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.


Book News: Pablo Neruda's Body Will Be Exhumed For Autopsy

Feb 11, 2013

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

  • A Chilean court has ruled that poet Pablo Neruda's body be exhumed for autopsy, according to the Pablo Neruda Foundation. Neruda died 12 days after the coup that overthrew his friend, President Salvador Allende, and some suspect that Neruda was poisoned. Allende's body was also exhumed in 2011, and the official cause of death — suicide — was confirmed.
  • It turns out that the popular romance novelist "Jessica Blair" is actually Bill Spence, an 89-year-old grandfather and WWII veteran. Rock on, sir.
  • On the 50th anniversary of Sylvia Plath's suicide, poet Craig Teicher writes about why we should read Colossus, her first book of poetry: "As tragic and dark as her end would be, it's nonetheless thrilling to watch this great artist becoming herself."
  • Truman Capote said that his 1966 New Journalism classic In Cold Blood was "immaculately factual." But The Wall Street Journal obtained long-forgotten documents from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation that suggest major inaccuracies in the narrative — among other things, that once the killers were identified by an informant, the KBI did not immediately visit the farmhouse where one of the suspects was staying, as Capote claims, but waited five days before taking action.
  • "Amazon, like a ravenous Lovecraftian behemoth, an evil too weighty to be held by mere gravity, exists between planes of existence: half in our corporeal realm, slumbering foully, and half in a warped legal dimension of its own creation." Dustin Kurtz, on Amazon's many legal manoevers.

The Best Books Coming Out This Week:

  • James Lasdun's Give Me Everything You Have: On Being Stalked is a sinister memoir detailing Lasdun's persecution by a former student. But an abridged version that appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education in January has all of the book's unnerving elegance without its maddening narrative drift.
  • Vampires in the Lemon Grove, by Karen Russell. Russell, whose Swamplandia! was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize last year, is an unlikely convert to the Vampire-fiction genre. But, as she told NPR's Scott Simon, "These aren't really Twilight vampires; these are pretty unxsexy, elderly, monogamous vampires."
  • The entirety of Herman Koch's dark novel The Dinner takes place over the course of one very long, very uncomfortable meal in a restaurant in Amsterdam. The book is already a bestseller abroad.
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