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: Hilary Mantel Gets A Sales Boost After Kate Middleton Controversy

Feb 20, 2013

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

  • Booker-winning author Hilary Mantel's novels have gotten a sales boost after the firestorm in the U.K. over her comments about Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge. Mantel said that Middleton is "as painfully thin as anyone could wish, without quirks, without oddities, without the risk of the emergence of character." Media outrage was so severe that even British Prime Minister David Cameron jumped in, saying that although Mantel "writes great books," her remarks were "completely misguided." NPR called it "withering." And the Daily Mail, in characteristically shrill fashion, ran the story on the front page, calling Mantel's essay a "venomous attack." But Mantel's full essay is more nuanced, and some have pointed out that the actual thesis of the piece is that royals should be treated more respectfully by the press. Mantel writes: "I'm not asking for censorship. I'm not asking for pious humbug and smarmy reverence. I'm asking us to back off and not be brutes."
  • Mystery writer Patricia Cornwell won a $50.9 million lawsuit against her former financial managers at Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP. She accused them not only of financial mismanagement, but, more importantly, of traumatizing her dog.
  • Singer Kelly Clarkson isn't pleased by her portrayal in Clive Davis' new memoir, which paints her as emotional and overly dramatic. In a response, Clarkson said that the record producer is "spreading false information," adding that she refuses "to be bullied."
  • Former Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, is working on a new book about education, New School Manifesto, that will be published by Grand Central Publishing in September.
  • In light of the controversy over the choice by DC Comics to hire Orson Scott Card, an outspoken opponent of gay rights, to write a Superman story, frequent NPR contributor Glen Weldon looks at LGBT characters in the world of comics. He writes that "today's mainstream superhero comics contain more LGBT characters than ever."
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