All Things Considered

A wax sculpture of Stalin sits behind the desk he used at the dacha. From the time he first began to visit the villa, Stalin was signing death warrants for his rivals — and living in fear of retribution. Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP/Getty Images

Parallels

Sochi Was Once A Vacation Spot Fit For A Dictator

Josef Stalin watched Charlie Chaplin movies and signed execution orders at his summer villa in Sochi. It's now a museum, where the ruthless Soviet leader's paranoia is on full display.

Julia della Croce often couples purple and gold gnocchi (made with two varieties of sweet potato) for a striking sight — and a delicious meal. Celina della Croce and Nathan Hoyt/Courtesy of Julia della Croce hide caption

itoggle caption Celina della Croce and Nathan Hoyt/Courtesy of Julia della Croce

Found Recipes

Festive In Purple, This Pasta's Got A Sweet Side

Food writer Julia della Croce got quite a surprise when she discovered a purple variety of sweet potato at the market — and her signature Italian dumplings got a kick of color.

A channel big enough to handle global shipping would require deep dredging throughout Lake Nicaragua, the largest source of fresh water in Central America. Esteban Felix/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Esteban Felix/AP

Science

Scientists Fear Ecological Disaster In Nicaragua's Planned Canal

The head of Nicaragua's Academy of Sciences says the plan for a new Central American shipping channel seems so crazy that he's having trouble persuading conservation groups to take it seriously.

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