Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For November 15, 2009

Percentage of business travelers who said they generally like talking to people on planes, according to a survey by Egencia Corporate Travel: 24

Percentage who choose to make conversation with their fellow travelers: 2

Percentage of respondents who start reading to avoid getting caught in an unwanted chat with fellow passengers: 50

Source: Edelman.

Percentage of American firms that saw a drop in profits in 2009 compared to 28 percent globally, according to a global study commissioned by Regus Group of more than 11,000 corporations across 15 countries: 39

Percentage of firms that saw a drop in revenue in 2009 compared to 26 percent globally: 38

Percentage of all American companies that indicated an expected revenue increase in 2010: 67

Source: Regus.

Percentage of Americans who say that they give more gifts than they receive during the winter holidays, according to a poll completed for The Society of American Florists: 70

Percentage of Americans who rank "neighbors" No. 1 on the list of unsung heroes in our lives and communities – "they who throughout the year pick up our mail, keep an eye on our kids and ground our community roots" -- who they believe deserve holiday thanks: 53

Source: Society of American Florists.

Percentage of residents in Utah and South Dakota who express trust in their neighbors, saying they would expect a neighbor who found a lost wallet or purse containing $200 to return it, according to a Gallup Poll: 85 (the highest percentage nationally)

Percentage of residents in Nevada who would expect their wallet to be returned: 60 (the lowest)

Source: Gallup.

Percentage of dog owners who say that they could not live without their dog on a daily basis -- more than say so of their morning cup of coffee (35 percent), television (35 percent), driving their car (26 percent), their cell or smart phone (23 percent) or their best friend (15 percent) 48

Percentage who say they could not live without their significant other: 54

Percentage who say they could not live without their computer: 50

Source: Ipsos Public Affairs.

Rank of the minivan (a vehicle often owned by families with children who spill food and drinks) on the list of vehicles of choice for bears who want a midnight snack, according to a study by scientists at Yosemite National Park: 1

Percentage of the 908 vehicles torn into by bears between 2001 and 2007 that were minivans: 29

Percentage of all vehicles that visit the park that are minivans: 7

Source: Yosemite National Park.

With improving corporate profits underscoring signs of increased economic growth, percentage of recruiters who are forecasting an increase in hiring activity at the executive level, according to the ExecuNet Recruiter Confidence Index: 56

Percentage of recruiters who say assignments are coming from organizations seeking to leverage the current economic climate by "trading up" with new hires for existing positions -- up from 26 percent in February 2009: 46

Source: ExecuNet.

Total average weekly TV and peripheral consumption by American children ages 2 to 5, according to a study by the Nielsen Co.: 32-plus hours

Total average weekly TV and peripheral consumption by American children ages 6 to 11: 28-plus hours

Source: Nielsen Analytics.

Percentage of U.S. homes that have a hot air furnace, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 60

Percentage of homes that are heated by gas: 60

Percentage that use electricity: 33

Percentage that use fuel oil: 9

Percentage that use coal or wood: 2

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Estimated percentage of all Americans who have left the faith in which they were raised to adopt another faith or no faith at all -- or if they were not raised in a religion, they have since joined one, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion and Public Life: 50

Percentage of converts who say religion is very important to them: 69

Percentage of nonconverts who say the same: 62

Source: Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

Idle Thought

"Just think of the tragedy of teaching children not to doubt." -- Clarence Darrow, lawyer and author

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