Facty Holidays!

December brings not only Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, and Festivus. The month also heralds even more luminous and transcendent arrival: A new edition of the Statistical Abstract of the United States.  The mainstream press likes to call this annual publication “Uncle Sam’s Almanac” — but within the tightly-bound world of factoid junkies, it’s known as “1,000 […]

Acronym of the day: PIIGS

Today’s Wall Street Journal reports that some bearish international investors have coined a new term for the countries that they believe are the weak links of the euro zone: PIIGS — which stands for Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain. That follows on the heels of the oft-used term for the most important emerging markets […]

Factoids of the day: Abundance in America

The U.S. Census Bureau last week released its twice-a-decade look at what it calls “extended measures of well-being” — and the report is a trove of fascinating data. Among the most interesting nuggets: In 1998, 36% of American households had a cell phone; by 2005, 71% had one. (iIn 1992, the Census Bureau didn’t even […]

Factoid (and peeve) of the day

During last year’s presidential campaign, both McCain and Obama endlessly broadcast ads that promised “good middle class jobs.” And whenever an ad intoned that phrase, up popped an image like the one below, which comes from an Obama campaign stop: burly, 50-something (mostly white) guys wearing dirty uniforms.What drove me crazy about these ads is […]

Factoid of the day: No (work)place like home

Home-based entrepreneurs “account for more than half of all U.S. businesses and employ more people than venture-backed companies. Jointly, homepreneurs employ one in 10 private-sector workers, or a total of 13 million people.”(Source: Emergent Research via the Kauffman Foundation)

Factoid of the day: Married without children

In a new report, demographer Peter Francese projects that the most prevalent American household in 2010 will be a “married couple with no kids, followed closely by single-person households.” The supposedly traditional arrangement — a married couple with children (e.g., the Pinks, the Obamas, the Gosselins) will account for only 22% of American households.

Factoid of the day: Miles for clunkers?

I’ve been on the road a lot lately — which means that my posts have been infrequent and that they have a travel theme. Today’s the same. Sitting on the tarmac in O’Hare for two hours tonight, I came across this stunner in today’s Wall Street Journal:“There are an estimated 10 trillion unused frequent-flier miles […]

Factoid of the day: How to live to 100

“For the first time in history, adults aged 100 or older are a fast-growing population group. Most industrialized countries now average one centenarian per 10,000 residents, but the figure is moving toward one in 5,000.“University of Georgia gerontologist Leonard Poon looked at common threads among the centenarians he interviewed: They exercised regularly, ate breakfast daily, […]

Factoid of the day: Irrational twitxuberance?

Today’s papers are reporting that Twitter is about raise $100 million from venture firms, an infusion of cash that would value the company –– which not only has never turned a profit, but doesn’t even seem to have any revenue — at a whopping $1 billion.As the New York Times‘s Brad Stone explains: For context, […]

Factoid of the day: Children chilled

“In 1969, 41 percent of children either walked or biked to school; by 2001, only 13 percent still did, according to data from the National Household Travel Survey.”(Source: NYT, 9/13/09)

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