Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For June 26, 2011

Ranks of Apple, Google, IBM, McDonald's, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, AT&T, Marlboro, China Mobile and GE on the list of the world's most valuable brands, according to the sixth-annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Combined value of all the brands in the top 100: $2.4 trillion

In terms of geography, number of the Top 100 brands that now originate in "BRICs" (Brazil, Russia, India, China) markets, compared to only two in 2006: 19

Source: Millward Brown.

Average number of apps that smartphone app downloaders have on their phones, according to the State of the Media Fact Sheet compiled by the Nielsen company: 27

Percentage of mobile phone owners who have smartphones: 30.9

Source: Nielsen Media Research.

Percentage of Americans who bought their first home in the past 12 months who expected to meet their mortgage repayment obligations in the coming year, according to the Genworth International Mortgage Trends Report: 87

Due to affordability issues -- high home prices, higher costs of living or fear of rising interest rates --average age at which a person in the U.S. is able to purchase a first home: 31.6

Average age of a first-home purchaser in the 1970s: 27.3

Source: Genworth Financial.

Percentage of American workers who think they will continue working full- or part-time after they reach retirement age, according to a Gallup Poll: 80

Percentage of these workers who say they will do so because they "want to": 44

Percentage who say they will do so because they "have to": 36

Source: Gallup.

Percentage of men with children under 18 years of age in the household who can be classified as "The Partner Dad," which means he works with his partner doing the shopping, the cooking and the dishes before relaxing in front of the TV, according to a study by The Martin Agency: 25

Percentage of dads who can be classified as "The Renaissance Dad," which means he strengthens the family through togetherness and learning, makes it a point to be home for dinner every night, and who reads or jogs in his spare time: 19

Percentage who can be classified as "The Hip-Hop Dad" and, while he's not a pushover, he does like spoiling his kids every once in a while: 14

Source: Martin Agency.

Percentage of Americans who have a pet, according to the results of a Harris Poll: 62

Among pet owners, percentage who have a dog: 69

Percentage who have a cat: 51

Percentage who have a fish: 11

Percentage of pet owners who have a bird: 7

Source: Harris Interactive.

Of employers hiring in 2011, ranks of sales, IT, customer service and engineering on the list of the top functional areas for recruitment: 1, 2, 3, 4

Source: CareerBuilder.com.

Percentage of Internet users age 16 and older who are worried about companies checking their actions on the Internet, according to the Center for the Digital Future: 48

Percentage of Internet users age 16 and older who are concerned about the government checking what they do online: 38

Among these Internet users, percentage who said that it is safe to voice their views about politics while online: 33

Source: Center for a Digital Future.

Number of calories in one medium-size (5.3 ounce) skin-on potato, according to the US Department of Agriculture: 110

Percentage of the daily value of vitamin C provided by that one potato: 45

Amount of fat, sodium or cholesterol contained in the potato: 0

Rank of potatoes on the list of fruits and vegetables that provide the largest and most affordable source of potassium and fiber, according to National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey: 1

Source: United States Potato Board.

Percentage of men who find it easier to care for their cars than for their personal health, according to findings from a new survey of men ages 45 to 65 commissioned by Men's Health Network and Abbott (NYSE: ABT): 70

Percentage of men who do not visit the doctor regularly: 28

Percentage of their significant others who reported they are worried about their spouse's or partner's health: 40

Source: Abbott.

Idle Thought

"Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: All of them make me laugh." -- W.H. Auden

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