The latest episode of Glee brought viewers yet another tearfest: Quinn quivering tearfully when boyfriend Sam breaks up with her; Sue blinking away tears while singing “This Little Light of Mine” to hospitalized children; Rachel tearing up after a compliment from ex-boyfriend Finn; and a Justin Bieber serenade driving some glee club members into an emotional, teary frenzy.


It was enough to make a person wonder: Do tears serve a purpose beyond the obvious expression of emotion?

A study published recently in Science takes us a little ways toward an answer. Investigators found that the smell of tears triggered neither sadness nor empathy in men, but it did make them feel less attracted to women. Men exposed to the scent of fresh emotional tears experienced decreased testosterone levels and less activity in brain areas involved… More…


Just one scratch beneath the surface of anything lies immense sadness. Why? —Dr. Sunshine

I gasp at your acumen, Dr. Sun. Stephen Dunn’s “Sadness,” holds a lot of promise here:

It was everywhere, in the streets and houses, on farms and now in the air itself. It had come from history and we were history so it had come from us.

Sadness had come from history, from time’s passing, and because we are the only beings who measure time’s passing and term it “history,” it had really come from us. Everything in this world is affected by time, right? Picture this: The sun passes through the leaves on a warm fall day, enticing you to take a walk in the park. You take a pullover with you because you might get cold but it certainly… More…