The Associated Press and The New York Times report that Lana Peters, Josef Stalin's only daughter and his last surviving child, died last week at age 85. Peters was mainly known as the daughter of the Soviet tyrant, but her life was anything but simple: The evolution of her name says much about her efforts to escape the ignominy of her father. Peters was born Svetlana Stalina then changed her last name to Alliluyeva and later became Lana Peters.
The Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio — pianist Joseph Kalichstein, violinist Jamie Laredo and cellist Sharon Robinson — will celebrate its 35th anniversary as one of the world's finest chamber-music ensembles this January. For the past 25 years, one of the group's frequent partners has been Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. She says it's always great fun to hand over a new piece.
Visitors to the grave of the Irish writer and poet Oscar Wilde won't be able to leave a permanent mark on his tomb anymore. Since the '90s, mostly women started leaving lipstick kisses on his tomb in Paris' Père Lachaise cemetery, a gentle memento for a writer who didn't show much regard for women.
Dozens of veiled women tried to squeeze past each other Monday and into a polling station in the working-class neighborhood of Raml in the northern Egyptian city of Alexandria.
They were eager to cast ballots for a clean-shaven man in a crisp blue suit and matching tie.
His name is Sobhi Saleh and he heads the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party ticket in three of Alexandria's districts. The party is considered the best organized in Egypt and is expected to do well in the country's first election since President Hosni Mubarak was toppled in February.
When you think of high-tech gadgets that make us greener, you might picture solar panels or electric cars; windows may not seem as exciting. But buildings are responsible for 40 percent of the country's energy use, and researchers say they can lower that number by making windows smarter.
As someone who studies windows, Howdy Goudey isn't surprised that most of us find them a little boring.
"It's a pretty pedestrian object," he says. "You know, what's new to do with a window?"