Figuratively Speaking for April 25, 2010

Amount spent annually by U.S. marketers targeting children, up from $100 million in 1983: $17 billion

Average number of hours per week that U.S. children now spend in front of television screens, more hours than in any other activity besides sleeping: 40

Percentage of U.S. babies under the age of 1 who have a television in their bedroom: 19

Source: WorldWatch Institute.

Year that Arthur Mosher Butts, an unemployed architect who developed the board game Scrabble to pass the time with his friends during the Great Depression, was born: 1899

When the game was marketed by Macy's, amount of royalty per game that Butts received: 3 cents

Estimated number of sets that have been sold worldwide: 150 million

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Amount that the average woman spends per year on haircuts, according to ShopSmart Consumer Reports: $195

Estimated amount she spends on color alone: $260

Percentage of women who are trying to save money by going to the salon less often: 33

Percentage of women who have had a mood affected by a bad hair day: 44

Source: Consumer Reports.

Percentage of Americans who see the growth in reality television shows as a change for the better, according to Pew Research: 8

Percentage who say the shows have been a change for the worse: 63

Source: Pew Internet and American Life.

Percentage of Americans who said their financial professional has not broached the topic of how to fund potential long-term-care costs, according to a survey sponsored by Genworth Financial companies: 91

Percentage of Americans who say that fear of upsetting family members is the biggest barrier to talking about long-term-care plans: 65

Percentage who say becoming a family burden is their biggest concern: 55

Source: Genworth Financial.

Percentage salary premium that professionals with "cyber" on their resume can command as both the public and private sectors are becoming more aggressive in building their security-talent pipeline, according to the Dice Report: 20

As of April 1, 2010, the number of available tech jobs: 62,067

Source: Dice.

Average American mainstream videogame industry salary in 2009, a decline of more than 4 percent from 2008's figure of $79,000, according to Game Developer Research, the analysis arm of leading videogame industry publications Game Developer magazine and Gamasutra: $75,573

Source: fortyseven communications.

Percentage of women 50 years of age and older who singled out Meryl Streep as the celebrity who best personifies "50-plus Fabulous," according to a survey sponsored by Vichy Laboratories: 46

Percentage of women over 50 who reported that they experienced changes in the appearance of their skin, including increased dryness, increased wrinkles and a sagging neck once they entered menopause: 82

Source: Vichy.

Percentage of Americans who are seriously concerned about identity theft, according to the results of the Unisys Security Index: 64

Percentage who are also seriously concerned about credit and debit card fraud: 62

Percentage of Americans who are seriously concerned about the security of online transactions -- the highest level since the Unisys Security Index began three years ago: 43

Source: Unisys.

Percentage of chief information officers who have implemented stricter social networking policies, according to a survey developed by Robert Half Technology: 38

Percentage of technology executives who are reining in personal use of social media: 23

According to a previous study, percentage of companies that have social networking policies that ban the use of social networking altogether: 55

Source: Robert Half Technology.

Idle Thought

"We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin." -- Andre Berthiaume, novelist

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)

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