Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For March 25, 2012

Percentage of train operators who admit that sleepiness has affected their job performance at least once a week, according to the National Sleep Foundation's 2012 Sleep in America poll: 26

Percentage of pilots who say the same: 23

Percentage of pilots who admit that they have made a serious error due to sleepiness: 20

Percentage of train operators who say the same: 18

Source: National Sleep Foundation.

Percentage of independent business owners who do not completely understand the tax returns they sign off on, according to findings of Newtek Business Services: 55

Percentage who would prefer to pay the same tax amount and would be willing to receive the same or less government services, instead of paying a greater tax and receiving more government services: 57

Source: Newtek Business Services.

Ranks of pens, paper clips and binder clips, rubber bands, tape, and a pair of scissors on the list of items most often missing from a worker's desk, according to a survey conducted by Paper Mate about office theft: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

When items go missing from work, percentage of American office workers who assume a co-worker took them: 60

Source: Paper Mate.

Percentage of American moms who say that they avoid hugging and kissing altogether when a spouse is sick, according to a survey underwritten by the makers of Vicks-branded Humidifiers: 43

Percentage who report that they sleep on the couch when a spouse is sick: 10

Ranks of tea, orange juice, chicken soup, lots of water and humidifiers on the list of the top five natural remedies moms use: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Source: Lindberg International.

Estimated number of American jobs that would be created if the U.S. were to double its exports by the end of 2014, according to U.S. Export-Import Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg and Siemens Energy Inc.: 2 million

Today, estimated number of jobs that are supported by exports: 10 million

Estimated percentage of all U.S. economic growth since the middle of 2009 that is attributable to exports: 50

Source: Siemens Transportation Systems.

Inspired by the watercolors and paintings of Thomas Moran, year that one of the nation's most beautiful natural areas was protected for future generations to enjoy, as Congress made Yellowstone the country's first national park: 1872

Area covered by the park, primarily in Wyoming but with some parts in Montana and Idaho: 2 million acres

Area covered by the national park system: 84 million acres

Number of people who visit these parks each year: 281 million

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Ranks of Las Vegas, Miami and Orlando on the list of Getaroom.com's top spring break destinations in 2012: 1, 2, 3

Source: Getaroom.com.

In 2010, percentage of all patents granted that went to women, a 35 percent jump over the previous year, according to a study commissioned by the National Women's Business Council: 18 (22,984 total)

Percentage of all trademarks granted to individuals and sole proprietorships that went to women: 33

Ranks of chemistry, bio-affecting drugs, semiconductor device manufacturing and furnishings on the list of the top categories for women-owned patents: 1, 2, 3, 4

Source: National Women's Business Council.

Percentage of employees who say weight loss is their top health concern this year, a 10 percent increase over 2011, according to a poll released by ComPsych Corp.: 43

Percentage of employees who said exercise was the health issue they are most trying to stay ahead of this year: 20

Percentage who said "stress": 18

Source: ComPsych Corp.

Rank of the 2012 Ford Focus Electric on the list of America's most fuel-efficient five-passenger vehicles with a 110 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) city rating, according to certification by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: 1

Combined rating achieved by Focus Electric: 105 MPGe

Source: Ford.

Idle Thought

"It is more often from pride than from ignorance that we are so obstinately opposed to current opinions; we find the first places taken, and we do not want to be the last." -- Francois De La Rochefoucauld

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