The Boston Citgo sign, all 3,600 square LED feet of which has served as the backdrop to Red Sox games since 1965, is now officially a "pending landmark."

Spanish Surrealist Salvador Dalí spent much of the 1940s in the U.S., avoiding World War II and its aftermath. He was a well-known fixture on the art scene in Monterey, Calif. — and that's where the largest collection of Dalí's work on the West Coast is now open to the public.

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The middle of summer is when the surprises in publishing turn up. I'm talking about those quietly commanding books that publishers tend to put out now, because fall and winter are focused on big books by established authors. Which brings us to The Dream Life of Astronauts, by Patrick Ryan, a very funny and touching collection of nine short stories that take place in the 1960s and '70s around Cape Canaveral, Fla.

When the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union last month, the seaside town of Port Talbot in Wales eagerly went along with the move. Brexit was approved by some 57 percent of the town's residents.

Now some of them are wondering if they made the wrong decision.

The June 23 Brexit vote has raised questions about the fate of the troubled Port Talbot Works, Britain's largest surviving steel plant — a huge, steam-belching facility that has long been the town's biggest employer.

Solar Impulse 2 has landed in Cairo, completing the penultimate leg of its attempt to circumnavigate the globe using only the power of the sun.

The trip over the Mediterranean included a breathtaking flyover of the Pyramids. Check it out:

President Obama is challenging Americans to have an honest and open-hearted conversation about race and law enforcement. But even as he sits down at the White House with police and civil rights activists, Obama is mindful of the limits of that approach.

"I've seen how inadequate words can be in bringing about lasting change," the president said Tuesday at a memorial service for five law officers killed last week in Dallas. "I've seen how inadequate my own words have been."

Mice watching Orson Welles movies may help scientists explain human consciousness.

At least that's one premise of the Allen Brain Observatory, which launched Wednesday and lets anyone with an Internet connection study a mouse brain as it responds to visual information.

The FBI says it is giving up on the D.B. Cooper investigation, 45 years after the mysterious hijacker parachuted into the night with $200,000 in a briefcase, becoming an instant folk figure.

"Following one of the longest and most exhaustive investigations in our history," the FBI's Ayn Dietrich-Williams said in a statement, "the FBI redirected resources allocated to the D.B. Cooper case in order to focus on other investigative priorities."

This is the first in a series of essays concerning our collective future. The goal is to bring forth some of the main issues humanity faces today, as we move forward to uncertain times. In an effort to be as thorough as possible, we will consider two kinds of threats: those due to natural disasters and those that are man-made. The idea is to expose some of the dangers and possible mechanisms that have been proposed to deal with these issues. My intention is not to offer a detailed analysis for each threat — but to invite reflection and, hopefully, action.

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5 Dates To Watch In Budget Showdown

Mar 1, 2013
Originally published on March 1, 2013 2:06 pm

Friday's deadline for President Obama to issue a sequestration order is neither the beginning nor the end of this year's budget battles in Washington. Here are five key moments to watch over the next seven months, and what's at stake in each:

March 1
Sequestration of $85 billion from projected spending for the current fiscal year (which expires Sept. 30) begins no later than 11:59 p.m. It will cut 13 percent of defense spending — uniformed personnel costs are exempted — and 9 percent of domestic discretionary spending, including 2 percent of Medicare spending (which would come out of payments to providers, not reductions in coverage). Medicaid and Social Security are not subject to sequestration, nor are food stamps.

March 27
The continuing resolution (CR) by which the federal government is being funded expires March 27. If a new CR is not approved by Congress before then, there could be a government shutdown at that point. House Republicans are expected next week to propose a CR that would cover the remainder of the fiscal year (through Sept. 30) that would reflect the spending reductions forced by sequestration. Senate Democrats prefer not to bake the sequestration into a funding resolution in order to leave some flexibility to change or rescind the forced cuts. The prevailing sentiment in both parties is that it's in nobody's interest to have a government shutdown. Congress is scheduled to begin a two-week spring recess March 22, so lawmakers have exactly three weeks to agree on a new CR, or face losing some of their break trying to eke out a deal averting a shutdown.

April 1
Federal employees can only be furloughed with 30 days' notice, and notices cannot be sent until sequestration is in effect, so there can be no employee furloughs before April 1. Agencies are expected to wait until Monday, March 4, to send out notices.

Mid-Summer
The statutory debt ceiling has been suspended by Congress through mid-May, meaning the Treasury Department can accrue additional debt until then without violating any legal limit. So all the stopgap measures Treasury has at its disposal to stave off default once the debt limit has been reached are still available, and thus will likely make it unnecessary to raise the debt limit until mid-summer. That's when we could see another showdown.

October 1
The beginning of fiscal year 2014 could prove another crisis point. There's little agreement about how sequestration should be dealt with in next year's budget, so passing appropriations bills may prove difficult. By law — the August 2011 Budget Control Act — sequestration is to continue every year for the next eight years, paring around $85 billion each year off projected spending levels.

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