Want a conversation starter? Just toss a pillow that lists off terms like "Orlando Bloom," "podcasting," and "bankruptcy" onto your couch, and your guests du jour will likely be so curious that they won't even notice you forgot to dust the top of your TiVo box.
This is, for the record, the Google News Cushion from Spring Design & Art. Those seemingly mismatched list items are, in fact, the top ten Google News searches of 2006. The company also sells a few other years' worth, too. (What do you want to bet the '07 version will include Ron Paul?)
It will, unfortunately, cost you $120, but consider it a premium for a cure to all awkward silences.