Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For January 30, 2011

Percentage of American teens who say they know of President Barack Obama, according to an Ipsos Public Affairs poll: 72

Rank of Taylor Swift (68 percent) in terms of awareness among American teens: 2

Ranks of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. (62 percent), Oprah Winfrey (52 percent), actor Zac Efron (52 percent), NBA star Kobe Bryant (40 percent), Vice President Joe Biden (26 percent) and Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg (14 percent) on the list: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Source: Ipsos Reid Public Affairs.

Percentage of American adults who acknowledge being scared to check the balance on their bank statement in the past year, according to a Country Financial survey: 33

Percentage who say they have decreased spending on leisure activities: 51

Source: Country Financial.

Age of Benjamin Franklin when he invented swim fins, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 12

Estimated number of gadgets and games that youngsters present to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office each year -- earmuffs, water skis and Popsicles among them: 500,000

Average number of patents granted each year by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office: 185,000

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of American adults who say they have at least one step-relative, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center: 42

Percentage who have a step or half sibling: 13

Percentage who have a living stepparent: 18

Percentage who have at least one stepchild: 13

Source: Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends.

Percentage of women who have gone clothes shopping for themselves in the past year, according to research from Mintel: 87

Percentage of female clothes shoppers who say they avoid items that require a trip to the cleaners: 75

Percentage who are loathe to purchase clothing that has to be hand washed separately: 59

Percentage who look for items that don't have to be ironed: 71

Source: Mintel.

Number of contacts produced by a single student, according to WikiGeeks: 140 facebook friends, 80 twitter contacts, 30 acquaintances from other online and offline networks

For every 10,000 people reached via social networking about a sustainability or environmental issue in Africa, Asia, the Middle East or Latin America, estimated number who will pass on the information to others via their own networks: 850

Number who will contribute valuable ideas for improving the project: 75

Number who will donate funds: 30

Number who will actually want to volunteer to help in person: 3

Source: Friends Beyond Borders.

Percentage of small business CEOs who expect increased revenues in the coming year, according to Vistage International: 77

Percentage who foresee higher profits in their own companies: 63

Percentage of respondents who expect to hire more employees in the coming year, which is the first time in three years that the majority of CEOs planned to expand the number of jobs: 54

Source: Vistage International Inc.

Percentage of brides-to-be who update their Facebook with their new name or relationship status within a day of taking their vows, according to the fifth-annual "What's on Brides' Minds" survey by David's Bridal: 48

Percentage of brides who are interested in doing whatever it takes to get their 15 minutes of YouTube fame, like a choreographed dance down the aisle or first dance: 44

While watching wedding reality shows may be a guilty pleasure of brides, percentage who said they'd never let their wedding be featured on a controversial reality show in order to save money and get five minutes of fame: 69

Source: Wakefield Research.

Percentage of Americans who say that they have received a good suggestion for something to try as a result of their use of social media, according to the results of a Harris Interactive poll: 40

Percentage who say they have made a connection regarding a job opportunity: 15

Percentage who say they have found a new apartment or house through their social media use: 9

Source: Harris Interactive.

Rank of "vacations taken with parents and siblings" on the list of the "most awesome" holidays, according to a survey of kids between 6 and 17 years of age conducted by Ypartnership: 1

Ranks of a religious retreat (27 percent) or theme-park vacation (26 percent) on the list of most frequently mentioned memorable vacations: 1, 2

Source: Ypartnership Public Relations.

Idle Thought

"The average man, who does not know what to do with his life, wants another one which will last forever." -- Anatole France, novelist

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