Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For July 25, 2010

When wealthy Americans were given a list of 25 brands from various consumer product categories and asked which made them happiest, number of technology-based brands that headed the list, according to the results from the Affluence Collaborative research from AgencySacks: 4

Number of fashion brands among the top 15 responses: 0

When asked which brands respondents were most bored with, number that were from the fashion category -- true for both men and women: 4

Source: AgencySacks.

Percentage of Americans who report that the economic recession has significantly changed their outlook on life, according to a survey by StrategyOne: 77

Percentage of Americans who have re-evaluated their approach to life since the recession began: 58

Source: StrategyOne.

Percentage of respondents who said that out-of-control children are far and away the top summer travel irritation, according to the results of TripAdvisor's annual summer travel survey: 48

Ranks of erratic driving and line cutting at attractions on the list of summer travel irritations: 2 (tie)

Source: TripAdvisor.

Number of U.S. viewers who watched the World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands, making it the most watched soccer game in U.S. television history, according to the Nielsen Co.: 24.3 million

Number who watched the U.S.-Ghana match earlier in this World Cup: 19.4 million

Source: Nielsen Media Research.

Percentage of Americans who associate passion with love, according to a survey fielded by the makers of Sensis Condoms: 70

Percentage who associate the word with romance: 67

Percentage who associate it with sex: 55

Source: Kelton Research.

Temperature reading on July 10, 1913, at Greenland Ranch, Calif. -- highest thermometer reading ever recorded in the U.S., according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 134 degrees Fahrenheit

The next highest, 16 years ago at Lake Havasu City, Ariz.: 128 degrees

Among larger cities, record temperature held by Phoenix, Ariz.: 122 degrees

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Amount of money that the proposed 1 percent Social Security cost of living adjustment cut could cost seniors throughout a 25-year retirement, according to a new analysis released by the Senior Citizens League (TSCL): $54,954

Percentage of their purchasing power that seniors have lost since 2000, according to an analysis by TSCL: 24

Number of Americans aged 65 and over who receive a Social Security check: 37 million

Percentage who rely on it for 90 percent or more of their total income: 33

Source: Senior Citizens League.

Nearly 30 years into the AIDS epidemic, percentage of Americans who believe the United States has effectively dealt with the AIDS issue, according to a new Zogby International interactive poll: 59

Percentage of adults who are optimistic that the spread of HIV can be stopped by 2015: 28

Source: Zogby International.

Percentage of small-business owners who say they enjoy the flexibility that comes with "being your own boss," according to a survey released by Brother International: 50

Percentage who enjoy pursuing their passion: 35

Source: Brother International.

Percentage of adults who say they have been passengers in a car when the driver was sending or reading text messages on a cell phone, according to a survey by The Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project: 49

Percentage of adults who say they have been passengers of drivers who used a cell phone in a way that put themselves or others in danger: 44

Source: Pew Internet and American Life.

Idle Thought

"Each morning puts a man on trial, and each evening passes judgment." -- Roy L. Smit

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)