Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For March 09, 2014

Ranks of Illumina, Tesla Motors, Google, Samsung, Salesforce.com, Dropbox, BMW, Third Rock Ventures, Square and Amazon on the list of companies from 11 U.S. states and six countries -- organizations at the forefront in displaying "disruptive innovation" -- that will prove to surpass the competition, transform an industry and change our lives, according to the MIT Technology Review: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Source: MIT Technology Review.

Percentage of respondents in 15 developed countries around the world who are in a relationship who are likely to say they are "happy," according to a poll by global research company Ipsos on behalf of Reuters News: 78

Percentage of those who are not in a relationship who say they are "happy": 67

Percentage of respondents in Sweden who are in a relationship and say they are happy -- highest of the 15 countries polled -- compared with 76 percent of those who are not in a relationship and are happy: 91

Percentage of respondents in the United States who are in a relationship and say they are happy, compared with 74 percent of those who are not in a relationship and are happy: 89

Source: Ipsos Global.

Increase in outstanding household debt during October to December, the biggest quarterly jump since 2007, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York: $241 billion

Overall household debt by the end of 2013 -- 2.1 percent higher than it had been for the previous three months: $11.52 trillion

Ranks of mortgage debt ($8.05 trillion), student loan debt ($1.08 trillion), auto loan debt ($863 billion), credit card debt ($683 billion) and home equity line of credit ($529 billion) on the list of items that make up the overall household debt: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Source: Pewsocialtrends.org.

Ranks of Vancouver (No. 5 globally), Ottawa (14), Toronto (15), Montreal (23) and San Francisco (27) as the highest-ranking North American cities with the world's best quality of living, according to a list of 223 cities worldwide compiled by Mercer: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Ranks of Mexico City (No. 122 globally), Detroit (70), St. Louis (67), Houston (66) and Miami (65) on the list of North American cities with the lowest quality of living: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Source: Mercer.

Percentage of young adults between the ages of 24 and 34 who live at home with their parents, according to results based on Gallup Daily tracking interviews: 14

Source: Gallup.

Estimated losses between 2002 and 2012 in U.S. manufacturing revenue due to unfair competition fueled by low-cost imports made by global firms using illegal software, according to a study by Bill Kerr, associate professor at Harvard Business School, and Chad Moutray, chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers: $240 billion

Number of jobs that a 10 percentage point reduction in global software piracy over four years would add to the U.S. economy as a whole: 65,745

Source: National Association of Manufacturers.

Percentage of IT decision makers (ITDMs) who say technology has improved the overall quality of their life, according to the results of a Harris Poll: 86

Percentage of U.S. adults who say the same: 71

Percentage of ITDMs who say technology encourages people to be more creative: 79

Percentage of U.S. adults who say the same: 65

Source: Harris Interactive.

Percentage of Americans who at least sometimes check reviews before purchasing a product or service, according to YouGov research: 79

Percentage of Americans who claim to always check reviews before purchasing a product or service: 26

Source: YouGov.

Estimated number of black-owned businesses in the United States, a gain of more than 60 percent in just five recent years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 2 million

Estimated number of people employed by these businesses, a growth of more than one-fifth in the same period: 920,000

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of Americans who have a traditional homemade soup recipe in the family, according to The Snapware brand sponsored survey: 74

Percentage who want to keep it a secret: 44

Source: Zeno Group.

Idle Thought

"A ship in port is safe; but that is not what ships are built for." -- Grace Hopper, computer scientist and a U.S. Navy rear admiral

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