world is confusing for the grown-ups who theoretically ought to know what’s going on, imagine what it must be like through the eyes of a child. Your world would definitely be a strange place if you were in possession of a child’s eyes. But imagine it from a child’s perspective. ‘What do you mean you can make a cardigan out of seaweed?’. That’ll spin their tiny little domes. This is the premise of the latest instalment of Burger King’s ‘Confusing Times’ campaign, in which kids ponder the type of existential quandaries that could only emerge from the mind of a child (or maybe a stoner). But, the point: you know what’s more confusing than all of these ruminationsBurger King’s plant-based menu, which apparently tastes sufficiently meaty as to utterly bamboozle anyone eating from it. Which isn’t true, but it’s still a nice idea. I’ll give them the nuggets, to be fair – you can’t really tell those are vegan. But it’s not like chicken nuggets have much meat in them anyway. They’re about 95% beak, bollock and arsehole. Anyone else getting peckish? 

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It’s always difficult to tell whether Elon Musk seems like a laugh or a complete monster. Not that the two are mutually exclusive. I reckon you could enjoy a pint with Charles Salvador (or Bronson, for those of you who insist on deadnaming) if you caught him on the right day, but you probably wouldn’t want to invite him to a christening. Context matters. But regardless of what you think of him personally (Elon, not Charlie), the bloke is at the forefront of some fairly interesting stuff. The Tesla Bot was seen as a bit of a goof when it was first announced a couple years ago, but some actual progress was revealed this week at the Cyber Rodeo event in Texas, with Mr. Musk claiming that the development of the humanoids will be one of his primary focuses now that he’s successfully managed to get all the Nazis back on Twitter (he didn’t say that second bit). And, not for nothing, ‘Cyber Rodeo’ may be my favourite description of any event ever. Perhaps second only to ‘Cosmic Quinceañera’. The footage reveals a production-ready chassis, showing the robots walking forward with greatly improved stability. But don’t ask us why they walk like they desperately need a piss at 4am but don’t want to wake up anyone else in the house, because we simply do not know. 

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The Coolsh*t Podcast - Episode 53.

Gatorade feelies, gene edited veggies, money shoes, and very, very big dinosaurs.

Listen to the Podcast