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.


After Lockout, Chicago Team Has Best Season Start In NHL History

Feb 26, 2013
Originally published on February 26, 2013 7:05 pm



It's been an interesting year for National Hockey League fans. First of all, of course, the season was cut short after a long lockout, but now, in Chicago the Blackhawks are making up for lost time. They hold the record for the best start in NHL history. Last night, the Blackhawks faced off against the Edmonton Oilers and reporter Lauren Chooljian was there to see if Chicago's team could extend its streak.

LAUREN CHOOLJIAN, BYLINE: Even though there are thousands of fans swarming the United Center here, you can't miss Vanessa Dorn(ph). In addition to her hockey jersey, she's decked out in Blackhawk-themed items that you probably didn't even know existed, like a plush hat in the shape of the Blackhawk's mascot, Tommyhawk.

VANESSA DORN: It's a nice soft one and it's got, like, legs hanging down over the ears to cover your ears and it's got Blackhawks sketched on it.

CHOOLJIAN: And tucked under those hawk legs she's sporting long, dangling Blackhawks shaped feather earrings. Dorn has been a fan for more than 40 years. So this season when a messy labor dispute led to a month's long lockout, she felt strange.

DORN: It was an empty hole.


DORN: I felt so bad. I have children. I have adult children, a family; I have a very full life. But, yeah, it was just, something was missing.

CHOOLJIAN: But now the Blackhawks are back and in a big way. The team hasn't lost a game in regulation all season. So now it's just a question of how long they can keep the streak alive.


CHOOLJIAN: We're now up in the nosebleed section for the first period. The Oilers are up one to nothing and Chicagoan Joe Boo(ph) is already pacing back and forth.

Do you get nervous when you watch?

JOE BOO: No, I just get into it.

CHOOLJIAN: It's hard to believe he's not nervous.

BOO: Woo.


BOO: Oh.


BOO: Oh, my goodness.

CHOOLJIAN: It's only Monday night but, like Joe, thousands of people are swaying and cheering as if it were a Saturday night playoff game. And when the Blackhawks score, the madhouse on Madison shakes.


CHOOLJIAN: And the excitement is happening in living rooms and bars all across the Chicago area. Comcast SportsNet, which airs the Blackhawks' games, has seen its top five best ratings ever just this year for regular season games. And four of those broadcasts were in the past seven days.

Pat Boyle is the Blackhawks' studio host and he says he wasn't sure at first how fans were going to react after the lockout.

PAT BOYLE: What I think happened was it created, with the schedule 48 games in 99 days, every game means a lot more. And so, to start your season right at the tail end of the NFL season, have every game count and then get off to this record start - it was the perfect storm.

CHOOLJIAN: Boyle says there are a few reasons the team is this good this time around. First, there's been great goaltending. And a lot of the guys from the Stanley Cup-winning 2010 team are still around.

BOO: He's there.


BOO: Oh, my goodness.

CHOOLJIAN: Back in the arena, it's the end of the third period. Blackhawk Viktor Stalberg tied the game 2-to-2 with an early goal. And as the seconds in regulation time tick down to zero, everyone in the arena knows the game is going into overtime.


CHOOLJIAN: And for Blackhawks fans that means the streak is extended, since they didn't lose in regulation.

Joe Boo's reaction is a little more subdued than some others here but for a good reason.

BOO: True fans aren't just here for the streak. We're here because we love the Chicago Blackhawks and we just support our team.


CHOOLJIAN: Boo is here for the win. And lucky for him, he gets it. One forty-four into overtime, Marian Hossa knocks one in and the Blackhawks take it 3-to-2.

But there's one part of the Blackhawk's streak that it's safe to say is in the back of every fan's mind: The last team to hold this record was the Anaheim Ducks in 2006 and they went on to win the Stanley Cup.

For NPR News, I'm Lauren Chooljian in Chicago. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.