Figuratively Speaking for May 24, 2009

On average, amount by which the annual salary of workers with a bachelor's degree exceeds the salary of those with a high school diploma, according to figures announced by the U.S. Census Bureau that outline 2008 educational trends and achievement levels: $26,000

Average salary earned by workers with a high school diploma: $31,286

Average salary earned by workers with a bachelor's degree: $57,181

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Estimated number of worldwide e-mail users in 2009, according to a study from the Radicati Group Inc: 1.4 billion

Number of messages sent per day in 2009: 247 billion

Projected number that will be sent per day in 2013: 507 billion

Source: Radicati Group.

When asked which of four common investments is best for the long term, percentage of Americans who chose savings, according to a Gallup Poll: 34

Percentage who said real estate: 33

Percentage who cited stocks and mutual funds: 15

Percentage who said bonds: 12

Source: Gallup.

Percentage of Americans who indicated that a New Jersey Houston's restaurant was wrong for firing employee Doreen Marino for negative comments about the company and employees posted on a private MySpace forum, according to a study conducted by MediaCurves.com: 58

Percentage of respondents who say that this was an invasion of privacy on the company's part: 58

Source: MediaCurves.com.

Estimated number of households in the U.S. that had to replace computers in the past six months due to spyware, according to Consumer Reports National Research Center's "State of the Net" survey: 545,000

Estimated number of households that were victims of identity theft committed over the Internet in the past year: 1.7 million

Of those, percentage that said the incident occurred because of an online purchase: 66

Source: Consumer Reports.

Percentage of consumers who have used in-store or in-home technical support to solve a computer problem, up from 10 percent in 2006: 30

Percent of consumers who have used professional tech support for home networking problems, up from 6 percent in 2006: 15

Estimated revenue for PC and home networking troubleshooting services by 2013, due in large part to growing consumer demand and increased prevalence of connected devices: $2 billion

Source: Parks Associates.

Percentage of "echo boomers" (individuals born between 1982 and 1995) who would provide personal data (i.e., first and last name, age and city) in exchange for targeted advertising, according to a study by Q Interactive: 63

Percentage of baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) who would do the same: 53

Percentage of baby boomers who view advertisers "favorably" when they present an advertisement tailored to a personal interest: 56

Estimated total annual income of baby boomers, according to AARP: $3 trillion

Source: Q Interactive.

Estimated percentage of all marine litter that is made up of abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear, according to the study issued by the Media Office at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO): 10

Weight of litter this represents: 640,000 metric tons

Source: FAO.

Percentage of working moms at companies that have had layoffs in the past 12 months who are working longer hours, according to a CareerBuilder's survey: 30

Percentage who have taken on second jobs in the last year to help make ends meet: 14

Percentage of these moms who reported that they are burned out: 34

Source: CareerBuilder.com.

Percentage of American adults who have changed religious affiliation at least once during their lives, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion and Public Life: 50

Age by which most people who change their religion leave their childhood faith: 24

Source: Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

Idle Thought

"It is one thing to show a man that he is in error, and another to put him in possession of the truth." -- John Locke, philosopher

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

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