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Volume 466

New year, same us. It wouldn’t be coolsh*t if we didn’t have a space story, would it? As well as that, we’ve got dating dilemmas and murderous mice in store, brought to you by me (Kyra), as James is already skiving off. And if that wasn't enough, we're also bringing you the first coolsh*t podcast of 2024.

New Year, New Me.

The new year is all about new beginnings. Say goodbye to the medium-ugly boys you’ve been entertaining for the better half of last year and say hello to new opportunities to be ghosted. The first Sunday of the year, dubbed ‘Dating Sunday’, is apparently the busiest time of year for dating apps. Come January 1st, people’s fingers are sore from swiping. Which begs the question: if this is the case, why aren’t Gen Z shagging?!

According to research, we are currently seeing the highest rates of sexlessness amongst young people. Compared to generations prior, they are having less sex with fewer partners, despite the plethora of options at their fingertips.

Tinder, the OG swiping app, probably most associated with the negative connotations of dating apps, have been looking to redefine their proposition and move with the times. Geared more towards finding friendship and connection (as well as relationships and sex), their latest campaign video highlights exactly that. Its Skins-esque vibe and mixed filming techniques gives it a realistic feel that I’m sure resonates with other lonely Londoners. But the cynic in me can’t help but find the prospect of using a dating app to make friends a little… dare I say, sad? And no amount of production value can convince me otherwise.

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Mickey Mouse in the Horror House.

It’s Mickey, like you’ve never seen him before.

What does it say about us that just hours after the copyright for the wholesome Mickey Mouse that we all know and love expires, horror film adaptations for it are announced? The 1928 version of Mickey entered the public domain this week and producers have wasted no time in capitalizing on it. At first, I thought this affinity for horror might tell us something about us as a society, but upon further reflection, I’ve come to realise that it kind of just makes sense. Old cartoons are creepy as f*ck, and beyond their chipper exterior lies potential for pure, deranged terror.

Enter “Mickey’s Mouse Trap”, a slasher film featuring imagery from Steamboat Willie which is expected to be released this March. And this isn’t even the first of its kind. From ‘Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey’ to ‘Bambi: The Reckoning’, soon we can see all these beloved characters reimagined in an utterly horrifying new light.

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Fowl Play.

Half the so-called ‘phobias’ you hear about these days are so ridiculous that they undermine the concept of phobias in toto. There’s definitely an intersecting Ven diagram of the people who claim to have obscurely specific phobias, believe in astrology, and didn’t get enough affection as children. There’s also probably a crossover between people who are intellectually insecure and choose to needlessly employ Latin phrases, but we don’t have to talk about that.

In a world of bogus, invented, attention-seeking phobias, the one that always stuck out as perhaps the most absurd of the lot is ‘anatidaephobia’, which is the fear that a duck may be watching you. But now, that may in fact be a legitimate concern.

Qua have reimagined the role of waste collection in future cities, envisioning a world in which duck-like trash can robots follow pedestrians around. Utterly menacing. Litterbugs make up roughly 90% of a robot duck’s diet as well. It’s like something out of an episode of Black Mirror after they ran out of decent story lines.

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Two key learnings emerged from Jeff Bezos’ recent appearance on the Lex Fridman Podcast: 1) His voice sounds like the result of a science experiment in which a typical American high-school jock and a nerd are fused together into one being, and 2) We need to get off this planet.

No matter how fastidiously you adhere to a prudent recycling regimen, at some point the Earth will become uninhabitable. And if you go along with those weirdos in orange t-shirts supergluing themselves to roads, that fateful day may not be so far in the future. Besides, there are over 2 trillion planets in the observable universe; do we really want to be a species of single-planetary losers? Of course not. The world is our oyster, but the universe is our sea. Grab your snorkel.

While we may still be a way off intergalactic colonisation, Space Perspective are moving us one step closer to making space tourism a reality. This week they revealed the first images of Spaceship Neptune, a prototype balloon capsule capable of taking mere mortals like you, me and William Shatner on jollies beyond the Earth’s orbit. And we haven’t even mentioned the best part yet… it’s carbon neutral. That ought to keep the orange t-shirts quiet for a bit.

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Luna Luna.

What do you get when you cross an abandoned amusement park with a $100 million investment from Drizzy Drake? The answer: the revival of a wonderland of contemporary art featuring works from the likes of Basquiat, Dalí, Keith Haring, and many other 20th century greats.

Austin Heller’s formerly-dust-collecting pipe dream has now been given a second lease on life thanks to our mate Aubrey. Not only is he my Spotify wrapped #1 artist (an ick, I know) but he’s also the impetus behind the resurrection of the world’s first art amusement park. An unlikely pairing, but a positive one nonetheless.

Say what you like about Drake, but I can’t see any negatives here. His financial backing means that a new generation around the world will be able to experience the wonder of ‘Luna Luna’, opening art up to a new audience and giving existing avant-garde fans a chance to experience their favourite art in a fresh and unique way. Raise a glass for Champagne Papi.

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Commuter Slog, Downward Dog.

If you’ve ever stepped foot in a Gymbox, you’ll know what I mean when I say that entering one mirrors the vibrant chaos of London. It’s a lively, bustling space, teeming with intimidatingly attractive individuals that are far too busy to spare a glance in your direction. For this reason, Gymbox’s latest OOH campaign makes sense. With a nod to those who embrace the London lifestyle, their latest campaign dubbed ‘Made for London Life’ cleverly juxtaposes key aspects of life in the city against workouts offered by the gym with taglines around dating (‘Faking it 1AM, Shaking it 11AM’), work (‘Commuter Slog, Downward Dog’) and other elements of London living.

With the new year comes a renewed sense of motivation to hit the gym. But let’s be honest, how many times have you added ‘get fit’ to your New Year’s resolutions only to have given up by Feb 1st? Gymbox have recognised that for fitness to be a lasting part of their members’ lives, it must fit into the hustle and bustle of the everyday. Just because you’re up partying all night doesn’t mean you’re not waking up for your workout the next day. Aristotle said eudaimonia is all about ~balance~. And who are we to argue with him?

Oh, how I wish to be one of those people. Unfortunately a heavy night out means the gym won’t be seeing me for 3-5 business days.

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The Coolsh*t Podcast - Episode 65.

Romantic resolutions and Champagne Papi popping off.

Listen to the podcast