Highly Mobile Mothers, Vive La Remulak, Etc.

At times, busy mothers feel they need to be in a dozen places at once. The reality isn’t quite so bad, though. In a poll conducted for FamilyFun magazine, mothers were asked how many different places they spend time in during a typical day. Just 4 percent said they are in 10 or more places per day; 10 percent said they’re in seven to nine spots. Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) manage to get through the day in three to six places, while 21 percent can be found in one or two locations.

They aren’t all cheerleaders. When you think of women in connection with college football (if you do), your thoughts likely turn to perky gals with pom-poms jumping up and down on the sidelines. As a Harris Poll makes clear, though, women constitute a big chunk of the sport’s fan base. Twenty-five percent of adult women said they follow college football, as did 46 percent of male respondents. The gender gap isn’t significantly larger than the regional gap. Forty-five percent of adults in the South said they follow college football, vs. 38 percent in the Midwest, 28 percent in the West and 26 percent in the Northeast.

We think about many things, no doubt, but carbohydrates likely aren’t one of them. In a poll for Parade, 56 percent of adults said they “never think about carbohydrates.” When people do think about carbs, their thoughts aren’t always negative: 38 percent said they view low-carb diets as unhealthy; 44 percent “never choose foods because they have low or no carbohydrates.” This doesn’t mean the Atkins-ites have all recanted their anti-carb views, though: 38 percent of respondents said a reduction in carbs is “a permanent change in their eating habits.” Elsewhere in the poll, 45 percent claimed to have reduced the size of the portions they eat. Time and waistlines will disclose whether they’re telling the truth.

These days, the Coneheads would be well-advised to admit they come from the planet Remulak. Pretending to be from France, as they did in the old Saturday Night Live skits, would invite too much hostility. A Rasmussen Reports survey finds 57 percent of American voters have a negative opinion of France. In fact, they’re more likely to call France an “enemy” (31 percent of respondents did) than an “ally” (22 percent) in the war on terror. Britain fared much better, with 78 percent of respondents expressing a favorable view of it and 83 percent calling it a terror-war ally.

Remember chocolate cigarettes? They could be on the cusp of a comeback, to judge by the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index data. The composite index of people’s satisfaction with products and services was down a bit in the third quarter vs. the second. “However, customer satisfaction scores for individual companies like Hershey and Mars and the tobacco industry are up.” The report of the findings (compiled by the University of Michigan’s business school in league with the American Society for Quality and CFI Group) suggests “Americans are turning to comfort foods and tobacco to calm their fears,” much as they did in the aftermath of 9/11.

Proposals to “soak the rich” used to be an exercise in populist futility. No matter how high the tax rate, there weren’t enough millionaires around to make this a realistic way of funding the government. But there now are millions of millionaires. A report from TNS says there were 8.2 million millionaire households in the U.S. as of the middle of 2004 (not even counting equity in primary residences), up 33 percent from 2003. At this rate, they’ll soon be a dime a dozen.

Maybe the feds could erase the deficit by imposing a special tax on power strips. Consumers will need plenty of those, if they buy all the electronic gadgets they covet (see the chart). Actually, the Ipsos-Insight poll found purchase intentions in this sector have leveled off and, in some cases, even declined since last year. Printers are the only item on the chart for which purchase intentions have risen significantly since an October 2003 poll.