Ranks of computers, peace and happiness, big-screen TV, clothes, and money among the top holiday wish-list items in the United States, according to the Consumer Electronics Association: 1, 2, 3, 4

Rank of computers last year: 4

Source: Consumer Electronics Association.

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Rank of Elvis Presley ($49 million) on Forbes.com's "Top-Earning Dead Celebrities" list: 1

Rank of John Lennon with earnings of $44 million: 2

Ranks of Charles M. Schulz ($35 million), George Harrison ($22 million), Albert Einstein ($18 million), Andy Warhol ($15 million), Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, ($13 million) and Tupac Shakur ($9 million) on the list of top-earning dead celebrities: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Source: Forbes.com.

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Ranks of color (66 percent), style (61 percent) and length (43 percent) as the most important choices for kids ages 8 to 17 when it comes to buying that new winter coat, according to a study commissioned by Burlington Coat Factory: 1, 2, 3

Percentage of parents who have deliberately bought a winter coat that was too large for their child so it would last more than one season: 46

Source: Burlington Coat Factory.

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Percentage of Americans who know that the U.S. dollar has declined against other major currencies over the last few years, according to the results of a nationwide survey by Harris Interactive: 79

Percentage of adults who think it is bad for consumers: 68

Percentage who think it is bad for the American economy: 66

Source: Harris Interactive.

· · · · ·

Ranks of Killeen, Texas; Minot, N.D.; Arlington, Texas; and Canton, Ohio, among the least-expensive real estate markets in the United States, according to a survey of 400 cities conducted by Coldwell Banker: 1, 2, 3, 4

Cost of an average home in Killeen, Texas: $136,725

U.S. average: $422,343

Cost of an average home in Dublin, Ireland, the most-expensive international real estate market in which Coldwell holds an office: $2.1 million

Source: Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corp.

· · · · ·

Percentage of Americans who say that the Internet can serve as a substitute for a significant other for some period of time, according to a poll by Zogby International attitudes poll: 24

Percentage of respondents who said they would be willing to safely implant a device that enabled them to use their mind to access the Internet: 11

Source: Zogby International.

· · · · ·

Rank of obesity among the greatest priority health issues facing employers, according to a study conducted by the National Business Group on Health: 1

Rank of smoking: 2

Source: National Business Group on Health.

· · · · ·

Average percentage decline year over year in the prices of MP3 players, according to the results of a survey by PriceGrabber.com: 9

Average percentage increase in the prices of cell phones year over year: 26

Source: PriceGrabber.com.

· · · · ·

Percentage of U.S. workers who say they eat unhealthy snacks (chips, candy, etc.) at work at least once a week, according to a survey conducted by Nationwide Better Health: 72

Percentage of U.S. workers who say they eat unhealthy snacks three or more times a week, not including breakfast, lunch or dinner: 27

Percentage of workers who say they are provided with healthy food selections in their cafeterias or vending machines: 42

Source: Nationwide Better Health.

· · · · ·

Percentage of Americans who say they don't think Social Security will survive beyond the baby boomer retirement era, according to a survey conducted by the American Payroll Association: 67

Source: American Payroll Association.

John MacIntyre has been writing Figuratively Speaking since 1989. You can contact him by e-mail at johnmacintyre@bwr.eastlink.ca.