Picture yourself at a holiday party. You’ve come as the plus-one of a friend who works with the host, so the other guests are mostly strangers to you. That’s fine, though. You’re content in your coziest Christmas sweater with a mug of spiked cider in hand, and as long as you stick close to your friend, this should be a fairly enjoyable evening.
The two of you are chatting with someone whose name you didn’t catch when, suddenly, your friend utters the most dreaded sentence you could possibly hear in this situation: “I’m going to the bathroom.” Before you can even react, they’ve slipped into the crowd, leaving you alone to continue what’s now a one-on-one conversation. You’ve missed your chance to excuse yourself; the only way forward is through. Unfortunately, you can’t seem to remember how to speak.
You take a panicked glance around the room, searching for something—anything!—to help you break the silence growing more unbearable by the second. Your eyes land on the television, aglow with a charming fireplace scene. Then, as if by magic, words appear on the screen: Theodore Roosevelt’s daughter Alice had a pet snake named Emily Spinach.
The stranger laughs. No, they didn’t. They mention they once owned a lizard named Liz, and soon you’re swapping stories about childhood pets, and before you know it, your friend is back from the bathroom. The night is saved.
Sure, this particular scenario is hypothetical, but the holidays are generally rife with situations in which you might find yourself wishing that the Yule log video someone threw on TV would feed you a line. So we made one that does.
Mental Floss’s Holiday Yule Log Fact Generator has everything you’d want in a quality Yule log video: a crackling fire, soft jazz, and the ability to approximate the ambience of a fireplace in your living room without setting anything on fire.
But this version, as its name suggests, also features 100 random facts—from the one about Emily Spinach to another revealing the only letter of the alphabet that doesn’t appear in the name of any U.S. state or territory. (It’s q.) The facts are borrowed from the Amazing Fact Generator on the Mental Floss website.
Whether you use the Holiday Yule Log Fact Generator to avoid awkward silences or just to keep yourself and your friends entertained this holiday season, remember this: The space between your eyebrows is called the “glabella.”
Subscribe to Mental Floss on YouTube for new videos every week.