Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For March 01, 2015

Year the first electronic computer was publicly demonstrated, developed by inventors Presper Eckert and John Mauchly to help calculate the proper ballistic trajectory for artillery shells, according to the Census Bureau: 1946

Number of vacuum tubes used: 18,000

Year the first commercial computer -- UNIVAC I, also developed by Eckert and Mauchly -- was used to help process the 1950 Census: 1951

Source: Census Bureau.

After the holiday season ended, estimated percentage rise in divorce filings in January, as many couples decide they want to begin the new year with an ending, according to a report on CNBC: 33

Rank of arguments about money -- not children, sex, in-laws or anything else -- on the list of the top predictors of divorce for both men and women: 1

Source: CNBC.

Date of the first selfie, "snapped" by Robert Cornelius of Philadelphia, according to Coyne's "State of the Selfie" report: 1839

Estimated number of selfies that are taken worldwide each day: 93 million

In the last year alone, number of times the term "selfie" was mentioned across social media channels: 154 million

Source: Coyne.

Percentage of American adults who said they would choose a sports car as the type of car they would want to buy if they were going through a mid-life crisis, according to a poll by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of CarMax: 20

Percentage who say they would choose a sports utility vehicle: 17

Percentage who said a sedan: 15

Source: Ipsos Public Affairs.

Rank of "NCIS" on the list of America's favorite shows, according to a Harris Poll: 1

Ranks of "The Big Bang Theory" and "The Walking Dead" on the list: 2, 3

Ranks of the political thriller "Scandal" and fantasy epic "Game of Thrones" on the list: 4, 5

Source: Harris Interactive.

On average in the United States, cost of bus journeys per 100 km (62 miles), according to the GoEuro Transport Price Index compiled using train, bus and flight information from 51 countries across five continents: $7.92

Cost of train journeys: $18.61/62 miles

Cost of flights: $13.89/62 miles

Rank of the U.S. on the list of the least expensive of the 51 countries ranked in the Transport Price Index: 22

Source: GoEuro.

Percentage of Americans who said they believed a new delivery drone system from Amazon would be possible within the next five years, according to a YouGov poll: 38

Percentage of people who have "complete" trust in the ability of the government to properly regulate the use of commercial drones, according to YouGov research: 3

Source: YouGov.

Percentage of travelers who "always or sometimes" use medication or alcohol to help them sleep on a plane, while 80 percent "never" do, according to a survey by Expedia: 15

Percentage who report that they generally cannot sleep on planes: 48

Source: Expedia.

When it comes to concerns about cyber safety, percentage of global respondents who have no reservations about shopping online and using their payment card on either a smartphone or tablet device, according to a Nielsen's Global survey: 54

Percentage who are on the fence, saying they may use their credit or debit cards for online payment: 20

Percentage who say they wouldn't use their cards on either a smartphone or tablet: 26

Source: Nielsen Analytics.

Percentage of CIOs who are currently taking or planning to take steps to improve information technology (IT) security at their firms, according to a survey from Robert Half Technology: 85

Percentage who are enhancing or planning to enhance employee training on security issues: 54

Source: Robert Half.


"If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient observation than to any other reason." -- Isaac Newton, physicist, mathematician

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)