Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For September 09, 2012

From nursery school to college, estimated number of students who are headed to the classroom (that is more than 1 out of 4 of the total U.S. population aged 3 and over): 77 million

Of the 56 million elementary and high school students enrolled this fall, percentage who will attend private schools: 11

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of U.S. adults who have said they have had a "friend breakup" over a money dispute, according to a survey from CouponCabin.com: 20

Source: CouponCabin.

Percentage of workers who characterized themselves as "occasional voters" when participating in office politics, limiting their involvement to issues that affect them directly, according to a Robert Half survey: 40

Percentage who said they are "neutral parties" and stay completely out of the fray: 39

Percentage who said, "I have to play the game to get ahead": 14

Source: Robert Half Management Resources.

Percentage of U.S. teachers who see hunger in the classroom, according to a survey released by Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign: 60

Percentage of teachers who agree that school breakfast is especially important for academic achievement: 90

Ranks of increased concentration (95 percent), better academic performance (89 percent) and better behavior in the classroom (73 percent) on the list of results that teachers see when children have a good breakfast: 1, 2, 3

Source: NoKidHungry.org/teachers.

Percentage of Americans who say that toilet paper should be hung with the roll overhanging not underhanging, according to a nationwide survey conducted by NetPlenish: 75

Number of minutes Americans spend every year just trying to find the end of the toilet roll: 30

Source: NetPlenish.

Percentage of people who fell into the "obese" or "morbidly obese" categories who believe they have been discriminated against when applying for a job or promotion, according to a Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll: 52

Percentage who said they have been socially shunned: 40

Percentage who felt they've been discriminated against when being seated in theaters or restaurants: 36

Source: Harris Interactive.

Number of colleges, universities, art and trade schools across the country that offer courses, professional certificates, undergraduate or graduate degrees in video game design, development and programming, according to research from the Entertainment Software Association: 381

Source: Entertainment Software Association.

Number of emerging and high-growth market acquisitions completed by U.S.-based companies in the first half of 2012, according to KPMG International's Emerging Markets International Acquisition Tracker (EMIAT) study: 108

Ranks of Brazil, Central America and the Caribbean, and South and East Asia on the list of the most popular geographic targets for U.S. companies in 2012: 1, 2, 3

Source: KPMG LLP.

Percentage of travelers who plan to take a leisure trip this autumn, according to the results of TripAdvisor's annual fall travel survey: 85

Percentage who said rising gas prices will not affect their fall travel plans: 84

Percentage of travelers who plan to spend more on fall travel than they did in 2011: 34

Source: TripAdvisor.

Percentage of checking account holders who had considered switching their accounts to a different bank within the past year, according to a Consumer Reports National Research Center survey: 19

Percentage of those who considered switching who cited fee increases for routine services as one of the reasons they wanted to move their account to a new bank: 43

Source: Consumer Reports.

Idle Thought

"When I feed the hungry, they call me a saint. When I ask why people are hungry, they call me a communist." -- Helder Camara, archbishop

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