Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For September 12, 2010

When American adults were asked if they would most want to be richer, thinner, smarter or younger, percentage who professed that they would want to be richer, according to the findings of an Adweek Media/Harris Poll survey: 43

Percentage of Americans who said they would like to be thinner: 21

Percentage who said smarter: 14

Percentage who said younger: 12

Percentage who said they would not want to choose any of the given options: 9

Source: Harris Interactive.

Percentage of kids who reported that they did have chores to do at home, according to the Highlights State of the Kid Report: 71.9

Reported average weekly allowance, down sharply from a decade ago, for which they overwhelmingly must do chores: $3 to $5

Source: Highlights Magazine.

Percentage of men who find a frugal blind date to be both "smart" and "sexy," according to a survey from ING Direct USA: 61

Percentage of women, on the other hand, who find a frugal blind date to be "smart" and "sexy": 44

In the financial battle of the sexes, when compared to men, number of times more likely that women are to be turned off and upset by a partner who spends too little on them: 2

Source: ING.

Percentage of full-time employees of companies with 1,000 or more employees who wish they didn't spend most of their work hours sitting, according to a study conducted on behalf of Ergotron: 75

On average, total number of hours per week that full-time employees of companies with 1,000 or more employees report spending seated -- at a desk (21), in meetings (3), working at home (4): 28

Average number of hours per week that full-time workers at large companies spend facing a computer or a mobile device: 25

Source: Ipsos Public Affairs.

Year that one of America's favorite snack foods is said to have originated when chef George Crum -- irritated at a customer for sending back his fried potatoes because they were too thick and soggy -- decided to slice potatoes paper thin and stir-fry them as potato chips: 1853

Worldwide estimated annual value of the potato chip market: $16 billion

Estimated number of pounds of potatoes each American eats annually, a good part of which is made up by chips: 39

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Ranks of Singapore, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Canada and Switzerland on the list of countries with the highest potential net population gain through migration, according to Gallup's Potential Net Migration Index: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Ranks of Sierra Leone, Haiti, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and the Somaliland region on the list of countries with the highest potential net adult population loss: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Source: Gallup.

Percentage of employers who use social media to promote their companies, according to a CareerBuilder survey: 35

Percentage of these employers who said they are using social media to connect with clients and find new business: 25

Percentage who are using it to recruit and research potential employees: 21


Percentage of pasta-eating Americans who prefer the traditional pasta sauces of meat, Alfredo or marinara, according to a national survey fielded by Olive Garden and conducted by Kelton Research: 74

When it comes to food, percentage of Americans who associate Italian cuisine with generosity and abundance, more than any other type of cuisine: 35

Source: Olive Garden.

Percentage of teens who feel students with home wireless (Wi-Fi) have an easier time completing school assignments, according to a home learning survey conducted for Cisco's Consumer Products: 90

Source: Opinion Research Corp.

Idle Thought

"A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor." -- Victor Hugo, novelist and dramatist

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)