Choose Your Battle Day

Mira Weisenthal had an idea for an international holiday:

Choose Your Battle Day. Say you have a friend whose battle is [against] implicitly racist humor and your battle is [against] people who don’t clean up after their dogs. One day a year you switch and see what their battle is like for a while.

Maybe the experience would convince some participants to switch battles permanently. 

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Using “Scoobies” as a Unit for Measuring Mystery

From Jedediah Johnson:
So things have have different levels of mystery surrounding them, right? Like the Nazca Lines are more mysterious than The Pyramids, and Stonehenge is more mysterious than McDonalds. So if there are varying degrees, I say there should be units of mystery. I propose that the unit of mystery should be the scooby. So the Bermuda Triangle would be 48 scoobies, for instance. Someone get to work on a thesis.
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Reverse Surprise Birthday Party

From my brother Miles:

I just invited some coworkers to the pub after work tomorrow. The first few I invited, I mentioned that it was birthday related, but for most of them I didn’t. It made me think it would be funny to have a reverse surprise party where you invite everyone somewhere to do something fun and then you surprise them by announcing that you organized it because it’s your birthday. Even better would be if you didn’t tell them until afterward or never. (Which would make it a secret birthday party rather than a reverse surprise.) 

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Meatless Non-Vegetarian Restaurant

From Melissa McEwen:

I wonder how interested people would be in a special dinner that was non-vegetarian but no actual meat/fish? Marrow, broth, blood, etc.

I actually read this as a “diner” rather than a “dinner.” I’m not sure which is better.

Probably the diner. Less fleeting.

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The Puppeteers

Maybe this has been done before, but a simple idea for a music video - or maybe just part of a music video - would be to show the band playing a concert; strings shoot out of the band’s instruments and latch onto the audience members’ arms, legs and heads, tugging them into dancing to the beat, revealing the audience members for the automatons they are.  

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Hemmingway-esque Drinkers for Hire

From Mr. Heavenly Blues:

I had an idea to start a casting agency for Hemmingway-look-a-likes or at least Hemmingway-esque. The idea is you could rent them out to sit in new trendy bars to add a level of authenticity to the establishments. They would have to have some interesting stories to tell if necerssary, but mostly would just sit in the dark corner and be paid to drink whisky.

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Population Reduction Thought Experiment

Population growth foes: would you support a device that vanishes random people in overpopulated areas (toward reaching a pre-determined numerical goal) and then erases everyone’s memories of them, and reverts the world to how it would be if they had never been born? Since the mass memory wipe and world reversion would coincide with the vanishing, it would be like the vanished were never born. And fewer people being born is allegedly what overpopulation opponents desire.

Also, so that we wouldn’t live in fear of being disappeared ourselves, the entire world would have its memory wiped of the device after it was approved, so that no one could ever possibly know about it. This way the world’s population would be shrinking but no one would know why, or would even realize that it hadn’t always been that low.  

If you would like fewer people to be born, but wouldn’t vote for the institutionalization of this device (coincided by the wiping of your own memory of the existence of this device), why not? 

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Movies Never Do Things Like This, And There’s Probably a Good Reason

Totally normal, realistic (even boring) movie that has one scene in which, out of nowhere, a cartoon character on a fast food bag comes to life, leans off the bag, and eats a piece of food off someone’s plate. The guy who bought the food accuses his friend of stealing the food, and it turns into a bitter argument. Nothing else unrealistic happens for the rest of the movie.

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You’re Only Brilliant If We Can Hear You

A musician plays an electronic keyboard like a piano virtuoso. Her audience is riveted — admiring in silence or whispering about how brilliant she is. She becomes so confident in her mastery and her power over the audience that she turns off the keyboard, so that all the audience can hear now is the bumping of keys. At first the audience is intrigued to see where she’s going with this, but as she keeps going on with the key bumping, they get impatient; they shift in their seats, mumble and then walk out, irritated and unimpressed.

