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How Much Money Would the Ghostbusters' Business Actually Be Worth?

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Ghostbusters is a perfect idea for a movie, but what about its viability as a business? Are Venkman and Ray able to make ends meet by catching ghosts in New York City, or is the whole operation just one slow month away from closing up shop? Well, the folks over at Bizdaq decided to crunch the numbers to see just how much the Ghostbusters' business would actually be worth in the real world.

The site took everything into account: Manhattan rent, equipment, and all the other expenses the team would have run into during their first year on the job. While the Ghostbusters never explicitly say how much they make per year, at one point, when they capture Slimer at the Sedgewick Hotel, they say, "For the entrapment, we’re gonna have to ask you for four big ones. Four thousand for that. But we are having a special this week on proton charging and storage of the beast, and that’s only going to come to one thousand dollars, fortunately.”

So the site guesses that each ghost nets about $5000, and they capture nine ghosts during the span of the film. Since the film takes place from early October through November 9, 1984, that means the team made an estimated $45,000 in about a five-week span. If that rate stays the same, it averages out to around $468,000 for their first year, which would be $1,092,731 in 2016 dollars.

Of course, that's all money that the 'Busters made before things like rent, utilities, salary, etc. were factored in. Bizdaq makes plenty of other calculations to see what the business is actually worth when all their expenses and assets are considered, leading to an estimated total of $627,483 in 2016 dollars. That's an impressive haul for a first-year start-up, especially one that specializes in taking down sentient marshmallows the size of skyscrapers.

[h/t: Nerdist]

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Big Questions
Why Does Turkey Make You Tired?
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Why do people have such a hard time staying awake after Thanksgiving dinner? Most people blame tryptophan, but that's not really the main culprit. And what is tryptophan, anyway?

Tryptophan is an amino acid that the body uses in the processes of making vitamin B3 and serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep. It can't be produced by our bodies, so we need to get it through our diet. From which foods, exactly? Turkey, of course, but also other meats, chocolate, bananas, mangoes, dairy products, eggs, chickpeas, peanuts, and a slew of other foods. Some of these foods, like cheddar cheese, have more tryptophan per gram than turkey. Tryptophan doesn't have much of an impact unless it's taken on an empty stomach and in an amount larger than what we're getting from our drumstick. So why does turkey get the rap as a one-way ticket to a nap?

The urge to snooze is more the fault of the average Thanksgiving meal and all the food and booze that go with it. Here are a few things that play into the nap factor:

Fats: That turkey skin is delicious, but fats take a lot of energy to digest, so the body redirects blood to the digestive system. Reduced blood flow in the rest of the body means reduced energy.

Alcohol: What Homer Simpson called the cause of—and solution to—all of life's problems is also a central nervous system depressant.

Overeating: Same deal as fats. It takes a lot of energy to digest a big feast (the average Thanksgiving meal contains 3000 calories and 229 grams of fat), so blood is sent to the digestive process system, leaving the brain a little tired.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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Big Questions
How Are Balloons Chosen for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?
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The balloons for this year's Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade range from the classics like Charlie Brown to more modern characters who have debuted in the past few years, including The Elf On The Shelf. New to the parade this year are Olaf from Disney's Frozen and Chase from Paw Patrol. But how does the retail giant choose which characters will appear in the lineup?

Balloon characters are chosen in different ways. For example, in 2011, Macy’s requested B. Boy after parade organizers saw the Tim Burton retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. (The company had been adding a series of art balloons to the parade lineup since 2005, which it called the Blue Sky Gallery.) When it comes to commercial balloons, though, it appears to be all about the Benjamins.

First-time balloons cost at least $190,000—this covers admission into the parade and the cost of balloon construction. After the initial year, companies can expect to pay Macy’s about $90,000 to get a character into the parade lineup. If you consider that the balloons are out for only an hour or so, that’s about $1500 a minute.

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