Rank of Beverly Hills, Calif., among the most-expensive real estate markets in the United States, according to a survey of 400 cities conducted by Coldwell Banker: 1

Average price of a single-family house in Beverly Hills with four bedrooms, two and one-half baths, 2,200 square feet of space and a two-car garage: $2.2 million

Number of California cities in the top 10: 8

Source: Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corp.

· · · · ·

Percentage of Americans who say that American society is divided into two groups, the "haves" and the "have-nots," according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press: 48

Percentage of Americans in 1988 who said that American society is divided into two groups, the "haves" and the "have-nots": 26

Source: Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

· · · · ·

Ranks of the salaries of managers in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in terms of the purchasing power of their salaries, according to a 46-nation study conducted by the Hay Group: 1, 2

Rank of the United States: 24

Buying power of a U.S. manager's average annual salary when taxes and costs of living are taken into account: $104,905

Approximate buying power for managers in Russia, Turkey and Mexico, all of which ranked higher than the United States: $150,000

Source: Hay Group.

· · · · ·

Ranks of princess (10.7 percent), Spider-Man (4.8 percent), pirate (4.7 percent), witch (4.2 percent) and fairy (2.8 percent) among the popular costumes for children, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Ranks of witch (16.9 percent), pirate (3.8 percent), vampire (3.1 percent), cat (2.5 percent) and princess (2.2 percent) among the most popular costumes for adults: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Source: BIGresearch.

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Percentage of people who said that cell phones should either be turned off completely, not answered and/or checked only during a free moment at a restaurant, according to a survey by Teletouch Communications Inc. and its Hawk Electronics Division: 90

Ranks of "talking too loudly on cell phones in public" and "forgetting to silence cell phones in quiet settings" as the behaviors that respondents found most annoying: 1, 2

Source: VOLLMER Public Relations.

· · · · ·

Rank of Brazil among countries in which the 4GB iPod Nano costs the most, according to a survey conducted by Commonwealth Bank aimed at measuring purchasing power in 55 countries: 1

Average cost of an iPod nano in Brazil: $327.71

Ranks of India, Sweden and Denmark: 2, 3, 4

Average cost in the United States: $149

Source: Commonwealth Bank.

· · · · ·

Percentage of U.S. employees who say they volunteer to use a wireless device for work purposes in order to be accessible, according to a survey conducted by Yahoo! HotJobs: 49

Percentage who say they are required to: 29

Source: Yahoo! HotJobs.

· · · · ·

Total amount college students are estimated to spend on textbooks for the 2007/2008 academic year, according to a study conducted by the National Retail Federation: $15 billion

Total amount college students are estimated to spend on electronics for the 2007/2008 academic year: $12.8 billion

Total amount college students are estimated to spend on dorm and apartment furnishings: $5.4 billion

Total amount college students are estimated to spend on school supplies: $3.1 billion

Source: National Retail Federation.

· · · · ·

Ranks of Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business, the University of California-Berkeley and Columbia University as the top-rated U.S. business schools, according to the "Seventh Annual Business School Survey" by Harris Interactive and The Wall Street Journal: 1, 2, 3

Ranks of Brigham Young University, Wake Forest University and Ohio State University as the top-rated regional business schools: 1, 2, 3

Ranks of ESADE (Barcelona, Spain), IMD (Lausanne, Switzerland) and the London Business School as the top-rated international business schools: 1, 2, 3

Source: Harris Interactive.


John MacIntyre has been writing Figuratively Speaking since 1989. You can contact him by e-mail at [email protected].