Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For July 31, 2011

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MACINTYRE 7/31/11

Percentage of shift workers who believe that they are negatively impacted by their shift work and report issues associated with work productivity, negative emotions, concern about sex life and decreased time spent with family, according to the Men's Health Network: 79

Percentage of shift workers who want a change in job or hours, but who don't think it will be possible in the near future: 52

Percentage who feel that they will have the same job until they retire: 44

Source: Men's Health Network.

Year the ice cream sundae was introduced by Wisconsin druggist Edward Berners to skirt the strict Sabbath laws of the time, according to the Census Bureau: 1881

Year the ice cream cone became popular at the St. Louis World's Fair: 1904

Average number of pounds of frozen dairy products eaten by Americans each year: 25

Source: Census Bureau.

Number of coupons marketers distributed in 2010 -- the largest single-year distribution quantity ever recorded in the United States, according to a report released by Valassis: 332 billion

Percentage growth in grocery coupon redemption volume in 2010 compared to the prior year, and up 29.4 percent since 2006: 10

Source: Valassis.

Percentage of all Americans -- and even more parents -- who admit they can't afford to be sidelined by health issues for three months or more, according to an Anthem Blue Cross survey: 50

Estimated number of lost work hours per year in America, due to stress and health problems: 2.8 million

Odds that a new worker will experience a long-term disability before retirement, according to the Council for Disability Awareness: 1-in-3

Source: Blue Cross.

Percentage of adults who report that they recycle, according to a national survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of Yesterday's News: 87

Percentage who say they recycle every day: 51

Percentage who admit that they never recycle: 13

Source: Ipsos Public Affairs.

Rank of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2" on the list of films with the highest presale of all time, eclipsing all other movie releases, according to movietickets.com: 1

Number of other Harry Potter films on the top 10 list: 3

Source: Movietickets.com.

Amount lost by U.S. workers in earnings annually, including $7.2 billion in earnings from workers in the copyright industry or "downstream" retail industries, and $9.1 billion in earnings by workers in other U.S. industries due to offshore rogue websites distributing illegal, pirated content and counterfeit goods, according to the Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI): $16.3 billion

Estimated amount lost by the U.S. government in tax revenues annually, including $1.8 billion in personal income tax and $800 million in lost corporate income and production taxes: $2.6 billion

Source: Institute for Policy Innovation.

Average self-reported daily consumer spending in stores, restaurants, gas stations and online per day during June, according to a Gallup poll: $69

Average upper-income daily consumer spending (among Americans making $90,000 or more annually) in June: $124

Source: Gallup Organization.

Percentage of dieters who were unable to keep the weight off past six months, according to a national survey by the Calorie Control Council: 66

Over a 12-month period, percentage of all dieters who attempted two or more weight-loss efforts: 50

Rank of "not enough exercise" (69 percent), "metabolism slowing" (62 percent) and "too much snacking" (52 percent) on the list of obstacles to achieving a healthy weight: 1, 2, 3

Source: Calorie Control Council.

Idle Thought

"Lying to ourselves is more deeply ingrained than lying to others." -- Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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