Trustworthy Colleagues, What Mothers Are Worth, Return of the Uke, Etc. takes

Do you trust your co-workers? Most people do, finds a Wirthlin Worldwide poll conducted for Xylo Inc. Seventy-three percent trust colleagues to “be truthful in meetings,”75 percent trust them to “share the work load on specific projects,” and 79 percent are confident they’ll “report accurate data on projects.” Markedly fewer trust them to “keep personal or professional information confidential” (57 percent). The workplace is a good source of word-of-mouth on topics unrelated to the job. Eighty-six percent of respondents said they’d ask co-workers “for advice about car repair shop, good plumber, etc.”; 74 percent would trust colleagues’ opinions on “movies, restaurants, politics, etc.” Levels of trust were higher among married than single workers and among older than younger sorts.

Today’s air travelers complain about crowded planes and lousy inflight food. But it beats complaining that some galoot has clapped a helmet onto your head, grabbed you by the ankles and swung you around. Should you wish to “Rediscover flight” as it was before it became mundane, though, a series of ads suggests Seattle’s Museum of Flight is the place to go. Another execution shows a man preparing to jump off the roof of his house, apparently hoping the Draculaesque cape he’s wearing will keep him airborne. WongDoody of Seattle created the ads.

This year, you’d make more money investing in cat food than in most stocks. Nonetheless, Women & Co. will catch attention with its Dow Jones and Nasdaq kitty-dinner dishes as it promises to provide “a slightly more human approach to all things financial.” In another ad in the campaign (via Merkley Newman Harty of New York), a sampler is embroidered with the motto, “Home sweet tax-deferred annuity funded home.”

Hell no, we won’t go online. While some folks regard the Internet as a necessity of life, a report from Ipsos-Reid notes that just6 percent of the world’s population is online. Cost is a barrier, particularly outside the developed countries. But indifference is a factor, too. Even in places like the U.S., the Netherlands and Sweden, “about one-third of people who could use the Internet choose not to.” In a 30-country poll of people who haven’t used the Internet and don’t plan to do so, 40 percent said they “have no need for it”; 25 percent are “not interested in it.”

If stay-at-home mothers were paid for their labors, what would be a fair annual salary? Among respondents to a Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll who came up with a number, a cheapskate 32 percent said it should be less than $25,000. Another 37 percent said such a salary ought to range from $25,000 to $49,999. On the more generous end of the spectrum, 15 percent put the number at $50,000-74,999 and 16 percent said mothers should be paid $75,000 or more.

Unexpected Comeback of the Year: According to an article in Business 2.0, “Suddenly the ukulele is hot again.” In a manner befitting a new-economy magazine, the story praises the uke as “the Palm version of a guitar—miniaturized and stripped down to bare essentials.” Uke clubs are proliferating, song books are reappearing in stores and uke bands “are growing in popularity with hipsters who have outgrown alternative rock.” In short, you’re probably too late to be the first on your block to catch ukulelemania. But better late than never.

Maybe food companies should target potheads. According to recent research summarized in an online report by HealthScoutNews, “heavy marijuana users consumed up to40 percent more calories than non-users.” Nonetheless, heavy users aren’t heavy. The article cites data showing that avid consumers of the stuff have a body-mass index of 24.7, versus 26.6 for non-users. One suspects this has something to do with the youthful skew of the marijuana-enthusiast population. But diet seems to plays a role, too. Heavy pot smokers get 31 percent of their calories from fat, according to the article, versus 34 percent for non-users.

Something tells me they weren’t queried right after a lengthy drive en famille. According to a Yesawich, Pepperdine & Brown poll, 94 percent of family travelers believe a trip “brings a family closer together.” Still, when 6-17-year-olds were asked who they’d most like to have with them on a vacation, “best friends” (cited by 91 percent) easily outranked mom (76 percent) and dad (66 percent). Similarly, pets (51 percent) topped younger siblings (34 percent).

While the youth market flits from fad to fad, the would-be-youthful market fixates on one goal: holding back the marks of time. In the process, aging baby boomers are creating a broader market for luxury skincare products. Sales of units priced above $50 grew 27 percent between 1997 and 2000, says a report by The NPD Group, reaching a total of $354 million last year.

Americans aren’t the only ones who can’t keep their weight in check. A MORI poll finds one-fifth of Britishers who’ve gone on a diet ended up gaining weight. But they have no appetite for official advice on the matter. Fifty percent of respondents said they’ve “had enough of the government lecturing them about their eating habits.”

Which sort would you guess is more numerous: wives who are at least two years older than their husbands or wives who make at least $5,000 a year more than their mates? It’s close, actually. According to new Census data, 12 percent of wives have the extra years; 15 percent have the extra income.