Do you really work out ?

Experts recommend an hour of physical activity a day. For most Americans, that is a dream. We spent $4.9 billions on fitness equipment and $17.4 billion on fitness clubs in 2006, but according to the American Time Use Survey, 83% of us don't exercise at all on a given day. Workout is another one of those things we know we should do, but just don't do it (or do enough of it), reflecting the gap between hard-weired (body) apparatus and the logical reasoning.
Source: Time (Nov. 26, 2007)


Thanksgiving Day Numbers

1) Because of depleted frozen-turkey supplies and rising energy prices, this year's Turkey dinner will cost you 11% more than last year.
2) Watch what we eat in the Turkey dinner. Despite clear evidence that eating vegetables can ward off heart disease, diabetes and cancer, less than 10% of Americans meet the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans published in 2005. The New dietary guidelines recommend us to eat 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, up from 5 servings in the previous guidelines.

3) Drive safely. In 2005 for example, there were more alcohol-related traffic fatalities (628) over the Thanksgiving holiday in US, than over Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Christmas, or New Year’s Day.


Do parents love their children equally?

I suspect that many parents really do like some of their kids more than others. How couldn't they? Children are simply not the same. Even so, I would expect people to say that they feel the same about all of their kids. At least in our society, you're not supposed to play favorites.
However, according to the book No Two Alike (I finished reading it yesterday), many parents admitted to favoritism:
"In two separate studies, British and American parents of two small children were asked whether they felt more affection for one than the other. More than 50% admitted that they did. The overwhelming majority of these parents - 87% of the mothers and 85% of the fathers in the American study - said they favored the younger child".


Different Inflation Perspectives of Men and Women

Between society's “haves” and “have-nots”, the former are better positioned to endure cost-of-living increases. As the results, they tend to be less sensitive to price increases, and have the so called "lower inflation perceptions and expectations".
However the gender is also a factor here - study shows that sex can influence inflation expectations too: after holding income, age, education, race and marital status constant, women consistently think inflation is 1.9% points higher than men, and they expect prices to rise 2.1% points more than men.

Now you know why women love coupons and sales.


Men get their coffee earlier than women

Here is an small-size survey conducted in eight coffee shops in the Boston area. Researchers want to know how long it took men and women to be served. The results:
men get their coffee 20 seconds earlier than women. (There is also evidence that black people wait longer than white people, the young wait longer than the old, and the ugly wait longer than the beautiful. But these effects are statistically not as persuasive.)
Not sure if this is because men are more decisive orderer than women, or coffee shops' staff feel more implicit psychological pressure to meet the needs of the male customers.


Where is my love ?

A recent survey reveals 25% Americans think that the Internet can serve as a substitute for a significant other for some period of time, and 11% say they would be willing to safely implant a device that enabled them to use their mind to access the Internet. This survey was conducted online, so I think these numbers, although disturbing, are true and say a lot about US Internet users.

Also according to this survey, more than 25% Americans has a social networking profile on sites such as MySpace or Facebook, and 78% of 18-24 year-olds report having a social networking profile.


Numbers of the day

1. Veterans are only 11% of the adult population in US, but they make up 25% homeless people, according to a report. The sad thing is that "young veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are trickling into shelters and soup kitchens seeking services, treatment or help with finding a job".
2. do you agree on this? most people feel comfortable lying about their sex life. 70% of married people "hide sexual fantasies they secretly want fulfilled", and 53% admit they "fake orgasm, pretending to like a partner’s sexual skills".


World's primates are threatened with extinction

The Conservation International, is releasing a report documenting the world's 25 most endangered apes, monkeys, lemurs and other primates, which are under unprecedented threat from destruction of tropical forests, illegal wildlife trade and commercial bushmeat hunting.

Today, 29% of all species in danger of going extinct, and we may soon witness the first primate extinctions in more than a century. Overall, 114 of the world’s 394 primate species are classified as threatened with extinction. On the left is the images of the possibly doomed Horton Plains slender loris.

Funny video - Barack Obama on Saturday Night Live

Voting candidates based on how they makes us feel

Earlier research had shown that people make judgments about someone’s trustworthiness, competence, aggressiveness and other traits in a mere 1/10 of a second, by just looking at that person's face, or in another word, how that person makes people feel.
Now, in a study published recently, reseacher goes one depressing step further: these lightning-quick facial judgments can predict real-world election results, with 70% accuracy.

Marriage is a strong deterrent to poverty

What do you think distinguishes the high and low poverty populations? There are some evidence that "the only statistical distinction between both the black and white populations is marriage. There is far less poverty in married-couple families, where presumably at least one of the spouses is employed. Fully 85% of black children living in poverty reside in a female-headed household".

According to earlier Census data, only 4.0% of married couples without children are in poverty. In contrast, the poverty rate for singles without children is 8.6%. One study found that married men earn 22% more than their unmarried counterpart.

Pay Gap between men and women

Sicilian asked me what are the stats on women's salaries in the Fortune 500 companies (and she bet they are much lower than the men's salaries). See below for the pay gap between men and women; the good news is that the gap is shrinking.