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.


CBS Continues New TV Formula With 'Golden Boy'

Feb 26, 2013
Originally published on February 26, 2013 9:44 am



Real life crime and court scenarios are often plot lines for television shows. And since there aren't enough new hit dramas this season, CBS is staying competitive with its old standbys, crime procedurals, like "The Mentalist" and "NCIS."

TV critic Eric Deggans says the network is also trying something new, with a show that premieres tonight.

ERIC DEGGANS: In some ways, the new drama "Golden Boy" seems like a serious Hail Mary pass for CBS.


THEO JAMES: (As Walter Clark, Jr.) The getting here was a long road.

DEGGANS: Theo James plays Walter Clark Jr., the youngest police commissioner in New York City's history. He was promoted from patrolman to the top job in just seven years. The first episode starts with a flashback, as he trades stories with a newspaper reporter.


CHRIS SANTANGELO: (As Reporter) So you call yourself a street kid, but you climb from patrol to homicide, to the big chair of 1BP. And you do it faster than anyone in the 170-year history of this department. So you tell me commissioner, you a master politician or just a savvy cop?

DEGGANS: Once upon a time, CBS had a rule book for cop dramas like "CSI" and "NCIS." Case-of-the-week. Team of crime solvers. Maybe a charismatic older star, like Tom Selleck, Ted Danson or Mark Harmon.


MARK HARMON: (As Leroy Jethro Gibbs) Come on. Sit down.

RALPH WAITE: (As Gibb's Dad) All day's been like a bad dream, but I had to come, son.

HARMON: (As Leroy Jethro Gibbs) Just tell me what's going on.

DEGGANS: On these shows, most stories wrap up in one episode. That makes it easier to air repeats and sell the show in syndication. But "Golden Boy" works differently. At 28, Theo James is a much younger star than 60-somethings like Harmon and Selleck. And even though there's a murder of the week to keep procedural fans happy, every story links back to the bigger tale of how Clark got to the big chair.


JAMES: (As Walter Clark Jr.) Sorry to interrupt, but DeAndre Stubblefield, he's got an alibi. He's doing a burglary in Queens, it checks out.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (As character) The guy gave it up in the car.

JAMES: (As Walter Clark Jr.) We're actually investigating an old case. This just kind of fell in our laps.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (As character) The commissioner's watching us, so if the kid's got a nose for it, maybe he'll be working it.

DEGGANS: "Golden Boy" is CBS' attempt to stretch its formula to new places, like the Sherlock Holmes revamp "Elementary" and Dennis Quaid's 1960s crime drama "Vegas." And it couldn't come at a better time.

Rival NBC tried something similar a few weeks ago, with a Jekyll and Hyde remake called "Do No Harm."


IAN PRICE: (As Jason Cole) My name is Dr. Jason Cole. At least it is right now. In three hours, I'll be someone entirely different.

DEGGANS: It debuted with the lowest ratings ever for a new network series, and then it got cancelled. ABC's "Zero Hour" featured Anthony Edwards in his first series role since leaving "ER" 11 years ago. But it got the lowest rating for a new scripted series in that network's history.

So what are people watching on TV these days that isn't football or a reality show? How about flesh-eating zombies?


SCOTT WILSON, ACTOR: (As Hershel Greene) Christ promised the resurrection of the dead. I just thought he had something different in mind.

DEGGANS: AMC's "The Walking Dead" is a gory drama about a zombie apocalypse. It keeps breaking viewership records with complex, character-driven stories that demand viewers watch, week after week.

Comforting as it may be for TV networks to keep giving us crime-of-the-week shows we can check into at will, those series also draw older viewers advertisers could care less about.

I'm not sure a new drama about New York's youngest police commissioner solves that problem. And I'm certain CBS won't be comforted by the fact that my 70-something mother got hooked on the show after a few preview episodes. But they have to try something. Because the future of network TV just might depend on finding a bridge between the comfort food that used to draw big crowds, and the edgy, explicit work that pulls them in today.


WERTHEIMER: Eric Deggans is TV and media critic for the Tampa Bay Times.



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