Meretricious Metrics, Our Ursine Enemies, Etc. takes

Their principles waver on less-important issues, but Americans remain resolute in their opposition to the metric system. A Zogby America poll found 59 percent of adults preferring to keep the old English measures instead of adopting meters, liters and the rest of that Continental fiddle-faddle. Just 33 percent favored the switch. Anti-metric sentiment was nearly as strong among the 18-29-year-olds (60 percent opposed) as it was among those 65 and up (62 percent). Majorities of Republicans (69 percent) and Democrats (57 percent) rallied to theanti-metric standard, but opposition dipped to 48 percent among independents.

We’ll assume no humans were actually killed in the production of Banff Ice Vodka’s new ads (via Young & Rubicam in Toronto). Still, the campaign takes great glee in imagining the homicidal inclinations of mountain wildlife. Another ad in the series shows a mountain goat getting ready to butt a man off a cliff as the latter takes in the alpine view. Still another shows a skier stuffed into a bear couple’s picnic basket. Will a visceral species loyalty give people an aversion to this vodka? My hunch is that serious drinkers don’t feel they share much DNA with the hearty outdoor types.

They wouldn’t feel so busy if they spent less time answering pollsters’ questions. As it is, 46 percent of American families consider themselves too busy, according to polling conducted by Market Facts for Siemens Communications Devices. The survey detected considerable regional variation, with 59 percent of those in the Northeast too busy, versus 38 percent in the West.

You say the stress of agency life is wearing you down? Then consider a job as a forklift operator. According to the new edition of Jobs Rated Almanac, as summarized by, that’s one of the least stressful jobs around. Others cited in that category are janitor and medical-records technician. Careers in advertising were absent from the lists of best and worst jobs overall. So, if you’re sorry you didn’t become a financial planner, meteorologist or astronomer (all on the “best” list), just be glad you didn’t become a commercial fisherman, stevedore or roustabout (among the “worst” overall).

How was your summer vacation? Too short, in all likelihood. Polling for the YesawichPepperdine & Brown/Yankelovich Partners 2000 National Travel Monitor found55 percent of adults saying they don’t have enough vacation time. Four of 10 said they would “be willing to trade an increase in their pay for an increase in vacation time.” Meanwhile, the report speculates that Cuba could become a tourism hotspot for Americans if travel restrictions are lifted. Apart from its relative novelty, Cuba could capitalize on the rising interest in Caribbean vacations, with 16 percent of leisure travelers expressing an inclination to visit the region.

Dare we hope it’s over? A July article in The Washington Post offered early evidence that the Pokémon craze was “sputtering out of fuel.” Now, the September/October issue of Offspring seeks to make it official. In parallel lists of what’s “now” and what’s “not now,” the magazine consigns Pokémon to the latter. Before Pokémonophobicparents start celebrating, though, they should know that Digimon is declared to be “now.” Meanwhile, feminists must try to decide whether the rise of the Powerpuff Girls and the decline of Barbie (also declared in the magazine’s list) represents progress for womankind.