Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For January 19, 2014

Percentage of Americans who believe that money can buy happiness, according to a survey: 21

Percentage of respondents who say it can't, but being poor can make you miserable: 64


Year Henry Ford announced that he would pay his workers a minimum wage of $5 a day, which is about $117 in current dollars, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 1914

Year that President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law a federally mandated minimum wage of 25 cents an hour: 1938

Although 21 states and the District of Columbia have rates higher than the federal standard, current minimum hourly wage: $7.25

Estimated income of households in the bottom 20 percent of income: $20,600

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of cellphone owners who have physically bumped into another person or object because they were distracted by using their phone, according to Pew Research: 23

Percentage of cellphone owners who say that they have been bumped into by another person because that person was distracted by using their own cellphone: 50

Date that a woman in Australia walked off a pier because she was more intent on checking out Facebook than watching where she was going: Dec. 16, 2013

Source: Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

Ranks of sexy buttocks, slimness, flat stomach, eyes and long legs on the list of the top male physical attributes women admire most, according to The Sunday Times: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Ranks of muscular chest and shoulders, muscular arms, penis, tallness and flat stomach on the list of the top male physical attributes men think women admire most: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Source: The Sunday Times.

Percentage of adult smokers who were preparing to quit as a New Year's resolution in 2014 to improve their health, according to a survey conducted for national public health nonprofit Legacy: 56

Number of days into a quit attempt when quitters are most vulnerable to relapse: 8

Percentage of adult smokers who planned to quit smoking "cold turkey" for New Year's -- a method that is largely ineffective for the majority of smokers: 41

Source: Legacy.

Ranks of audiologist, hairstylist, jeweler, university professor (tenured) and seamstress/tailor on the list of the least stressful jobs, according to a CareerCast report on the least and most stressful jobs of 2014: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Rank of enlisted military personnel, military general, firefighter, airline pilot and event coordinator on the list of the most stressful jobs of 2014: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


Percentage of people who deal with embarrassing moments by saying "sorry" immediately, according to a survey by Wakefield Research: 33

Percentage who make jokes to cover it up: 22

Percentage who pretend nothing happened: 21

Source: Wakefield Research.

Number of "affluents" (affluents being adults living in households with at least $100,000 in annual household income) in the U.S., up more than 6 percent over the past two years, according to the 2013 Ipsos affluent survey: 62.5 million

Compared to 2012, percentage rise in their average income to $200,200: 4.6

Percentage rise in their average net worth to $1.01 million: 2

Source: Ipsos Mendelsohn.

Percentage of all global rare earth mineral production that is mined in China, with advanced metals like Neodymium and Dysprosium essential to thousands of household goods including computers, cellphones and cars, according to Haley Ryan, co-director of the Academics & Periodicals Department at American Elements, the global chemical and metals manufacturer: 97

Source: Haley Ryan.

Value of restaurant breakfast sales in 2013, up 5 percent from 2012, according to research by Packaged Facts: $47 billion

Outstripping the lunch, dinner and snack parts, percentage rise in per capita spending on the breakfast during 2007-2012: 8

Source: Packaged Facts.

Idle Thought

"If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful after all." -- Michelangelo, sculptor, painter

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)