Monday, August 30, 2010

Where are we headed?

Post 550 - Another week, another set of data reflecting where we are now and where we may be headed in the future.

32 percent of U.S. births in 2007 were C-sections, versus 26 percent in 2002, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

When you consider layoffs, downsizing, delayed raises, and reduced hours, more than half of all American workers have suffered losses. Young and Rubicam’s current consumer survey data shows large numbers are now saying money is no longer as important to them. Seventy-six percent say the number of possessions they own doesn't affect how happy they are. And seventy-one percent said, "I make it a point to buy brands from companies whose values are similar to my own." Nearly the same number rejected companies whose values don't match. Kindness and generosity are among the qualities customers increasingly demand most from business. As trust in companies and brands has declined, traditional persuasion tactics no longer work.

It's a mistake to assume that America is composed of big blocs of people who hold wildly differing values. In fact, there’s quite a long list of values held in common across all social and economic groups. Transparency, honesty, kindness, good stewardship, even humor, work in businesses at all times.

A recent San Diego University study anticipates that in only 12 years, Muslims will comprise 25 percent of the European population.

American kids under 18 send and receive roughly 2,800 texts per month, according to Nielsen, or about 93 per day. Assuming 7 hours of sleep per night, on average, that's about 5.5 per hour spent awake, or one every 10 minutes or so. In the next two age brackets, text-message usage falls by more than half each. But it's people ages 18-24 who talk the most on their cellphones, according to Nielsen, averaging 981 minutes per month. These are probably the people most likely to not have landline phones, so this also makes sense. African-Americans use the most voice minutes - more than 1,300 per month, on average, versus 826 for Hispanics, 692 for Asians/Pacific Islanders, and 647 for whites; and they also text the most - 780 per month, versus 767 for Hispanics, 566 for whites, and 384 for Asians/Pacific Islanders.

A recent NAR survey indicates that 35% of realtor business now originates online.

In a Chinese study, the cells of enthusiastic tea drinkers showed about 5 fewer years' worth of wear and tear compared with the cells of people who drank little tea. The enthusiastic tea drinkers averaged three or more cups of green or oolong tea daily, while the group that showed more signs of cell aging averaged less than a cup.

And finally, did you know that one two-stroke gasoline powered leaf blower produces as much pollution as 34 automobiles? That's why the city of Del Mar made it illegal for gardeners to use them. So no more 'blow and go' guys working in Del Mar.

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