Figuratively Speaking for July 11, 2010

Percentage of e-mail users who delete marketing e-mails within two seconds of opening them, according to e-mail metrics published by Litmus: 50

Percentage of recipients of e-mails from some of the top e-mail marketers who are spending 10 seconds or more reading their messages: 77

Source: Litmus.

Ranks of blasting loud music, beach chair hogging and urinating in the water on the list of the most common beach and pool etiquette violations, according to the results of the annual beach and pool etiquette survey by TripAdvisor: 1, 2, 3

Percentage of respondents who think it's a violation of beach and pool etiquette for men to wear Speedos: 35

Percentage who think the same of women clad in skimpy bikinis: 35

Source: TripAdvisor.

Percentage of job candidates that managers remove from consideration after speaking to their professional references, according to a survey from OfficeTeam: 21

Percentage of hiring managers who said they are most interested in getting input on an applicant's past job duties and experience: 36

Percentage who said they are most interested in learning about the individual's strengths and weaknesses: 31

Source: OfficeTeam.

Within the next 40 years, percentage of Americans who expect that computers will be able to carry on conversations, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press and Smithsonian magazine: 81

Percentage who believe there will be a cure for cancer: 71

Percentage who say that artificial arms and legs will outperform real limbs: 66

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

Percentage of working mothers who say they do not feel well-rested, according to the Gallup-Healthways well-being Index: 36

Percentage of working mothers of infants and toddlers who say they do not feel well-rested: 40

Percentage of working mothers who express high satisfaction with their paid job (comparable to the satisfaction rates seen among working women without children, and similar to working men's rates regardless of their parental status): 88

Source: Gallup.

Percentage of all new-vehicle buyers who use the Internet in their new-vehicle purchase process, according to Foresight Research: 86

Of this group, percentage who used the Internet to compare vehicles and pricing: 90

Percentage who checked it for incentives: 83

Source: Foresight Research.

Year the biggest hit song of all time, "Happy Birthday To You," composed by schoolteacher Mildred Hill of Louisville, Ky., was published -- it is sung somewhere on Earth, every minute of every day, and was the first song to be performed in outer space, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 1859

Estimated number of American babies who will hear it for the first time this year, sung by their off-key relatives around a cake sporting one candle: 4 million

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

When the economy began tanking in late 2008, percentage decline in the sales of men's underwear (one of Alan Greenspan's key market indicators) that followed, according to a Jockey survey: 12

Rank of outdated undies on the list of least concerns when you don't have a job: 1

Source: Kelton Research.

Value at retail of the baby care market's six categories (disposable diapers, wipes, bodycare preparations, feeding accessories, play and discovery toys, and pacifiers/teethers), according to a Packaged Facts report: $7 billion

Source: Packaged Facts.

Idle Thought

"Happiness is not a goal; it is a byproduct." -- Eleanor Roosevelt

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

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