Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For January 16, 2011

Percentage of people who say relatives overstay their welcome after a day or less, according to a special edition of the "HomeAway Vacation Rental Marketplace Report": 22

Ranks of "leaving their belongings all over the place" (31 percent), "not helping with the cooking/cleaning" (26 percent), and "wanting to be entertained constantly" on the list of the most annoying habits of houseguests: 1, 2, 3

Source: Home Away.

Rank of Johnny Depp on the list of top money-making stars of 2010 in Quigley Publishing Co.'s 79th annual poll of motion picture exhibitors: 1

Number of times Depp has appeared in the poll, including two other first-place finishes in 2007 and 2006: 6

From 1949 to 1974, number of times John Wayne was voted one of the top 10 money-making stars: 25

Source: Quigley Publishing Co.

Percentage of Americans who say religion is losing its influence on American life -- one of the highest such responses in Gallup's 53-year history of asking this question, according to a Gallup Poll: 70

Source: Gallup.

When consumers were asked to cite the kind of advertising they're most likely to ignore, percentage who cited Internet banner ads, according to an AdweekMedia/Harris Poll: 43

Ranks of search engine ads (20 percent), TV ads (14 percent), radio ads (7 percent) and newspaper ads (6 percent) on the list of advertising they were most likely to ignore: 2, 3, 4, 5

Source: AdweekMedia/Harris Poll.

Between 1970 and 2000, percentage growth in the undergraduate student population, according to Universities.com: 72

According to information from the National Center for Educational Statistics, percentage of students who are part-time: 39

Percentage of postsecondary students who are 25 years of age or older: 39

Source: Universities.com.

Percentage of Internet users who have paid to download or access some kind of online content from the Internet, according to a Pew Internet & American Life survey: 65

Percentage of Internet users who say they have paid for digital music online: 33

Percentage who have paid for digital newspaper, magazine or journal articles or reports: 18

Source: PEW Internet and American Life Project.

Percentage of employers who plan to hire full-time, permanent employees in 2011, up from 20 percent in 2010 and 14 percent in 2009, according to CareerBuilder's annual job forecast: 24

Percentage who plan to decrease headcount, an improvement from 9 percent in 2010 and 16 percent in 2009: 7

Percentage who anticipate no change in their staff levels: 58

Source: CareerBuilder.com.

Percentage of U.S. homes that have a digital video recorder, according to Nielsen research: 38

Percentage of time-shifted prime-time broadcast programming that is played back the same day it was recorded: 49

Percentage that is played back within three days: 88

Source: Nielsen Media Research.

Percentage of households that have made home improvements to save on their utility bill, according to international research from Parks Associates: 68

Percentage who cite personal comfort as another primary reason for making upgrades: 65

While consumer awareness of smart grids remains low, percentage of U.S. households that are still taking energy-saving actions themselves, and making energy-related improvements in their home: 80

Source: Parks Associates.

Percentage of new-car shoppers who say they are waiting to find the right deal before making their final purchase decision, according to the latest study from Kelley Blue Book: 72

Percentage who say they have not yet finalized their purchase or lease decision because they are still undecided on the specific vehicle they want to purchase: 43

Percentage of new-car shoppers who have delayed their purchase in the past year: 52

Source: Kelley Blue Book.

Idle Thought

"Every man's work, whether it be literature, or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself." -- Samuel Butler, poet

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