Susie Neilson | WGLT

Susie Neilson

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.