Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For August 15, 2010

Rank of Friday night on the list of the most popular nights for Americans to take out their dinner, according to a survey by Turning Leaf: 1

Percentage of respondents who said they have passed off takeout food as something they have made from scratch: 34

When asked where they prefer to eat takeout, percentage of Americans who said cozying up on the living room couch: 50

Percentage who enjoyed sitting down at the dining room table: 50

Think you're the only one who sneaks a bite of food before bringing it home? Percentage of Americans who also let the temptation of a pre-meal bite get the best of them: 61

Source: Turning Leaf.

Percentage of swimmers who think it's acceptable to urinate in the ocean if no other swimmers are near, according to a survey by TripAdvisor: 53

Percentage of respondents who think there should be designated child-free areas: 63

Percentage who think it's unacceptable for a young child to go in the ocean au naturel: 61

Percentage of travelers who think it's unacceptable to ask a stranger to help apply suntan lotion: 77

Source: TripAdvisor.

Percentage of presumably human adults surveyed in 22 countries who say they believe that alien beings have come down to Earth and walk amongst us in our communities disguised as "us," according to a Reuters News poll conducted by Ipsos: 20

Ranks of India (45 percent) and China (42 percent) on the list of countries with citizens most likely to believe that the disguised visitors are walking close by: 1, 2

Source: Ipsos Reid.

Of those Americans who have experienced an unemployment spell of at least six months, percentage who report that the recession has caused major changes in their lives, according to a Pew Research Center survey: 44

Percentage of those unemployed over six months who say joblessness has strained family relations, compared with 39 percent of those who were out of work for less than three months: 46

Percentage of long-term unemployed who say they have lost contact with close friends: 43

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

Percentage of workers who report that since the economic downturn, they have been packing a lunch more often to eat healthier or help save money, according to a CareerBuilder survey: 47

Among workers who smoke, percentage who said they are more likely to quit smoking given today's economic conditions: 44


Percentage of Americans, not yet retired, who believe they will get no Social Security benefits when they retire, reflecting more pessimism than at any time since Gallup began asking this question in 1989: 60

Percentage of retired Americans who believe their existing Social Security benefits will eventually be cut: 56

Percentage of retirees who said Social Security is a major source of income, more than any other source tested: 54

Source: Gallup.

Percentage of Americans who feel that smoking should not be allowed within 20 feet of a doorway, according to the results from the annual Social Climate Survey of Tobacco Control, funded by Legacy: 67.3

Percentage who feel that beaches should be smoke-free: 43

Percentage who favor smoking bans in parks: 36

Source: Legacy.

Number of single moms living with children under 18 years old, according to BIGresearch: 10 million

Number of single dads living with children under 18 years old: 2.3 million

Source: BIGresearch.

Percentage of adults who have less confidence in Apple products due to iPhone 4 reception problems, according to a survey by Zogby: 40

Percentage of adults who believe electronics products are becoming more reliable: 32

Percentage who say they are less reliable: 22

Source: Zogby International.

Percentage of mothers who consider themselves "fun" moms, according to the survey of moms conducted by Rayovac: 84

Percentage of these fun moms who believe that having more energy would empower their families to have even more fun this summer: 60

To keep kids occupied in the car while taking a summer road trip, percentage of moms who sing songs with their families: 60

To give the vocal cords a rest, percentage who also have their children watch movies on a portable DVD player: 50

Source: Rayovac.

Idle Thought

"A man should live with his superiors as he does with his fire: not too near, lest he burn; nor too far off, lest he freeze." -- Diogenes, philosopher

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)