Mikhail Kalashnikov is 85 - he was born on Nov. 10, 1919.
Until a few years ago, I had no idea he was still alive and I doubt I even realized Kalashnikov was the name of a real person related to the famous gun. (Now I wonder if there's a live Smirnoff/Smirnov related to the famous vodka somewhere out there as well.)
They used to teach us to disassemble a fake AK-47 at school, but I was a bad student and those military education classes were the first ones to skip (there was also labor education, where we were taught to cook and to sew, and PE).
Anyway, I wouldn't have paid attention to Kalashnikov's anniversary - but I'm reading Chingiz Aitmatov's novel now, The Day Lasts More Than a Hundred Years, and keep searching the web for information on Central Asia. One of the links for the Karakalpak region of Uzbekistan eventually took me to the page about Afghan War rugs, which contains some truly awesome details and images - quite a tribute to Kalashnikov and his invention...