Jenny Gathright

Mary Lou Williams seemed to learn early that playing piano would keep her alive.

Maybe she realized this at age six, when she started venturing to her white neighbors' homes to play piano for them. As Williams later recalled to the journalist John Wilson for the Jazz Oral History Project at the Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies, she got the neighbors to stop throwing bricks into her family's house by giving them private concerts.

Blizzards are affecting much of the Great Lakes region this weekend, and the National Weather Service says it's "shaping up to be a historic storm." The snow is just one part of a massive storm system affecting areas from the Gulf Coast to northern Wisconsin and Michigan.

The Bialowieza Forest, which spans 350,000 acres between Poland and Belarus, is home to a vulnerable population of about 600 bison. But this winter, the forest also became home to a reddish brown cow who decided to escape domestic life for some time in the wild. Poland's TVN24 news portal reports an ornithologist first spotted her in November, wandering the outskirts of the forest with a herd of about 50 bison.