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.


All This Week: Minds That Make Us Swoon

Feb 11, 2013
Originally published on February 15, 2013 2:04 pm

In honor of Valentine's Day, we're going to spend this week on 13.7 publishing love letters (really, chaste appreciations) to some of our biggest intellectual crushes.

These are the people our bloggers think you should know about, people who have had a significant influence on their lives and their thinking. As they're published, I'll keep a running list of the posts right here:

I'll kick things off with my own quick nod to a fictional character. She's the unreal combination of brains and brawn from the Ghost in the Shell oeuvre known as "The Major."

A cyborg with the "ghost" of the real human she used to be, The Major could have been just another empty, entertaining action figure, fighting for all that's right in a world full of wrong. What we get with this character, instead, is a guide to the question: What does it mean to be human?

Adventure and intrigue lurk just around every corner for The Major and her team, known as Public Security Section 9. But what makes both Ghost in the Shell and The Major so interesting is the constant questioning of what it means to be human in a world where it is possible to leave your natural body behind to live inside a machine, or even out on the network as an un-embodied ghost.

Let the action, the big guns and cliffhangers, the futuristic world, pull you into the vortex. Once you're there, join The Major as she dives ever deeper into the human question. The answers you find will be your own, but you wouldn't have gotten there without her guiding hand.

Wright Bryan edits 13.7 and is a member of NPR's Social Media Desk. You can keep up with more of what he is thinking on Twitter: @wrightbryan3

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