Christmas Dinner Conversation Starters

My Thanksgiving “fun facts” blog was a big hit with readers, generating a lot of buzz (who doesn’t want something that makes life, especially those large family gatherings, easier?). So with the annual visit from the dude in the red suit almost upon us, I thought it would be fun to do another round of dinner conversation starters and brain stretchers.

Keep in mind as you read these that exposing yourself to diverse sources of information — even those that seem to have nothing to do with your business — is a great way to stimulate the brain and spur innovation.

Let’s start with everyone’s favorite dinner table subject: body parts.

  • The blue whale’s tongue weighs about as much as an adult elephant.
  • After circumcision, human foreskins are sold to biomedical companies and used as an ingredient in anti-wrinkle gels. (Think about that the next time you try to take a few years off your look!)
  • A single square inch of skin on the human hand contains 72 feet of nerves.
  • The human ear contains about 4,000 wax glands.
  • In one hour, your heart burns enough energy to raise a ton of lead three feet off the ground. A pumping human heart can squirt blood as far as 30 feet.
  • One to two percent of Americans have an extra nipple somewhere on their body.

Next we move on to the amazing world we live in, which is part of an even more awe-inspiring universe:

  • Need to stock up for your New Year’s Eve party? According to scientists, the largest supply of alcohol resides in a vast alcohol cloud in the Milky Way that measures 288 billion miles across.
  • Saturn has such a low density, that if placed in water, it would float.
  • If there was no air between its atoms, the Earth would be about the size of a baseball.
  • Nearly three-fourths of all the fresh water in the world is in Canada.
  • What do Eric Clapton and all four of the Beatles have in common (besides a boatload of musical talent)? All have an asteroid named after them.
  • At a steady pace of 6 mph, it would take a jogger 173 days to circle the earth.
  • You can tell the temperature (in Fahrenheit degrees) by listening to a cricket chirp. Count the number of chirps in 15 seconds and then add 37.
  • Siberia gets so cold that boiling water poured from a pot can freeze before it hits the ground.
  • The state of Alaska has 40 active volcanoes, more than any other state in the U.S.

And wrapping up again with some more totally random facts:

  • Before making it big, Jimi Hendrix played as the opening act for The Monkees on several occasions.
  • Christopher Columbus’ ship, the Santa Maria, weighed less than the rudder on the Titanic.
  • One out of five American meals is eaten in a car.
  • It’s about 10 times easier to shoot a hole-in-one-while golfing than it is to bowl a perfect 300 game.
  • Every day, 500 Americans are injured in their bathtub.
  • Keeping mothballs in your tool chest will help to prevent rust.
  • A single ounce of gold can be stretched into a wire 65 miles long.
  • Pope John Paul II was an honorary Harlem Globetrotter. (But could he dunk?)
  • Party on! Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft of the Declaration of Independence while drinking beer in a tavern.

Merry Christmas to all, and best wishes for a prosperous New Year!

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