Susie Neilson

In 1969, Charles Bourland flew to Houston to interview for a food scientist position at NASA's Johnson Space Center. From his hotel's lobby, he watched with millions of Americans as Apollo astronauts took their first steps on the moon.

It was a "pretty impressive thing" to witness while considering a NASA job, he remembers with a chuckle.

When Menzi Mngoma decided to get a job as an Uber driver, it was mostly out of necessity. The 27-year-old has a fiancé, kids and his parents to support, and his life's passion, opera, wasn't paying the bills. But he was also making a bet. "You need to be well-connected to go overseas," he told NPR. Though he's currently based in Durban, South Africa, Mngoma dreams of becoming an international musical sensation; he thought that driving Uber might help him make connections with people who could further his career.

Heart disease is the leading cause of disability and death worldwide. About 2,200 people in the U.S. die per day due to cardiovascular problems, or one every 40 seconds.

With that in mind, if you knew that you could help keep your heart healthy by eating just a little bit less every day — about six standard-size Oreos' worth of calories — would you?

Mussels may be popular among seafood lovers, but many boaters consider them pests. They colonize ship bottoms, clog water pipes and stick to motors.

Stan Hays was working in insurance in Missouri when the idea first came to him. It was May 2011, and a tornado had just battered the town of Joplin. He felt the urge to help. So he called up a friend, Jeff Stith. Both men shared a common skill: They were pitmasters on competitive barbecue teams.

"I thought, who better than some guys who set up in parking lots every weekend to bring a comfort meal?" Hays says.

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.

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.

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.