Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For January 05, 2014

Percentage of Americans who said their top financial priority is staying current or getting caught up on bills, according to a Bankrate.com report: 36

Ranks of "paying down debt," "building savings" and "providing financial assistance to family/friends" on the list of their top financial priorities: 2, 3, 4

Source: Bankrate.com.

For the third year in a row, percentage of North American employees who did not use all of their annual vacation time, according to Right Management: 69

Percentage who indicated they would use all their vacation by year's end: 31

Source: ManpowerGroup.

Percentage of Americans suffering from a cough or cold who are still working out at the gym, jumping on public transportation and liberally shaking hands, according to a survey commissioned by Halls: 56

Percentage who are regularly kissing their significant other: 19

Percentage of healthy Americans who make no effort to stay away from cough and cold sufferers: 23

Source: Halls.

Record low winter temperature among Lower 48 U.S. cities, held by Bismarck, N.D., according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 44 below zero

Absolute coldest temperature ever recorded in the U.S., in Prospect Creek, Alaska: 80 degrees below

To put a different perspective on the word "lowest" -- record low temperature in Honolulu, Hawaii: 53 degrees

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of Americans who selected the cast of A&E's hit television show "Duck Dynasty" as having a reason to celebrate this season, according to a Harris poll that provided a list of choices: 45

Percentage of Americans who selected Paula Deen as the celebrity having the worst year: 46

Source: Harris Interactive.

Percentage of single American women who said they wanted to be contacted within 48 hours of meeting a potential date, according to a survey by PickupMetrics.com about men's texting habits: 89

Percentage of men who don't make first contact for 3 days or more: 21

Ranks of desperate and needy texts, talking dirty, and being dull on the list of texts that make women skip the first date: 1, 2, 3

Source: Pickup Metrics.

Average age that echo boomers (those 18 to 36) say is the perfect age, according to the results of The Harris Poll: 38

Average age that Generation X (those 37 to 48) say is the perfect age: 49.

For baby boomers (those 49 to 67), their perfect age: 55

For the oldest generation, matures (those 68-plus), the perfect age cited: 67

Source: Harris Interactive.

Year Yahoo will buy Flipboard and Pinterest, according to the predictions of analyst house CCS Insight: 2014

Year Twitter will buy Snapchat: 2014

Year Orange (France Telecom) and Deutsche Telekom will merge: 2015

Source: CCS Insight.

Percentage of U.S. adults who say that they do not currently have a winter emergency kit in their car, according to a survey conducted on behalf of CarMax: 68

Percentage of car owners who report that they have an ice/snow scraper: 60

Percentage who carry jumper cables: 59

Source: Ipsos Public Affairs

Percentage of Americans who think it's likely that the planet will experience a major world catastrophe, according to a survey released by the National Geographic Channel and Kelton Research: 88

Percentage of those who believe it will occur less than a year from now: 32

Percentage of Americans who say they would rely more on their family, friends or neighbors over FEMA or a government agency (14 percent) for help in a catastrophe: 57

Source: National Geographic Channel.

Idle Thought

"It is kindness immediately to refuse what you intend to deny." -- Publilius Syrus

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