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.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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.


In Arizona, Some Retirees Caught In Never-Ending Battle With Invasive Species

Jan 25, 2013



We go now to Arizona, a magnet for retirees, and for some the answer to the question how should I spend my spare time is this: How about swinging a pick axe in the desert? NPR's Ted Robbins sent this postcard from Ironwood Forest National Monument.

TED ROBBINS, BYLINE: This must be Gary Borax's idea of a good time because he keeps coming back.

GARY BORAX: I've probably been out here 30, 40 times over the years and nearly half of those buffel grass-related.

ROBBINS: The former software developer is hacking away at a clump of tall brown buffel grass, a species from Africa introduced by the government decades ago as forage for cattle. Now, it's crowding out the native plants. Another one of those stories of good intentions gone bad. This clump is stuck between prickly pear cactus and an ironwood tree.

BORAX: They always seem to grow in heavy vegetation. They're hard to get at.

ROBBINS: And it keeps growing back. Buffel grass is all over southern Arizona, which could make this effort feel a bit Sisyphean.

JOHN SCHEURING: Not if you take it in small chunks.

ROBBINS: John Scheuring is a retired plant scientist who's leading the effort.

SCHEURING: Basically, our group has adopted this little mountain range, and we revisit this area a couple times a week. And so it becomes familiar territory.

ROBBINS: Their little mountain range is 1,500 acres in the 188,000-acre Ironwood Forest National Monument, northwest of Tucson. Today's volunteers are mostly with the Dove Mountain Hikers out of Tucson. They're from New York, Chicago, Canada. We're at an abandoned airstrip on public land. By airstrip, I really mean a gravel scar.

As we walk over the airstrip, we come across small basins volunteers have dug to hold what little rain comes down here. Knee-high trees are growing: ironwood, paloverde, ocotillo. Gary Borax has been coming here since the project began.

BORAX: You know, it doesn't look all that great now, but you should've seen it four years ago. It was just stripped of stone and natural desert.

ROBBINS: The natural Sonoran Desert is actually pretty diverse. Buffel grass also threatens that diversity because it burns hot. If a fire starts here, it'll spread quickly to cactus, like the giant saguaro, which are not adapted to fire. John Scheuring says he's starting to feel some satisfaction after coming back over and over again.

SCHEURING: We're starting to see black-throated sparrows starting to nest in the trees on the restoration site itself. And we saw black-tailed rattlesnakes last year, meaning that there are rodents starting to come back in. And so little by little the desert is healing itself and we're just helping it along.

ROBBINS: When they could be relaxing.

Well, but I mean, geez, you're standing out here in the desert with a pickax. It's - how easy is that?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You want to try it?


ROBBINS: Not this time. But I admire the dedication. Ted Robbins, NPR News, Tucson.



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