After three weeks of hanging around like an unwelcome in-law, the filthy grey snow banks are finally melting here in Boston. With the advent of warmth and sunshine I would have expected everyone along Alex’s Harvard Yard/Square dog walking route to be grinning with happiness. Yet people did not seem any happier than usual. To explain this phenomenon it is necessary to turn to TIME magazine’s January 17, 2005 “The Science of Happiness” issue. According to TIME, “sunny days [do not make us happy though] a 1998 study showed that Midwesterners think folks living in balmy California are happier and that Californians incorrectly believe this about themselves too.”
Friends and family make people happy as does “contributing to the lives of others” (tough for folks in Vero Beach, FL given that it is tough to find anyone within a gated community facing a more important decision than whether to play golf or tennis). When asked “do you often do any of the following to improve your mood?”, TIME’s own poll revealed that 38 percent of women checked off “playing with pet”; only 18 percent checked “have sex”. As the favored pet among America’s ladies is the cat, from this we can conclude that cats are more satisfying to women than men are.
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