Photo of the day

From Telegraph’s Animal photos of the week:

This breathtaking natural light show illuminating waters off the British coast looks like something out of hit film 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind'. Photographer Adrian Campfield was having dinner at a restaurant at Beachy Head, East Sussex, when the rays suddenly appeared. The 59-year-old and his wife Louise rushed outside onto the 535ft high cliffs to watch the spectacle, capturing this beautiful photo of a seagull at the same time

This breathtaking natural light show illuminating waters off the British coast looks like something out of hit film ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’. Photographer Adrian Campfield was having dinner at a restaurant at Beachy Head, East Sussex, when the rays suddenly appeared. The 59-year-old and his wife Louise rushed outside onto the 535ft high cliffs to watch the spectacle, capturing this beautiful photo of a seagull at the same timePicture: ADRIAN CAMPFIELD/SOLENT

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After 13 years you will have zero lust for your spouse

Or so it seems if you follow the math in this NPR story about how people need to “settle” in their choice of a mate:

With married couples, he points out, “liking declines at a rate of 3 percent a year, whereas lust declines at a rate of 8 percent per year,” so the smarter, long-term investment is finding someone you genuinely like.

Okay, definitely I agree with the conclusion, but I suspect the statistics of liking and lust are a little more complicated than this explanation.  That said, as one who as always been quite skeptical of the idea of a “soul mate” and somebody who loves the idea of applying Moneyball principles to most anything:

Our mate preferences have been shaped by natural selection’s obsession with physical attractiveness and resources as well as the messages our friends, families and favorite shows transmit about sweethearts and soul mates. And it is at the start of relationships, when we need to make smart, long-term decisions, that we are least likely to do so because we’re in the throes of lust, passion and romance.

Or, as Tashiro puts it, returning to our alcohol analogy: “It would seem wise to hand off the keys to someone with more lucidity until your better sensibilities return.”

Which is why Tashiro advocates a new approach to dating, one that is not so much about lowering standards as giving yourself better ones. Call it “Moneyballing” relationships (Tashiro does); it’s all about finding undervalued traits and assets in the dating market. And, just like with baseball, it starts with trying to ignore the superficial indices of value — attractiveness, wealth — in favor of hidden attributes with a stronger correlation to long-term relationship success.  Citing research that finds no reliable link between income level or physical attractiveness and relationship satisfaction, Tashiro steers his readers toward traits such as agreeableness…

Plus, he adds, studies also suggest that agreeable partners are in fact “better in bed” and less likely to cheat over the long haul.

Agreeableness sounds great.  I’m also wondering what these other characteristics are.  Basically, the idea, though, seems to be a more social-science way of saying “don’t be superficial.”

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