>Fascinated by how we spend—and waste—our most precious commodity, journalist Lesley Alderman gathered the sometimes-surprising stats for her debut, The Book of Times. A few fast facts:

1 day: How long jet lag lasts

That’s per time zone crossed. And going east is harder on your body than going west.

3 seconds: How long a hug lasts

“Humans tend to do a number of things in 3-second episodes, like goodbye waves,” says Alderman. “We have a rhythm.”

2 years: How long before the romance fades

“According to research on brain chemicals, the passionate kind of love wanes after the 1- to 2- year mark.”

4.5 years: How long it takes kids to hit maximum cuteness

A survey of children ages 0 to 6 found 4½-year-olds the most adorable. “And they better be,” says Alderman, “because they’re so difficult!”

144.5 hours: How much TV we watch per month

“People say they’re most happy doing things that are active, so it’s alarming how much TV we watch.”

7.8 hours: How much time dads spend on child care per week

Moms clock almost double this, but dads’ involvement is up from just 2.6 hours in 1985.

—JANINE RAYFORD

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