The musician can’t understand their dissent - she’s playing no less brilliantly.

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Shower Joke for a Stand-Up Routine (Lewdness Optional)

I had this idea while taking a hot shower, instead of my usual cold one. For convenience, I’ve already translated it into stand-up speak, even including the gratuitous salty language. On its own, the joke isn’t much, but it might be a good start to a longer routine about hygiene.

"I take cold showers. Ya know why? I just like hot showers too damn much. With cold showers, you just wanna get the fuck out. When I’m taking a hot shower, I keep coming up with excuses to stay in longer. ‘I know my anus isn’t going to get any cleaner. But am I absolutely certain that I washed my scrotum as effectively as I could?’ I don’t use Tilex. I used Tilax. I encourage all that mold and mildew to grow. That way I can ‘accidentally’ lean into that scummy wall, and maybe even wipe my whole body against it a few times, just so I have to start my shower all over.”

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Pi Interested?

From David Askin and brother:

A bank account (probably at a branch in Cambridge, MA or Madison, WI) that pays π% interest. Their marketing slogan (which comes from my brother) would be “Don’t be a square!”

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Impractical Jokes

From Michael Bluejay:

So you’ve heard of “practical jokes”.  I’ve never really understood what was so “practical” about them.  But I started thinking of completely useless pranks, so I figure I might as well call them IMpractical jokes.  For example, you make a whole bunch of signs that say WET PAINT and post them throughout the subway.  Everyone sees them and thinks there really is wet paint.  But it’s actually just the signs, there’s no wet paint at all, so THE JOKE’S ON THEM!  Ha ha ha ha!  Or not.

Eventually, people will get so desensitized to wet paint signs, they’ll assume they’re a joke and become careless around them. Then the joke will doubly be on them.

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Too Late For This Bumper Sticker

I had this bumper sticker idea a while ago, but never got around to posting it. Now it’s totally out of date. Such is the peril of ideas conceived in election cycles:

"McCain: Bush’s 3rd Term (And If He’s Really Good, Bush’s 4th Term Too)"

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Improving the Q&A Format

Instead of answering every question in the order of hands raised, filmmakers or other illustrious types on a stage for a Q&A should have three or four people ask their questions, and then pick the best and answer that one. Or go on an extemporaneous riff that touches on all of them. Then they’d call on three or four more people, and pick the best of that batch as well. And so on, until their half-hour is up.

This would allow filmmakers to skip the boring questions like “How much was the budget?” “How long was the shoot?” and “Did you let the actors improvize?” in favor of the more intriguing questions that might have been overlooked in the swamp of raised hands. It would also accomodate people who have comments rather than questions (“Is there a question in there?” the audience members with actual questions grouse), since the comment wouldn’t need to be responded to at all.

The downside is filmmakers might use it as an excuse to skip over inconvenient questions that they don’t want to answer. But how often are those asked anyway?

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Unprogrammed Worship Freestlying

A hip hop video that takes place at a Quaker session of silent “unprogrammed worship.” At these meetings, Quakers sit in silence for an hour, unless someone is led by the spirit to stand and share a message. The video would start with everything normal at one of these meetings:

We see shots of devout, conservatively dressed Quakers, silently pondering. Then we cut to a famous hip hop artist, who is also conservatively dressed and silently pondering with the others. We hold on his face for a few moments of his meditation, until he has a sudden revelation; he’s been moved by the spirit. He stands to share. Everyone looks at him politely.

Then he busts into a badass hip hop single. All the usual West Coast hip-hop video standbys - flashing lights, cops, gangstas, women in bikins bouncing a beach ball - descend upon the Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, dancing and grinding and jumping off the walls, though the Quakers hardly bat an eye.

When he finishes the song, his associates disappear, and the room returns to normal, as if it was never disturbed. He nods slightly and sits. The profound silence continues where it left off.

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