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: Who's Afraid Of Sheryl Sandberg?

Mar 7, 2013
Originally published on March 11, 2013 8:22 am

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

  • Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead isn't even out yet, but it's already the most talked-about book of spring. Last month, the New York Times' Maureen Dowd dismissed Sandberg as the "PowerPoint Pied Piper in Prada ankle boots." The Daily Mail called her project a "failure" (and then sneaked in an unflattering comparison of Sandberg to actress Gwyneth Paltrow). But the initial anger over what Sandberg has called "a sort of feminist manifesto" has given way to something of a backlash. Earlier this week, Anna Holmes of The New Yorker told Sandberg's critics that "maybe you should read the book," and on Wednesday, Bloomberg's Dan Schnur wrote that Sandberg's management strategies "can fix our politics." In the meantime, Lean In is steadily climbing the bestseller lists.
  • Self-portraits of famous authors in The Atlantic. (The highlight might be Flannery O'Connor's painting of herself holding a weirdly demonic pheasant.)
  • Jacob Bernstein on the death of his mother, writer Nora Ephron: "Now there she was, in her Chanel flats and her cream-colored pants and her black-and-white-striped blouse, looking so pretty and so fragile as she dabbed her eyes with a Kleenex; and I finally understood what she meant when said she was a bird — that she wasn't just talking about her looks but something inside as well."
  • Literary statues from around the world, courtesy of Book Riot.
  • Slate's David Haglund responds to complaints that dictionaries are legitimizing the use of the word "literally" as an intensifier (as in, "I'm literally going to kill you"): "The meanings of words change over time. And dictionaries — the most respected standard ones, that is, like the OED — record how people use words. Basic dictionaries don't primarily serve to provide guidelines for 'correct' usage. When people despair that some neologism is going into some dictionary or another, they might as well be complaining that an entry about some animal they really don't like is going to be printed in a zoological guide. These usages exist. Lexicographers keep track of them."
  • Life After Life After Life: Why two major novels with the exact same title are being published this spring.
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