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.


Bill Frisell On Piano Jazz

Feb 1, 2013

Guitarist and composer Bill Frisell brings his sparkling, atmospheric sound to this episode of Piano Jazz with host Marian McPartland, in a session that originally aired in October 2007.

Born in 1951, Frisell grew up during the dawn of rock 'n' roll. His choice of a solid-body electric guitar — over the traditional hollow body associated with jazz — reflects the influence of early rock, country and R&B in his playing. An original thinker with a sound to match, Frisell performs tunes by Thelonious Monk, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Hank Williams here.

Frisell starts the program with a surprise: his solo version of "When You Wish Upon a Star," a tune most associated with Walt Disney's Jiminy Cricket character. In the hands of Frisell, this simple melody takes on a dreamy, almost haunting texture.

"My favorite jazz musicians keep the melody throughout the tune," Frisell says. "It's the backbone, or the architecture, of the whole thing. Even if you're not playing it, it's still there."

Connecting With Bill Evans

The session continues with Frisell's solo take on "My Man's Gone Now," from George Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess. Frisell picked up this tune when he first began studying jazz seriously by listening to Bill Evans and Miles Davis.

"It's one of those tunes that stayed with me from the late '60s when I first heard it, and I've been trying to play it all along," Frisell says.

Years later, Frisell got a call that presented the ultimate setting to try out the tune: a jam session with drummer Paul Motian and bassist Marc Johnson, who both worked with Bill Evans.

Frisell and McPartland perform two duets: a delicate version of "All the Things You Are" and the playful "Wave" by Antonio Carlos Jobim. In between, McPartland inserts a solo of her composition, the melancholic "He's the One."

Hank Williams is not a name heard often on Piano Jazz. But some of the country-music icon's songs have become standards recorded by the program's alumni, such as Tony Bennett and Norah Jones. Frisell plays a faithful rendition of Williams' "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," making full use of his guitar's bassy low notes and bright top end.

Wide Open Spaces

Frisell brings one of his original compositions to the program: the brooding "Strange Meeting."

"It seems like it could be romantic to me," McPartland says. "And it made me think of a tune I wrote, 'Echoes of Yesterday.' "

McPartland's tune shares some of the moody qualities of Frisell's composition. Both musicians play with an expansiveness and a feel of wide-open space between notes, creating places where dark ideas and buried memories rush to the surface, appear briefly, and are forgotten.

The two artists play one more duet to end the program: "Blue Monk" by Thelonious Monk. Monk's typically atypical blues tune is a great setting for Frisell's guitar work. And McPartland clearly enjoys the interplay, digging in to the rhythm and trilling notes on top to end the session.

Originally recorded Nov. 16, 2006. Originally broadcast Oct. 16, 2007.

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