On average, amount that Americans spent per day in stores, restaurants, gas stations or online in the 14-day period ending Feb. 11 (figure does not include home or vehicle purchases, or normal monthly bills), according to Gallup Poll daily tracking: $61
Average spent in the same two-week period a year ago: $102
Percentage of all the full-time positions a company fills that are accomplished through internal transfers and promotions, according to a study by CareerXroads: 38.8
Percentage of all external hires that are made through referrals (employee, alumni, vendor, etc.): 27.3
Percentage of women who admit to not being able to read a traditional map, twice the number of men, according to research commissioned by Nokia: 11
Percentage of people who believe a sense of direction is genetic and that those who have a bad sense of direction are simply born that way: 18
Number of minutes wasted by the average person each time they get lost: 13
Percentage of people who blame their partners for getting lost, either because they were fighting or they were shouting directions: 30
Percentage of respondents to a survey by Michaels Stores Inc. who said they would like to spend more time on arts and crafts activities: 84
Percentage who said they think making homemade gifts and spending time with their families are two of the "bright spots" that have emerged during this rough economy: 83
Source: Michaels Stores Inc.
Ranks of New York City, Las Vegas, Maui, Hawaii, and San Francisco on the list of U.S. vacation destinations preferred by affluent leisure travelers (those 8 percent of households with a minimum annual income in excess of $150,000, according to the Ypartnership Portrait of Affluent Travelers survey: 1, 2, 3, 4
Ranks of Europe, the Far East, Mexico and Australia on the list of international destinations preferred by affluent travelers: 1, 2, 3, 4
Source: Ypartnership Public Relations.
Percentage of CPA executives who said they are "pessimistic" or "very pessimistic" about the U.S. economic outlook over the next 12 months, according to a survey conducted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School: 83
Percentage of respondents who said that they were "optimistic" about the outlook for the U.S. economy: 5
Source: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Percentage of parents who say they are very or fairly knowledgeable about how to protect their children's privacy online, according to a survey released by Consumer Policy Solutions: 69
Percentage of parents who have read the privacy policies of the Web sites their children visit closely: 31
Percentage who are unsure whether children's online activity can be tracked by companies for commercial purposes: 56
Source: Consumer Policy Solutions.
Year that the first civic and public celebrations of St. Patrick's Day in the American Colonies took place in Boston, according to the Irish Information Guide: 1737
Date that the first St. Patrick's Day was celebrated in New York City at the Crown and Thistle Tavern: March 17, 1756.
Source: Ireland Information Guide. See http://www.irelandinformationguide.com/St_Patrick's_Day
Average amount that couples spend on wedding entertainment, according to GigMasters.com: $825
Percentage of couples who had DJ's: 38
Percentage of couples who had live bands: 26
Percentage of those small and medium-sized business owners who have the capacity to process debit/credit transactions that agree they could be underestimating the degree to which fraudsters are targeting their business, according to an Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of Visa: 41
Percentage who said that data thieves and hackers are not interested in a business of their size: 40 (10 percent strongly/30 percent somewhat)
Percentage who disagree with this premise: 59
Source: Ipsos Reid Public Affairs.
"Who overcomes by force hath overcome but half his foe." -- John Milton, poet (1608-1674)
(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)bwr.eastlink.ca.)