WPPB

Susie Neilson

On rare occasions as a kid, Renzin Yuthok and his family got to share a special breakfast. They'd gather around a table in their home in Bellevue, Wash., his dad would roll tsampa flour, butter and tea into balls called pa, and then he'd hand them out to his kids.

It's a sweltering morning in Beltsville, Md., and I'm face-to-face with bee doom. Mark Dykes, a "Bee Squad coordinator" at the University of Maryland, shakes a Mason jar filled with buzzing honeybees that are coated with powdered sugar. The sugar loosens the grip of tiny Varroa mites, a parasite that plagues bees; as he sifts the powder into a bowl, they poke out like hairy pebbles in snow.

As a group, surgeons are not well known for their bedside manner. "The stereotype of the abrasive, technically gifted ... surgeon is ubiquitous among members of the public and the medical profession," write the authors of a 2018 article in the AMA Journal of Ethics.

Bonnielin Swenor has devoted her life to studying visual impairment in older adults. But for a long time, she didn't often discuss the motivation fueling her work — that she herself has low vision.

St. Basil's Hexaemeron, a Christian text from around the fourth century, contains a curious botanical instruction: Pierce an almond tree in the trunk near its roots, stick a "fat plug of pine" into its center — and its almond seeds will undergo a remarkable change.

Leyla Hussein had mixed feelings when she found out that Queen Elizabeth II was naming her an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for her work to eliminate female genital mutilation.

"I had to think hard about whether to accept," she says, citing the British history of colonialism. But in the end, proud of being British and living in a country that took in her parents as refugees from Somalia, she accepted the honor, along with fellow anti-FGM advocate Nimco Ali.

With wine, older can often mean better. "Vintage," our word for "classily aged," comes from the winemaking process. Wines from decades ago can fetch far higher prices than freshly made ones. Wine itself is woven throughout ancient history, from ancient Judeo-Christian rites (hello, Last Supper!) to Egyptian ceremonies to Roman orgies. And the grape varieties we like tend to have lengthy pasts: For instance, chardonnay grapes from France's Champagne region have been made into white wine since the Middle Ages.