Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For January 10, 2010

Percentage of those travelers who stay with their relatives over the holidays who confessed they'd rather stay somewhere else, according to TripAdvisor's Holiday Travel Survey: 25

Percentage who have argued with a family member during the "season of good will": 31

Percentage who said they have caused hurt feelings by forgetting to bring a present for someone: 13

Source: TripAdvisor.

Percentage of consumer spending that is now focused on repairing items rather than purchasing new items, according to a report by Kiwi Shoe Care: 8

Percentage of consumers who have reduced indulgent spending during this recession, notably on new wardrobe items, such as shoes: 66

Source: KIWI Shoe Care.

Percentage of heavy users of social media who received high grades, according to research from the University of New Hampshire: 63

Percentage of light users of social media who received high grades: 65

Percentage of respondents who said they have increased their usage of social media from a year ago: 43

Source: UNH Media Relations.

Ranks of Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIp) providers, search engines, e-commerce and online auctions, online dating and matchmaking, and tank and armored vehicle manufacturing on the list of the best performing industries of the past decade (2000 to 2009), according to IbisWorld: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Ranks of VoIP providers, retirement and pension plans, biotechnology, e-commerce and online auctions, and environmental consulting on the list of best performing industries in the coming decade (2010 to 2019): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Source: IBISWorld.

On the eve of the 2010 Census, projected total U.S. population -- three months out from Census Day (April 1) -- according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 308,400,408

In January 2010, number of births expected to occur every eight seconds in the United States: 1

Number of deaths expected to occur every 12 seconds: 1

Number of people expected to be added every 37 seconds through net international migration: 1

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of chief financial officers who said that breaking bread with key contacts is good business, and stated that their most successful business meetings ever outside the office were conducted over a meal, according to a survey by Robert Half Management Resources: 36

Percentage who said their most successful business outside the office was conducted at a trade show or conference: 25

Percentage who said on the golf course: 3

Source: Robert Half Management Resources.

Ranks of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, talk show host Oprah Winfrey, first lady Michelle Obama and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on the list of the most admired women in the eyes of Americans, according to a Gallup Poll: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Ranks of President Barack Obama, former President George W. Bush, former South African President Nelson Mandela, radio and TV personality Glenn Beck and Pope Benedict XVI on the list of the most admired men in the eyes of Americans: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Source: Gallup.

Approximate cost of an airport body scanner (which, if installed at all airports worldwide, will require billions of dollars and impact ticket prices or taxes), according to George Hobica from Airfarewatchdog.com: $150,000 to $200,000

Source: Smarter Travel.

As 2009 comes to a close, percentage of Americans who are filled with significant uncertainty and anxiety about the state of the U.S. economy and its prospects for a quick recovery in the New Year, according to polling firm StrategyOne: 87.

Percentage who disagree with economic experts that the U.S. is no longer in a recession: 78

Source: StrategyOne.

Percentage of adults who have a favorable opinion of for-profit schools, including a quarter who have a very favorable opinion, according to a poll conducted by Lake Research Partners for Americans For Democratic Action Education Fund: 58

Percentage who have an unfavorable opinion: 20

Percentge of respondents who were convinced that online for-profit colleges and universities offer students the flexibility they need to be successful and earn a college degree: 81

Source: Lake Research Partners.

Idle Thought

"The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom." -- Isaac Asimov, scientist and writer

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