Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For June 07, 2009

Approximate number of hours that the average American watches TV every month at home, a 1.2 percent increase from last year, according to the results of Nielsen's Three Screen Report: 153

Source: Nielsen Analytics.

When asked what they found difficult about taking time off from work for vacation, percentage of respondents who stated that it was their first day back after vacation, according to a Randstad Work Watch survey of full-time employed adults: 77

Percentage of participants who found the last day in the office before vacation to be difficult: 44

Source: Randstad-USA.

Percentage of business travelers who indicated wi-fi was the most important airport amenity, outscoring basic travel needs such as food by nearly 30 percentage points, according to a study conducted by American Airlines Customer Research and HP: 47

Percentage of frequent travelers who said a dead battery (41.4 percent) and no place to plug in (26.3 percent) were their largest complaints: 67.7

Source: Hewlett-Packard Co.

Percentage of consumers who are carrying non-mortgage debt, according to the 2009 survey of financial values and debt sponsored by Securian Financial Group: 82

Percentage of baby boomers in debt who owe at least $50,000 in non-mortgage debt, a 10-point spike from the 2007 survey: 20 (Boomers were the only generation in the survey -- which included Generations Y, X and the Silent Generation -- to add debt since 2007.)

Source: Securian Financial Group.

Year that two of the nation's most notorious -- and romanticized -- criminals, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, were killed in an ambush staged by law officers in Gibsland, La., according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 1934

Estimated number of murders they were accused of committing during a two-year series of bank robberies from Missouri to Texas: 12

Across the country, number of such robberies that occur on an average day, with banks losing on average about $4,300: 27

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of Americans who believe their fellow swimmers participate in unhygienic pool behavior, according to a survey conducted by the Water Quality and Health Council: 84

Percentage of Americans who admit to one or more behaviors that contribute to an unhealthy pool: 47

Percentage who admit to peeing in the pool: 17

Percentage who are convinced their fellow swimmers are guilty of peeing: 78

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Year that Father's Day was invented by Sonora Smart Dodd, whose father had, as a single parent, raised his six children: 1910

Year that President Lyndon Johnson signed a proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father's Day: 1966

Percentage of fathers living with dependent children who are single fathers: 3

According to greeting-card maker Hallmark, rank of Father's Day on the list of card-sending holidays: 5

Source: Parents Magazine.

Percentage of executives who give their administrative assistants license to ghostwrite e-mail responses under their name without requiring approval, according to a survey by the International Association of Administrative Professionals and The ePolicy Institute: 28

Percentage who are authorized to use executives' electronic signatures: 55

Percentage of administrative professionals who know that an electronic signature is as legally binding as a handwritten signature: 72

Source: International Association of Administrative Professionals.

Estimated financial cost of disability for a 40-year-old single male earning $50,000 per year who suffers a long-term disability lasting until age 65, according to a study that was released by LIFE and America's Health Insurance Plans: $1 million

Number of times pre-disability earnings that this represents: 20

Percentage of Americans who admit they would begin having difficulty supporting themselves financially "immediately" following a disability: 27

Percentage who say they would reach that point within a month: 49

Source: America's Health Insurance Plans.

Percentage of Americans who reportedly live in a suburban environment, according to an Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of SnagAJob: 32

Of these people, percentage who wish their community had a wider variety of offerings: 51

Percentage who mentioned a walkable environment: 22

Source: SnagAJob.com.

Idle Thought

"Only the madman is absolutely sure." -- Robert Anton Wilson, novelist

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