Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For January 01, 2012

Ranks of Vienna, Zurich, Auckland (New Zealand) and Munich in the 2011 quality of living worldwide city rankings by Mercer: 1, 2, 3, 4

Ranks of Honolulu and San Francisco on the list -- the highest-ranking American cities: 29, 30

Source: Mercer.

Percentage of Americans who visit bars who agree a good bartender is more important than how trendy or stylish the decor of the bar is, according to a survey on behalf of Sailor Jerry Rum: 76

Percentage of respondents who tip a bartender more than 15 percent: 74

Percentage who also believe that the better they tip, the better service they will receive: 74

Source: Sailor Jerry Rum.

Percentage of Americans who say that if they earned between $60,000 and $100,000 a year they would consider themselves rich, according to a Gallup poll: 12

Percentage of Americans who say they would need in excess of $1 million in savings in cash, stocks, real estate and other investments in order to consider themselves rich, including 14 percent who say they would need $5 million or more: 26

Source: Gallup.

Percentage of American adults who make one or more resolutions each year, according to author Serge Prengel: 40 to 45

Percentage of respondents who maintain these resolutions past the first week: 75

Percentage who make it past six months: 46

Number of times more likely that people who explicitly make New Year's resolutions are to attain their goals than people who don't explicitly make resolutions: 10

Source: about.com.

Number of mobile applications that are downloaded worldwide each month, according to Mobile Future: 1 billion

Amount of money paid by Apple alone to independent app developers: $3 billion

Source: Mobile Future.

Percentage of Americans who rate themselves an 8, 9 or 10 on a scale of 1 to 10 in good looks, according to a LivingSocial survey conducted by Mandala Research: 32

Percentage who say they deserve at least a 7: 56

Percentage of respondents who say people in their city are overweight: 50

Percentage who agree that women in their city are beautiful: 46

Percentage who say that men in their city are handsome: 36

Source: LivingSocial.

Percentage of U.S. adults who have gone shopping or purchased something solely because they were in a bad mood, otherwise known as "retail therapy," according to a CouponCabin.com survey conducted by Harris Interactive: 24

Percentage of women who said they've shopped in pursuit of retail therapy: 31

Percentage of men who said the same: 16

Source: CouponCabin.

Percentage of leading privately held businesses that have made innovation a priority -- 33 percent of them to a great extent and 42 percent to some extent -- according to chief executives surveyed for PricewaterhouseCooper's Private Company Trendsetter Barometer: 75

Percentage of innovation-focused private companies that expect their innovations (ranging from incremental to breakthrough) will have a significant impact on the way they do business over the next one to three years: 47

Source: PwC Private Company Services.

Ranks of Jason Aldean's "Dirt Road Anthem," Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" and Eric Church's "Smoke a Little Smoke" on the list of the top played songs of 2011, according to TouchTunes Interactive Networks: 1, 2, 3

Ranks of Kid Rock, AC/DC and Jason Aldean on the list of the top artists 2011: 1, 2, 3

Source: TouchTunes Interactive Networks.

Increase (to 64.8 points) in the Country Financial Security Index in December, showing Americans' confidence in both their ability to pay debts and their overall financial state: 1.6

Percentage of respondents who say 2012 will be better than 2011: 30

Ranks of reducing debt (27 percent) and boosting savings (19 percent) on the list of the top 2012 personal priorities for Americans: 1, 2

Source: Country Financial.

Idle Thought

"Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials." -- Lin Yutang, writer and translator

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