Life (Fun or Not) at the Top, The Intriguing Hybrids, Etc. takes

If you were a CEO, would you be living the good life? A survey by Doremus Advertising put that question to people who actually are “C-level” executives—CEOs, CFOs, etc. While a majority (76 percent) said they are living it, that leaves quite a few who endure the wear and tear of C-level responsibilities without getting the good life as a payoff. Other findings in the survey give hints as to why this might be so. A bare majority of respondents (51 percent) said they “have many activities outside of work”—perhaps because a like number (53 percent) “don’t have enough time to themselves.” A wistful 43 percent confessed they’ve “missed out on things because of their job.” Vacations usually aren’t one of those things: Just 9 percent said they don’t take time off. The chart above gives a breakdown of how they do spend their waking hours.

People like to lie down, but not permanently. No doubt this accounts for the fact that U.S. manufacturers produced $4.8 billion worth of mattresses in 2000, vs. $1.2 billion worth of burial caskets. These are just a couple of tidbits from the Census Bureau’s recently issued 2000 Annual Survey of Manufactures, Product Shipments. The average fish is in more danger of being beaned by errant golf balls than caught on hooks, judging by the disparity in value of golf equipment ($2.9 billion) and fishing gear ($672 million) manufactured that year. Shipments of dog food were nearly double those of cat food ($5.3 billion vs. $2.9 billion). Canned carbonated soft drinks beat the bottled kind ($11.5 billion vs. $10.1 billion).

What does a woman want? A hybrid electric vehicle, according to a study by J.D. Power and Associates. The research firm finds widespread interest in such vehicles, which can switch between gasoline and electricity for their locomotion. But women appear “substantially more interested in hybrids than men.” Though they’re intrigued by the technology, men are more likely to worry that hybrids lack “strong performance.” Overall, 30 percent of new-vehicle buyers said they’d definitely consider buying a hybrid, with another 30 percent saying they’d give it “strong” consideration.Concern over high fuel prices is the chief factor creating consumer interest in these vehicles. The main thing now restraining consumer interest is a lack of information. Many people still picture hybrids as small, limited-range cars that must be plugged in to recharge their batteries, though the technology has evolved beyond that point.

Honors this week for Best Use of a Silly Hat and Body Paint go to an ad for Milwaukee’s United Performing Arts Fund (known to locals as UPAF). When arts organizations adopt this sort of theme, are they tacitly confessing that people have more fun at lowbrow sports events than at highbrow performances? Perish the thought. Versant of Milwaukee created the campaign.

The Seattle Mariners, meanwhile, aren’t using

opera singers to promote ticket sales. But they are showing their players in unusual ways. One spot in the series (by Copacino of Seattle) notes that relief pitchers have lots of time on their hands. Thus, we see the bullpen as home to such pastimes as beekeeping and knitting. Another spot shows the 1906 Chicago Cubs challenging the Mariners to see which is “the best team ever,” since they share the distinction of winning 116 games in a season. Some fans may note they share another distinction: Despite regular-season heroics, neither team won the World Series. The 1906 Cubs fell to the White Sox’ “Hitless Wonders” team, while the 2001 Mariners failed to get beyond the American League playoffs.

If Patty Duke had played Albert Einstein in a movie, perhaps the tally would have been different. Instead, Helen Keller was the top vote-getter in a Family Circle survey that asked women, “Which famous person in history would you have wanted as your best friend?” Keller edged Einstein (28 percent to 26 percent), trailed by Amelia Earhart (20 percent) and Joan of Arc (14 percent). William Shakespeare finished dead last(11 percent), despite his prominence in a recent movie featuring him as Gwyneth Paltrow’s love interest. Do you suppose he was hurt by anti-Paltrow sentiment among the female electorate?

It may take more than an economic recovery to revive business travel. In a poll conducted for WorldCom, 35 percent of business travelers who’ve been grounded by budget cuts said they don’t expect past spending levels to be restored this year