Unreal Reality Show Concepts

I had planned to post about the upcoming British reality show Bestseller. Think American Idol for hopeful novelists. Or, more accurately, Pop Idol. But then I read about the Dutch program Big Donor Show, where a terminally ill woman with an inoperable brain tumor will select a contestant to receive one of her kidneys after hearing pleas from their families.

Outrage has predictably ensued, and one politician is trying to get the show yanked. But let's not debate the merits and morality of this particular program. Instead, let's try to top the shock factor by coming up with even crazier ideas. I'll get us started.

"¢ Death row inmates compete against one another in beer pong; each week's winners have their sentences commuted to life in prison.

"¢ High school seniors have their college applications reviewed by a CSI-like team. Did you really spend six hours a week volunteering through the Latin National Honor Society? If not, you're rejected. People with the most accurate resumes, regardless of merit, are accepted. Losers repeat twelfth-grade.

Your turn...

(Also, here are some other ridiculous reality show ideas that actually aired. Via The BBC.)

"¢ There's Something About Miriam
Six men were invited to spend several weeks wooing an attractive woman. Oh, they later found out the woman was a transsexual.

"¢ Space Cadets
They thought they had blasted off into space from a cosmonaut training camp in Russia -- but in fact, they were stuck in a fake spaceship in a warehouse in Suffolk.

"¢ Who's Your Daddy?
It must have seemed a good idea to the Fox network at the time -- take people who were adopted, put them before a line-up of strangers and ask them to pick their real father.

A Very Brief History of Chamber Pots

Some of the oldest chamber pots found by archeologists have been discovered in ancient Greece, but portable toilets have come a long way since then. Whether referred to as "the Jordan" (possibly a reference to the river), "Oliver's Skull" (maybe a nod to Oliver Cromwell's perambulating cranium), or "the Looking Glass" (because doctors would examine urine for diagnosis), they were an essential fact of life in houses and on the road for centuries. In this video from the Wellcome Collection, Visitor Experience Assistant Rob Bidder discusses two 19th century chamber pots in the museum while offering a brief survey of the use of chamber pots in Britain (including why they were particularly useful in wartime).

A Tour of the New York Academy of Medicine's Rare Book Room

The Rare Book Room at the New York Academy of Medicine documents the evolution of our medical knowledge. Its books and artifacts are as bizarre as they are fascinating. Read more here.


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