Figuratively Speaking for February 08, 2009

Percentage of all Valentine's Day cards that are bought by women, according to an MSNBC report: 85

Percentage of flowers that are bought by men: 73

Source: MSNBC.com.

Rank of the motor coach industry on the list of commercial people movers in the United States, accounting for 751 million passenger trips in 2007, up nearly 20 percent from the previous figure of 631 million passenger trips in 2005, according to data released by the American Bus Association: 1

Percentage more passenger trips provided by the motor coach industry than commercial airlines (excluding foreign-flag air carriers): 9

Percentage more passenger trips provided by the motor coach industry than Amtrak and commuter rail combined: 67

Source: American Bus Association.

Estimated number of jobs that renewable-energy and energy-efficiency industries currently provide, according to an American Solar Energy Society "Green-Collar Jobs" report and Management Information Services Inc.: 9 million

Projected number of jobs that can be generated by the renewable-energy and energy-efficiency industries in the U.S. by 2030: 37 million

Percentage of all anticipated U.S. employment this represents: 17

Source: American Solar Energy Society.

Percentage of Wall Street professionals who received a year-end payout in 2008, according to a survey by eFinancialCareers, the leading career site for finance professionals: 79

When polled in October, percentage who expected a year-end bonus: 66

Source: eFinancialCareers.

Percentage shrinkage in the global institutional pension fund assets in the 11 largest pension markets -- consisting of the U.S., Japan, the U.K., Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, France, Ireland and Hong Kong -- during 2008, according to Watson Wyatt's global pension assets study: 19 (from $25 trillion to about $20 trillion)

Percentage of the average GDP this represents (down from 72 percent 10 years ago, which takes the measure back to levels last seen in 1996): 61

Source: Watson Wyatt Worldwide.

Percentage of Internet users who say they are very or fairly knowledgeable about how to protect their personal privacy online, according to a survey released by Consumer Policy Solutions: 70

Percentage who are unsure whether their online activity is tracked and recorded by companies for commercial purposes: 42

Percentage who believe that tracking by companies for commercial purposes does not happen at all: 12

Source: Consumer Policy Solutions.

Percentage of Americans who said they always (30 percent) or often (38 percent) pay attention to the in-flight safety presentation, according to a TripAdvisor survey conducted in light of the recent "Miracle on the Hudson": 68

Percentage of respondents who said they always check the locations of the exits on the plane: 73

Percentage of travelers who said they have read the seat-back instruction card in the past: 50

Source: TripAdvisor.

Percentage of small-business owners who believe that 2009 will be as good or better than 2008, according to a survey commissioned by Microsoft Office Live Small Business and Elance: 60

Despite the economy, the percentage of business owners who state that they are happier running their own business than working for someone else: 86

Source: Microsoft.

Percentage of people who rely on online and mobile navigation tools to find their way around: 25

Despite huge advances in online maps and mobile navigation, percentage of people who admit to getting lost regularly: 93

Percentage of people who find it impossible to navigate around London, a larger percentage than anywhere else in the world, according to research commissioned by Nokia: 10

Source: Nokia.

Percentage of married adults who would prefer that their significant others make them a nice dinner at home instead of taking them out to eat on Valentine's Day, according to a survey by Whole Foods Market: 81

Percentage who also agree that Valentine's Day dinner at home prepared by a significant other is more personal, thoughtful and caring: 73

Percentage who also cite financial reasons, such as the current state of the economy and the increased expense of eating out: 50

Source: Whole Foods Market.

Idle Thought

"I am a part of all that I have met." -- Alfred, Lord Tennyson, poet

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

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