Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For January 02, 2011

Percentage of American consumers who compare prices when shopping for anything, according to a LendingTree survey: 96

Percentage who obtain just one home loan quote: 39

Percentage of homeowners who recognize they could save more than $100 a month by reducing their mortgage rate by one percent: 23

Source: Lending Tree.

With winter officially under way, record low winter temperature among continental U.S. cities, held by Bismarck, N.D., according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 44 degrees below zero

Absolute coldest temperature ever recorded in the U.S. was in Prospect Creek, Alaska: 80 degrees below zero

To put a different perspective on the word "lowest," -- record low temperature in Honolulu, Hawaii: 53 degrees

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of Americans who said that they would give up their bed before giving up their computer or television, according to a survey sponsored by Aaron's Inc.: 42

Percentage who said they would give up their computer last: 28

Percentage who chose their TV over a bed and a computer: 14

Source: Aaron's Inc.

Median number of years that full-time workers stay in their jobs, up slightly in 2010, and continuing a slow increase in job tenure that began in 2004, according to a report by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute: 5.2

Median job tenure for women in 2010, an increase from 4.2 years in 1983: 5.1 years

Median job tenure for men in 2010, a drop from 5.9 years in 1983: 5.3 years

Source: EBRI.

Rank of Subaru overall on the list of 2011 brand vehicles recognized for their projected retained value five years from now, according to Kelley Blue Book's Best Resale Value Awards: 1

Rank of BMW on the list of best resale value for luxury brands: 1

Source: Kelley Blue Book.

Percentage of Americans making $25,000 per year or less who use the shower to relax and escape, according to a nationwide study conducted by Delta Faucet: 41

Percentage of men who say their dream shower would include more room for significant others: 40

Percentage of women who say their dream shower would have ambient music and lighting: 45

Source: MSL Group.

Percentage of workers who reported they put in more than 40 hours a week, according to a study from CareerBuilder that looks at indicators of being addicted to work and what workers can do to find a happy medium between work and personal time: 52

Percentage who work more than 50 hours: 15

Percentage who bring home work at least once a week, with 1-in-10 bringing home work at least every other day: 31

Source: CareerBuilder.com.

Percentage of drivers who say they engaged in distracted driving somehow, whether by texting, talking on a cell phone -- even kissing, according to a poll conducted for InsuranceQuotes.com by GfK Roper: 93

Percentage of American adults who acknowledge that being distracted while driving caused them to do one of the following: swerve into another lane, slam on the brakes, get a ticket, almost get into an accident or have a minor or major wreck: 40

Source: GfK Custom Research North America.

Rank of Marrakech, Morocco on the list of British Airways' top 10 destinations for 2011: 1

Ranks of San Diego, New York, and St. Kitts and Nevis on the list: 2, 3, 4

Source: British Airways.

Percentage of small- to midsized businesses that predict sales will increase or remain the same, according to a survey conducted by Zoomerang: 84

As a result of the positive outlook anticipated by the majority of respondents, percentage who indicated they are planning to hire new staff in the next 12 months: 25

Ranks of software (29 percent), hardware (24 percent) and the company website (17 percent) on the list of areas of focus that companies are preparing to update in 2011: 1, 2, 3

Source: Zoomerang.

When asked what kind of help they would most appreciate if they were facing a serious health problem, percentage of Americans who said help staying connected with and updating other family and friends, according to a survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of CaringBridge: 58

Percentage of Americans who choose "Told you so!" as one of the three things they would least like to hear from family and friends when facing a health challenge or illness: 84

Percentage of respondents who chose "I love you" as one of the three things they would most like to hear from family or friends: 73

Source: CaringBridge.

Idle Thought

"No matter what side of the argument you are on, you always find people on your side that you wish were on the other." -- Jascha Heifetz, violinist (1901-1987)

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