Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For April 22, 2012

Percentage of vacation homebuyers who purchased a vacation property last year who did so primarily because of low real estate prices, according to proprietary research commissioned by HomeAway: 33

Percentage who cited the desire for a family retreat: 30

Percentage who cited low mortgage rates: 13

Source: HomeAway.

Percentage of CFOs who said a lack of new ideas is the greatest barrier to their company being more innovative, according to a recent Robert Half survey: 35

Percentage of respondents who cited excessive bureaucracy as the top creativity killer: 24

Percentage who blamed being bogged down with daily tasks or putting out fires: 20

Source: Robert Half International.

Rank of the hot dog on the list of the favorite foods for baseball fans, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council: 1

Projected number of hot dogs Americans will consume this baseball season, enough to round the bases 28,489 times, and if laid end to end would stretch from the new Marlins Ballpark in Miami to Coors Field in Denver: 20.5 million

Source: National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.

Ranks of General Mills, Kraft and Johnson & Johnson on the list of the most reputable companies among U.S. consumers, according to the 2012 U.S. RepTrak Pulse, a study measuring the 150 largest U.S. public companies: 1, 2, 3

Of these 150 companies, percentage that report the CEO as the primary functional leader responsible for setting the reputation strategy: 51

Source: Reputation Institute.

This time last year, and just before the takedown of the Rustock botnet, average number of spam emails that were sent daily, according to the Commtouch report: 150 billion

Since that takedown, average number of spam emails sent per day: 94 billion

Source: Commtouch Spam Detection Center.

Percentage of Americans who have no credit cards at all, according to the Federal Reserve: 25

Among cardholders, percentage who carry a balance (roughly 37 percent of the population): 50

Percentage of the population that is credit card debt free: 63

Amount of credit card debt that is spread out over the 37 percent of the population: $780 billion plus

Source: InCharge Debt Solutions.

Percentage of Americans who say that using a computer without security software is high-risk, according to a study from Webroot: 85

Percentage who say leaving the door to one's home unlocked is high-risk: 82

Percentage who say leaving one's car unlocked is high-risk: 83

Source: Webroot Software Inc.

Percentage of hiring managers who say they currently have open positions for which they cannot find qualified candidates, according to a CareerBuilder survey: 26

Ranks of "being able to retain top talent," "being able to provide competitive compensation," and "worker burnout" on the list of the top staffing challenges in 2012 as cited by hiring managers: 1 (tie), 3

Source: CareerBuilder.com.

Percentage of workers who think it's not very or not at all likely that they or a family member will be diagnosed with a serious illness like cancer, according to The 2012 Aflac WorkForces Report: 62

According to the American Cancer Society, Cancer Facts & Figures 2012, percentage of women who will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives: 33

Percentage of men: 50

Source: Aflac Inc.

Percentage of women who have pulled over and used nature as their restroom, according to a study by Quilted Northern: 26

Percentage who have postponed using the bathroom until returning home: 69

Percentage of women who have exceeded the speed limit to reach a restroom more quickly: 38

Source: Edelman.

Idle Thought

"It is not so much our friends' help that helps us as the confident knowledge that they will help us." -- Epicurus, philosopher

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