On the (U.S.) Road Again, Nonexistent TV Spots, Etc.

Are Americans ready to resume traveling? It depends on the destination. A reader poll by Condé Nast Traveler found 97 percent of respondents saying they’re “still willing to travel in North America,” while just15 percent were game to head off to the Middle East. Asia (76 percent) and Africa (68 percent) fared worse than the Caribbean (95 percent) and Europe (90 percent).

Unless Michiganers are wildly atypical of the national population, Americans are asking for trouble. A report from the Centers forDisease Control and Prevention says a mere 3 percent of that state’s adults can lay claim to four “healthy lifestyle characteristics” (or HLCs, as they’re known in the biz): healthy weight, adequate consumption of fruits and vegetables, regular exercise and abstention from smoking. Among Michigan men, a piddling 1.6 percent have all four HLCs; among women, a just-slightly-less-piddling 4.5 percent do so.

This week’s honors for Best Use of Electrical Cables to Simulate Dreadlocks go to an ad for Toronto radio station FLOW 93.5, which bills itself as Canada’s first urban-format outlet. In another ad in the campaign (via Taxi Advertising and Design of Toronto), the top half of an LP is displayed in such a way as to suggest an Afro. However the station pans out, some client ought to give this agency a haircare-products account.

Those biological clocks are ticking loudly for women in their 20s. In an online poll of that cohort by Cosmopolitan, 37 percent of respondents subscribed to the statement, “I’m afraid I won’t get married in time to have kids.” Are they too busy with their fascinating careers to find a mate? Not necessarily, as 51 percent also said, “I feel like I’m wasting time because I’m not in a career I love.” As if these anxieties weren’t enough, 51 percent feel “like I haven’t accomplished as much as my peers.” Maybe they’ll be comforted to learn that so many of their peers feel the same way.

For several million Americans, there’s no need to go over the river and through the woods to get to grandmother’s house. She’s right upstairs. A Census Bureau report says there were 3.9 million “multigenerational family households” last year—i.e., homes consisting of three or more generations of parents and children. That’s 4 percent of total U.S. households. A majority of these (2.6 million) consisted of the householder and his or her children and grandchildren. Another 1.3 million had the householder and his/her children and parents (or parents-in-law). Multigenerational households are found in above-average numbers in “areas of recent immigration,” as well as in areas where housing is especially scarce or pricey. They’re also more common “in areas with relatively high rates of out-of-wedlock childbearing, where unwed mothers live with their children in their parents’ home.”

What does a woman want at work? Not another woman as boss, according to a reader poll by Glamour. Asked whether they’d prefer a male or a female boss, respondents took the former by a margin of 70 percent to30 percent. A Gallup poll conducted last December got a similar result: 50 percent of women preferred a male boss and 26 percent preferred the female variety.

Are the toddlers of today the spoiled monsters of tomorrow? Not if their parents are to be believed. Asked in an online poll by Child to describe their parenting style, 16 percent said they’re “permissive,” while 23 percent said they’re “authoritarian.” The rest claimed to practice a “balanced” approach.

A tip of the “Takes” cap to a poster created to promote the Temple of Universal Judaism in New York. With its motley collection of yarmulkes, it conveys the point that this temple welcomes all comers. NiteWork Advertising of New York created the piece.

Maybe smoking makes you delusional. In a poll conducted for Eisner Communications of Baltimore, 54 percent of smokers age 18-34 said they’d seen a TV commercial for cigarettes within the past year. In fact, TV advertising for cigarettes has been banned since 1970. One wonders whether thecommercials people imagine they saw are better than the ones they’d really see if the rule didn’t exist. Keep in mind that the ban stops cigarette marketers from running stupid spots as well as clever ones.

It’s nice to know things, a drag to learn things. That’s the attitude noted in a RoperASW poll for Hungry Minds (publisher of the For Dummies books). Among Americans age 16 and up, 21 percent consider learning “not only difficult, but drudgery,” and submit to it only when compelled by an “external motivator.” Another 26 percent know “the value of learning,” but feel they “don’t need to actively seek new knowledge or skills in order to get ahead in life or on the job.”