Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For July 24, 2011

In the past year, number of American adults -- 10 percent of the U.S. adult population -- who purchased a coupon from an online site such as Groupon or LivingSocial, according to a survey conducted for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants: 23 million

Percentage of coupons that were used for needed items: 49

Source: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Percentage of men who actually confessed to wearing their underwear two or three times between washes, according to a survey by the makers of Clorox Bleach: 12.5

Percentage of men who rely on a "sniff" test to determine if their clothes are fresh enough to wear, justifying their habit of wearing garments multiple times before washing: 49

Source: Clorox.

Percentage of travelers who think that people often violate some form of beach or pool etiquette, according to the results of the annual beach and pool etiquette survey by TripAdvisor: 74

Percentage who have asked a stranger to stop behaving rudely at the beach or pool: 26

Percentage of respondents who said blasting loud music is the most annoying poolside etiquette violation: 21

Percentage who said beach chair hogging: 18

Source: TripAdvisor.

When it comes to how well workers' education prepared them for their current position, percentage of full-time workers who said that while their education helped, they learned most of their skills on the job, according to an Ipsos Public Affairs-Randstad survey: 50

Percentage of workers who wished that they had more skills -- "hard skills" such as a degree or knowledge of a trade or industry and/or "soft" skills such as emotional, social, leadership and organizational intelligence: 62

Source: Ipsos Public Affairs.

Percentage of motorists who cite checking tire pressure as a top fuel-saving tip: 75

Percentage of male motorists who properly check tire pressure: 20

Percentage of female motorists who properly check tire pressure: 9

Number of gallons of fuel wasted annually due to underinflated tires: 1.2 billion

Source: Rubber Manufacturers Association.

Percentage of adults who said they knew someone who had used paid sick time for reasons other than an illness, such as extending their summer vacation, according to a survey commissioned from Opinion Research Corp. and released by the Employment Policies Institute: 51

Percentage of respondents who said they had personally used sick leave for non-medical reasons: 21 (27 percent of males and 16 percent of females)

Source: Opinion Research Corp.

Century when roller coasters were first chronicled as ice slides in Russia, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 15th

In the U.S., year that the first modern roller coaster opened at Coney Island, N.Y., built by Lamarcus Thompson, and called "the gravity pleasure switchback railway": 1884

Number of minutes the ride lasted: 1

Today, estimated number of amusement parks across the nation: 634

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of pet owners who say they consider their pet to be a member of their family, according to a survey by Harris Interactive: 91

Percentage of pet owners who say they frequently let their pet sleep in the bed with them: 57

Percentage of pet owners who frequently purchase holiday presents for their pet: 33

Source: Harris Interactive.

Across all backgrounds, ranks of education, the state of the economy, an individual's own skills and a person's income level on the list of factors considered the most important for success in America: 1, 2, 3, 4

Percentage of respondents who believe that a person's racial or ethnic background is important: 2

Source: Allstate Insurance Co.

Percentage of non-retired U.S. investors (defined as those having $10,000 or more of investable assets) who say the cost of health care is a major determinant of when they retire, according to the Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index poll: 72

Percentage of non-retired investors who say being located near good medical facilities will be a major factor in determining where they will live in retirement: 60

Percentage of non-retirees who said low state and/or local real estate taxes would have an impact on where they would retire: 52

Source: Gallup.

Idle Thought

"A candle loses nothing of its light by lighting another candle." -- Anonymous

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