Figuratively Speaking for April 07, 2017

Projected spending for Easter this year, according to a survey by the National Retail Foundation: $18.4 billion

Amount consumers will spend on food: $5.8 billion

Amount on gifts: $2.9 billion

Amount on candy: $2.6 billion

Amount on flowers: $1.2 billion

Source: NRF.

Percentage of constant checkers of email or social media who say that political and cultural discussions on social media cause them stress, compared with 33 percent of non-constant checkers: 42

Percentage of constant checkers who say they worry about negative effects of social media on their physical and mental health, compared with 27 percent of people who don't check as often: 42

Percentage of Americans who agree that periodically "unplugging" or taking a "digital detox" is important for their mental health: 65

Source: American Psychological Association.

Rank of New Hampshire on the list of the best states to retire in, according to a Bankrate.com report: 1

Number of factors that were weighted (cost of living, health care quality, crime, cultural vitality, weather, taxes, senior citizens' well-being and the prevalence of other seniors): 8

Ranks of Colorado, Maine, Iowa and Minnesota on the list: 2, 3, 4, 5

Ranks of Arizona, Florida and Nevada (popular retirement destinations) on the list: 12, 17 and 44

Source: Bankrate.com.

Percentage of Americans who said they would perform five karaoke songs in front of their company if they could avoid paying their taxes, according to GoBankingRates.com: 32

Percentage who would go without Wi-Fi for one year: 18

Percentage who would have their credit score reduced by 50 points: 16

Percentage who would gain 20 pounds: 13

Source: GoBankingRates.com.

Percentage of drivers who believe it is safe to send a text either manually or via voice-dictation systems, according to research compiled through National Safety Council surveys: 47

Percentage who say they feel pressure from employers to check email while driving: 45

Percentage of drivers who say they have crashed in the last three years while they were either commuting or traveling for business: 44

Source: National Safety Council.

Estimated amount in U.S. federal income taxes that Fortune 500 corporations are avoiding by holding more than $2.6 trillion of "permanently reinvested" profits offshore, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy: $767 billion

In their latest annual financial reports, number of these corporations that reveal they have paid an income tax rate of 10 percent or less in countries where these profits are officially held: 29

Source: Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

Percentage of Americans who suffer from stress, according to a survey conducted by Youfit Health Clubs: 70

Percentage of respondents who agree that working out is beneficial for stress relief: 89

Percentage who report working out to be their preferred method of dealing with stress: 31

Source: Youfit Health Clubs.

Percentage of users who haven't changed their social network passwords in more than one year -- with 20 percent having never changed their passwords at all, according to a survey conducted by Thycotic: 53

Percentage of all cybersecurity attacks that involve a weak or stolen password: 80

Percentage of security professionals who have or still use birthdays, addresses, pets' names or children's names for their work passwords: 30

Source: Thycotic.

Year that the first professional fire department in the U.S. was established in Cincinnati, Ohio, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 1853

Annual pay for a member of the company: $60

Annual pay for a lieutenant of the company: $100

Annual pay for a captain of the company: $150

Annual pay for the pump wagon driver: $365

Mean annual pay of a professional firefighter today: $41,000

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of U.S. adults who have at least one of four major sleep disorders -- insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome or narcolepsy -- according to a Packaged Facts survey: 34

Annual economic cost of moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea syndrome in the U.S. (greater than asthma, heart failure, stroke and hypertensive disease), according to a Harvard Medical School Division of Sleep Medicine study: $65 billion to $165 billion

Source: Packaged Facts.

Idle Thought

"A man who lies to himself, and believes his own lies, becomes unable to recognize truth, either in himself or in anyone else, and he ends up losing respect for himself and for others." -- Fyodor Dostoevsky, novelist

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre@bwr.eastlink.ca.)

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