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.

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Book News: Amazon Fires German Security Firm After Claims Of Intimidation

Feb 18, 2013

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

  • Amazon announced Monday that it has fired a German security company amid accusations that seasonal warehouse workers had been intimidated and harassed. In a documentary aired last week by a German TV station, foreign temporary workers claimed that guards from Hensel European Security Services (HESS) would frisk them and search their rooms. Footage also showed some guards wearing clothing made by Thor Steinar, a brand strongly associated with the neo-Nazi movement in Germany.
  • Haruki Murakami's Japanese publisher says the author of Kafka on the Shore and longtime front-runner for the Nobel Prize in Literature will publish a new novel in April. (In Japanese, that is — the rest of us will have to wait for a translation.)
  • Today in literary infographics: Young Adult heroines are mostly shy, plucky virgins with poor self-esteem and brown hair.
  • Atonement author Ian McEwan on fiction: "Like a late victorian clergyman sweating in the dark over his Doubts, I have moments when my faith in fiction falters and then comes to the edge of collapse."
  • The New York Times reports that short stories are on the rise and are a "Good Fit for Today's Little Screens." Although the Times' story isn't on par with the 2008 classic, "It's No Boo-Boo: Bandages As Fashion Accessories," it has all the makings of an egregious trend piece. Can we get some data, please?

The Best Books Coming Out This Week:

  • In the memoir After Visiting Friends, author Michael Hainey searches for the truth about his father's death.
  • Nothing Gold Can Stay by Ron Rash is a collections of short stories set in Appalachia, NPR's Scott Simon calls it "pointed, fierce, funny and tightly packed."
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