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.


Anthony 'Big A' Sherrod & Robert 'Bilbo' Walker: Live In Concert

Feb 22, 2013
Originally published on June 23, 2014 9:57 am

Juke-joint bluesmen Robert "Bilbo" Walker and Anthony "Big A" Sherrod know how to rock a party. Sherrod, 29, wrote the title song to the blues documentary We Juke Up In Here, while Walker (his father-in-law) is one of the most charismatic 76-year-olds you'll ever meet.

Sherrod opens this show on guitar, with Walker handling bass. Together, they bust out energetic versions of blues favorites, such as "Crosscut Saw" and "Hoochie Coochie Man," as well as "We Juke Up In Here." (Sherrod appeared in that movie, as well as in two other films about Mississippi blues, but hasn't yet put out a debut album.)

After four songs, they switch instruments, at which point Walker plays guitar and sings lead, offering his own highly personalized interpretations of the blues standards "It Hurts Me Too" and "Cut You Loose." Walker never does a note-for-note or word-for-word cover of any song, and instead offers blistering, rough-hewn renditions of well-traveled classics that have become a bit tired in just about anyone else's hands at this point.

Walker looks younger than 76 — a wig helps him in that regard — and he has all kinds of tricks up his sleeve, including an uncanny ability to play his guitar while it looks like he's just holding it by the neck with one hand. He performs Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" (he does it as "Robert B. Goode") and even nails Berry's famous duck-walk. Walker says that he, unlike Berry, can do the duck-walk backwards, too.

The set includes Kitty Wells' country hit "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky-Tonk Angels," a song rarely performed by men, let alone blues players. Walker loves country music — and, in fact, the Mississippi native now lives in Bakersfield, Calif., which is Merle Haggard country, and an area rich with country-music history.

After an hour-long set, the audience seemed happy to stay for more songs after the bracing closer, "Hip Shakin' Mama." Walker says he usually plays for more than two hours and often more than three, but the artists had a plane to catch. They missed it anyway.

The Mississippi Blues Project is supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through the Philadelphia Music Project.

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