Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For April 15, 2012

Percentage of U.S. adults who believe that it is especially important to "buy American," according to a survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of House Beautiful: 51

Percentage who feel proud when they purchase American-made goods: 46

Source: Ipsos Public Affairs.

Estimated number of idle or deactivated mobile phones in the U.S. in need of recycling, according to research from Compass Intelligence: 280 million

Percentage of mobile customers who upgrade every 18 months or less: 25

Currently, estimated percentage of old mobile phones that are recycled: 10

Source: Compass Intelligence.

Price of a gallon of gasoline in Chicago, the highest level ever recorded by the American Automobile Association and higher than an equal amount of champagne, soda pop and laundry detergent, according to a report in the Chicago Sun Times: $4.67 to $5

Cost to fill up an average car with gas: $84

Average cost of a keg of domestic beer: $75

Source: Rocco Shirts Chicago.

Percentage of Americans who say that they have a good night's sleep at least a few nights a week, according to the National Sleep Foundation 2012 Bedroom Poll: 76

Ranks of a comfortable mattress (93 percent), comfortable pillows (91 percent), comfortable sheets (86 percent), a quiet room (74 percent) and bedroom darkness (73 percent) on the list of things that are important to getting a good night's sleep: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Source: National Sleep Foundation.

Year that a switch was thrown as Wabash, Ind., became the first town in America to be illuminated by electric lights and, according to newspaper reports, people were said to be overcome with awe and many sank to their knees in wonder, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 1880

Number of kilowatt hours a year that the average U.S. home used in 1912, chiefly for lighting: 264

Today, with the dramatic growth in electrical appliances and electronic devices, number of kilowatt hours a year used in the average U.S. home: 11,500

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of moms who stated they would not hire a beautiful baby sitter or nanny, shattering the old cliche that moms don't hire beautiful sitters, according to a survey commissioned by Sittercity: 7

Rank of "engage, educate and enhance" their children's lives on the list of the most important attributes when looking for a childcare provider: 1

Source: Sittercity.com.

Percentage of SMB (small- and medium-business) websites in the U.S. that are missing either a local or toll-free telephone number on the home page to contact the business, according to an analysis from SMB DigitalScape: 60

Percentage of SMB websites that lack an email link on their home page for consumers to contact the business: 74

Source: vSplash, BIA/Kelsey.

Percentage of adult women in the U.S. who have at some point been a member of Girl Scouts, according to the Girl Scout Research Institute: 49

Average length of time spent in Girl Scouts: 4 years

Source: Girl Scouts of the USA.

Across North America, average price of a premium downtown parking space: $16.64

Average price of the least expensive space in these markets, up from $8.48 per day: $12.57

Average cost of a premium reserved monthly space, down from $240: $199

Source: National Parking Association.

Percentage of licensed insurance and financial advisers serving the senior market who cited the economy as the No. 1 issue keeping them up at night, according to the results of a survey by Senior Market Advisor, published by Summit Business Media: 30

Percentage of respondents who cited generating leads: 29

Source: Summit Business Media.

Idle Thought

"It is impossible to live pleasurably without living prudently, honorably and justly; or to live prudently, honorably and justly, without living pleasurably." -- Epicurus, philosopher

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