The rule of Joseph Stalin left marks not only on the military,
economy, and politics of Soviet Russia but also on the quotidian
lives of its citizens. In her book Everyday Stalinism (Oxford),
Sheila Fitzpatrick, the Bernadotte E. Schmitt professor in modern
Russian history, talks about the many victimsfrom former nobility
to kulaks to leading Communistswho faced shortages in work,
food, and shelter during the 1930s under Stalin. She details how
corruption seeped into the lives of regular folks, many of whom
denounced unwanted neighbors and spouses as enemies of the
people. Yet, amid the scarcities and depravities, Fitzpatrick
shows how young people still fell in love and how some families
grew closer in their resistance to Stalinism.
What really matters is matter
Until 1964 scientists believed that particles and their antiparticles
behaved like mirror images of each other. Then they discovered a
slight asymmetry between them, known as charge-parity violation.
Earlier this year, Fermilab researchers, led by Bruce Winstein,
the Samuel K. Allison distinguished service professor in physics,
announced they had found a new measure of CP violation that provides
insight into the unbalanced decay of subatomic matter and antimatter.
The discovery, to which assistant physics professor Edward Blucher
also contributed, suggests that without this imbalance, the Big
Bang would have created equal amounts of matter and antimatter,
which would have annihilated each other and left nothing but light
in the universe.
Save the reefs
The industrialized worlds growing carbon-dioxide emissions
could destroy the oceans coral reefs by the middle of the
next century, warns a study published in the April 2 issue of the
journal Science. The findings were based, in part, on a modeldeveloped
by David Archer, an associate professor in geophysical sciencesthat
tracked the movement of carbon dioxide from the ocean surface to
the deepest sea floor.
Another round in the gun wars
Some 85 percent of the general public and 75 percent of gun owners
support mandatory registration of handguns, says a survey by the
National Opinion Research Center and the Johns Hopkins Center for
Gun Policy and Research. The survey also found that 75 percent of
the general public and 63 percent of gun owners support government
regulation of gun design to improve safety. Further, 80 percent
of the general public and two-thirds of gun owners favor mandatory
background checks in private handgun sales, such as gun shows.J.P.