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Conversation Starters for Your Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is almost upon us.

And while I have much to be thankful for, both personally and professionally, I’m “thinking outside the turkey” and doing something different for this year’s Thanksgiving blog.

As business leaders, I believe it’s important that we expand our sources of information beyond the walls of our businesses and industries. This allows us to identify patterns and make connections that we might not otherwise see. I also believe it’s important to pause from time to time and ask “What if….?”

But sometimes it’s just as important to pause and have some fun. In fact, that’s a large part of what holidays are for. So this year, I’m serving up some “fun facts” that I have discovered in my personal quest for off-the-wall data sources. These come courtesy of “That’s A Fact Jack” and “Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader” — two of my favorite sources for random information.

Food plays a major role in this holiday, so I’m starting off with some fun food facts:

  • The world’s oldest surviving recipe is a formula for making beer. It was discovered outside Baghdad in 1850 on a 3,800 year-old Sumerian clay tablet. Two other tablets contain what are believed to be drinking songs.
  • 25% of all the vegetables consumed in the U.S. are French fries.
  • 17% of all American restaurants are pizzerias.
  • The busiest McDonald’s in the world sits in Pushkin Square in Moscow.
  • Soda accounts for 25 percent of all the beverages consumed in the U.S.
  • Starbucks spends more on employee health insurance than it does on coffee beans.
  • There are more Subway sandwich shops in Manhattan than there are actual subway stations.
  • It takes a Twinkie about 45 seconds to explode when cooked in a microwave.

Now, here are some people/lifestyle facts that say a lot about our current society:

  • Twelve percent of American males have shaved while driving.
  • A single day’s trash from New York City would fill the Empire State Building.
  • The Bible is the most shoplifted book in the world.
  • During their lifetime, the average person spends 5.5 weeks brushing their teeth.
  • Eighty percent of American men say that if given the chance, they would marry the same woman again. Only 50 percent of women say they would marry the same man.
  • More blond hair dye is sold in Dallas than any other city in the U.S.
  • One in 10 Americans abstains from sex. Only one in 50 abstains from television.

And closing, here are some totally random but interesting facts:

  • In Bangkok, there exists a 240-foot temple made entirely of broken dishes.
  • Charlie Chaplin once lost a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest. (He didn’t even make the finals).
  • In 1994, a man escaped from a West Virginia prison using a “rope” made of dental floss.
  • During their lifetime, the average person sheds over 98 feet of eyelashes.
  • Washington D.C. has more psychiatrists per capita than any other city in the U.S.

I hope you enjoyed these and they take your brain in some new and interesting directions when you share them over your holiday dinner table. Happy Thanksgiving!

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