Figuratively Speaking for June 20, 2010

Dear old dad, it seems, is a little starved for attention, even on his big day -- projected amount consumers will spend on Father's Day, according to BIGresearch: $8.23 billion

Estimated amount consumers spent for Mother's Day: $11.25 billion

Rank of Father's Day as the year's busiest collect-call day for AT&T: 1

Source: BIGresearch.

Percentage of all new marriages in the U.S. in 2008 that were between spouses of a different race or ethnicity from one another, according to a report by the Pew Research Center's Social and Demographic Trends project: 14.6

Percentage of respondents who say they have an immediate family member or close relative who is married to someone of a different race: 35

Source: Pewsocialtrends.org.

As of the first week of June, number of tweets that had been sent by Twitter's 105 million users, according to the findings of a Harris Poll: 15 billion

Estimated number of active users on Facebook -- more members than the populations of Japan, Mexico and Russia combined: 400 million

Percentage of online Americans who use social media: 64

Source: Harris Interactive.

Percentage of small-business owners who say they would give up 10 percent of their company in exchange for a guarantee that they'd be protected from negative economic effects in 2010, according to a survey released by Brother International Corp.: 15

Percentage of small-business owners who say that the economy has taken a toll on their well-being and who find that their stress level is at the highest it's ever been: 51

Source: Brother International Corp.

Percentage of consumers who said they would miss aspects of reading paper books if they switched to reading e-books: 41

Ranks of touch (36 percent), portability (13 percent) and making notes (13 percent) on the list of the top aspects consumers said they would miss most: 1, 2, 3

Source: PriceGrabber.com.

Percentage of workers who said they have less than $10,000 in savings (excludes the value of primary homes and defined-benefit pension plans), up from 39 percent in 2009, according to the EBRI 2010 Retirement Confidence survey: 43

Percentage who said they had less than $1,000, up from 20 percent in 2009: 27

Percentage who say they have confidence in their ability to save enough for a comfortable retirement, the second lowest point in the 20-year history of the survey: 16

Source: EBRI.

Percentage of Americans with a positive opinion about the federal government's handling of a British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, according to a Zogby Interactive survey: 16

Percentage of respondents who have a positive opinion of British Petroleum's handling of the spill: 14 (Down 11 percentage points since the previous poll in late May.)

Source: Zogby International.

Percentage of global consumers who say online content of any kind will have to be considerably better than what is currently free before they will pay for it, according to a Nielsen survey across 52 countries: 71

Percentage of people who would no longer use a website that charges them: 79

Percentage who believe that once they purchase content, it should be theirs to copy or share with whomever they want: 62

Source: Nielsen Analytics.

Percentage of Americans who deem terrorism and federal government debt as their most worrisome issues when they consider threats to the future well-being of the U.S., according to a Gallup Poll: 79

Percentage who call each an "extremely serious" threat: 40

Source: Gallup.

Percentage of companies that outsource their IT infrastructure today, according to a study commissioned by Savvis Inc.: 17

Predicted percentage that will outsource their IT infrastructure in 2020: 64

Source: Savvis.

Idle Thought

"It is better to sleep on things beforehand than lie awake about them afterwards." -- Baltasar Gracian, philosopher and writer

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

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